Douglas Carswell

21 NOV 2016

All MPs should back Steve Baker's Brexit letter

Along with around 60 other MPs, I'm backing Steve Baker MP's letter to the PM to ensure Britain leaves the European single market and the customs union. We're standing up for what the majority voted for. Any MP who respects the referendum result should follow suit.

Brexit entails being outside the single market and the customs union. Every Leave campaigner made that clear during the campaign. It's the only way to take back control over our laws, our trade policy, and our borders.

So the claim that voters didn't know that's what Brexit looks like is demonstrably false. Those MPs and peers still trying to block Brexit on that pretext do so in the full knowledge that they are putting their personal wishes ahead of those of the majority of the electorate.

Equally false is the idea that leaving the single market and the customs union means losing trade with the EU. Britain doesn't need to be a member of the single market to have access to the single market. Countries around the world have bespoke, bilateral trade deals with the EU. We will too.

Leaving the customs union frees us to make trade deals with other countries. Many foreign leaders are queueing up to make those agreements – not least, reportedly, the new, pro-Brexit President-elect of the United States.

The important question now is what kind of trade deals we will make. Will they be overregulating, single-market-style agreements that set uniform standards in the interests of Big Business? Or will they be genuine free-trade deals, based on mutual standards recognition?

The reactionary obstructionism of Remainers fighting a rearguard action is a pointless distraction from what we should be discussing. All MPs now have the chance to shape the UK's future as a sovereign, independent country.

Let's implement what the people voted for, and get on with something constructive.

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