Article 50

Thank you for contacting me about Brexit. As you will appreciate, I am currently receiving a high level of correspondence on this important matter and although I do take time to read the letters, mass identical emails and social media posts, it is impractical to respond to every different viewpoint individually.

My view continues to be that we should respect the result of the 2016 referendum in which 80% of local people cast their vote. The 2017 General Election endorsed the referendum result and the manifesto on which I stood. It said we would aim for the best possible deal as we leave, delivered by a smooth, orderly Brexit.

A Withdrawal Agreement under Article 50 is the only legal way to move from a hybrid legal system to a UK-only legal system. This gives certainty to over one million British citizens living in EU countries, and to all the contracts written between businesses here and in the EU. It is also a way to clarify the outstanding financial obligations we incurred during our membership. An implementation period allows us time to negotiate free trade agreements with the EU and around the world, something we are not able to do until we've left. To leave without legal certainty for real lives and people's livelihoods would be deeply irresponsible and contrary to the UK's values as an upholder of the rules-based international order.

I feel it is important that, as we press on with the process of leaving the European Union, we provide certainty for local people and local businesses, and secure a strong partnership with our European neighbours as well other countries across the globe. No Deal is currently the legal default if nothing else can be agreed, but I for one believe the current deal is better than No Deal, which is why I have supported it twice.

As to unilaterally revoking Article 50, I am sure you can appreciate how unpopular that would be with the 17.4 million people who voted to leave.

Thank you again for contacting me on this important issue.