The Irish Government now ought to prioritise securing a swift UK-EU Free Trade Agreement

9 Jan

Following the expected ratification of the Withdrawal Agreement by the new Parliament in London and the European Parliament, almost immediately the issue of the longer-term trade and economic relationship will come into focus. The issues, which dogged the withdrawal discussions, will again re-emerge. This is especially true in relation to the Irish border. It is […]

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Brexiteers must unite behind Boris Johnson or risk being trapped in the EU forever

9 Dec

Since the summer I have been proposing that the two pro-Brexit parties – the Tories and the Brexit Party – forge an alliance to command a considerable majority for Brexiteers in the House of Commons. After Nigel Farage’s Hartlepool announcement before the close of nominations that he was withdrawing Brexit Party candidates in Tory-held seats, […]

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Don’t believe those claiming we can’t swiftly negotiate a UK-EU trade deal next year

5 Dec

Predictably there are those already sneering at the Prime Minister’s ambition to complete a Free Trade Agreement with the European Union by the end of the implementation period and establish an independent trade policy for the United Kingdom. They cite the length of time it has taken for previous FTAs to be negotiated (especially with […]

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The path to a Brexit which gives us back control is to give a robust negotiator a solid majority

1 Dec

Article 184 of the Withdrawal Agreement has been the subject of some debate on BrexitCentral between myself and Ben Habib MEP, whose latest thoughts on the subject (following a meeting with myself) appeared a few days ago here. For readers not familiar with it, Article 184 of the Withdrawal Agreement is an important provision and […]

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Boris Johnson needs a Conservative majority at the election to Get Britain Out of the EU

9 Nov

In the last few weeks Nigel Farage and the Brexit Party have been ratcheting up their rhetoric attacking Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal – and the Conservatives – following the announcement no electoral pact has been reached between these two parties. We at Get Britain Out have been considering our position in this General Election […]

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In Peterborough at this General Election, only a vote for the Conservatives will deliver Brexit

6 Nov

A vote for the Brexit Party is a vote to let Jeremy Corbyn into Downing Street. Nowhere do those words matter more at this General Election than in Peterborough, where I am standing as the Conservative candidate. There was of course a by-election in Peterborough earlier this year, which took place two weeks after the […]

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As a Tory MP who helped found UKIP, here’s why I back Boris Johnson’s deal

23 Oct

On Tuesday I faced a decision that has been 28 years in the making, the longest and most strategic game of chess ever played. I helped found UKIP along with half a dozen others all those years ago with my journey to achieve Brexit shifting away from that party upon my return to the Conservatives […]

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As I seek to replace Oliver Letwin as MP for West Dorset, I know people here want Brexit delivered – and now

22 Oct

Have you ever presided over a divided organisation or been responsible for chairing a very diverse and passionate group? I can tell you, that there is no better experience than to have beeen chairman of a Conservative Association during the last three years. I was 34 when I was elected chairman of West Dorset Conservatives […]

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It’s time to end the constitutional wrangling, back the deal and get Brexit sorted

18 Oct

In politics, every day is not just an adventure, but more than often a journey into the unknown. Every day I, like so many others, wake up and go through my quotidian ritual of checking news apps, which generally swing my mood between the ever-changing highs and lows of deal or no deal; leave or […]

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Boris Johnson has delivered a Brexit deal that eurosceptics can – and should – enthusiastically support

18 Oct

The Prime Minister has achieved the remarkable. After a mere 86 days in the job, he has achieved what Remainer pundits, critics and MPs alike have long held was undoable, unattainable, even impossible. Boris Johnson has proved them each and all wrong and truly delivered for this country, not by bringing back a deal that […]

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The legal way to exit the EU by 31st October is through a transition in the EEA

8 Oct

It is just possible as of today that by 17th/18th October at the European Council meeting, using perhaps even its well-tried mechanism of stopping the clock, an agreement on a EU-UK Withdrawal Agreement under Article 50 can be achieved and the UK leaves the EU on 31st October with Conservative, DUP, some Labour and Independent […]

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How to protect both the UK border and EU Single Market in a post-Brexit world

5 Oct

Further to this piece of 19th September investigating the risk of increased smuggling across the Irish border after Brexit, we set out below a legally operable cross-agency operational plan to be established between the Customs and Enforcement Agencies of the United Kingdom, Ireland and the European Union to protect both the EU Single Market and […]

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Boris Johnson’s alternative to the backstop explained

4 Oct

Since Theresa May’s Lancaster House speech, the position of the UK government has been that the UK should be outside the single market and the customs union after Brexit. At the same time, the UK government has committed to protecting the Good Friday Agreement by not accepting any physical infrastructure at the Irish land border. As a result, the Brexit […]

It’s time for some statesmanship from Leo Varadkar

3 Oct

The path to a negotiated Brexit deal is now broadly dependent on the statesmanship of one man. The Prime Minister’s letter to the EU with a new Brexit offer has landed well in the UK with the support of the DUP, the ERG, Remain-supporting Tories, an important number of Labour MPs, even possibly some Liberal […]

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At DExEU I saw the May Government agree to Brexit in name only – now we must free ourselves from the EU’s shackles

3 Oct

I worked for two years as a civil servant at the Department for Exiting the European Union. I cannot fault the staff I worked with, who represent the very best and brightest that the British Civil Service has to offer. DExEU felt more like a start-up business than a lumbering ministry of state: it was […]

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Boris Johnson’s new Brexit offer to Jean-Claude Juncker

2 Oct

What follows is the text of the letter Boris Johnson has today sent to Jean-Claude Juncker, setting out the UK Government’s proposals for a new Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland A FAIR AND REASONABLE COMPROMISE: UK PROPOSALS FOR A NEW PROTOCOL ON IRELAND/NORTHERN IRELAND Dear Jean-Claude, There is now very little time in which to negotiate […]

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Some special Brexit arrangements for Northern Ireland are likely – but the backstop was always a questionable solution

30 Sep

Is there an alternative to the Irish backstop? Even before the Withdrawal Agreement was finalised last year this question has been central to the Brexit debate. The EU and the Irish Government have insisted on the backstop as a guarantee of maintaining an open border in Ireland. Although they have pledged to look at alternative […]

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Boris Johnson should beware resuscitating the ‘dead’ May deal – even if the EU agree to scrapping the backstop

18 Sep

Let’s start with some recent history: the reason Boris Johnson is Prime Minister is because Theresa May’s draft Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration failed three times in Parliament. Its failure, combined with May’s inflexibility, led the 1922 Committee to be persuaded, by its former Chairmen among others, that the only way forwards for the Conservative […]

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Ashcroft poll on support the backstop, reunification and party leaders

11 Sep

Lord Ashcroft has released the findings of his poll surveying Northern Ireland voters about their attitudes towards a border poll, the backstop and the various party leaders.  Border Poll He says about this In my poll, 45 per cent said that they would vote to stay in the UK, and 46 per cent said they would choose to leave and join the Republic of Ireland – a lead of 51 per cent to 49 per cent for unification when we … Read more

How to fix the Brexit deal so a sovereign UK can agree a comprehensive Free Trade Agreement with the EU

2 Sep

The next week in Parliament is bound to be tumultuous, but I believe all MPs should remember that some of us have spent the summer fashioning the tools to enable the United Kingdom and the EU to agree a deal. In July, the Prosperity-UK Alternative Arrangements Commission – for which I chair the 20-strong panel […]

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Even if the EU offer to remove the Backstop, here’s why the draft Withdrawal Agreement must still be rejected

30 Aug

To some, Boris Johnson’s upbeat talks with EU leaders last week cast a glimmer of late summer sunlight on the Brexit impasse. There appears to be a sliver of a chance that the EU may yet return to the negotiating table in the coming weeks, perhaps because it is dawning on them that this Prime […]

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Theresa May fell into the traps set by the EU and caved into their demands

26 Aug

The failure (thus far) to implement the people’s wishes on Brexit must be the greatest cock-up in British history. It has created a political mess in which we wallow while the world laughs. So it’s worthwhile to ask what went wrong and learn the lessons. We wasn’t just robbed. We failed incompetently. Brexiteers assumed that it would […]

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