With the Government publishing its Withdrawal Agreement for Brexit, we get two views on the situation from the town’s MP, who will have to vote on it, and from a Leave supporter.
Rugby MP Mark Pawsey
Mr Pawsey has written to the Advertiser to give ten reasons for his support of Theresa May and the Government’s draft Brexit agreement.“A key concern for many of my constituents in Rugby and a reason why they voted to leave was a desire for the UK to take back control of its borders,” Mr Pawsey said.
“The agreement starts the process to achieve this, as well as taking control of our money and our laws by ending the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice and coming out of both the Common Agricultural Policy and Common Fisheries Policy.”
Mr Pawsey argued the PM’s deal respects the outcome of the 2016 referendum while being positive for business.
He said: “The agreement avoids the dangers of No Deal, which would have serious implications for UK companies. Reverting to World Trade Organisation only terms would require customs inspections on all exports and imports; the number of forms for exports would quadruple, costing up to £20bn a year and No Deal would also mean a hard border in Northern Ireland, with implications for security.”
Mr Pawsey addressed those arguing that the deal represents too many concessions to the EU, he said: “Of course, the Prime Minister would have liked to have been able to negotiate further concessions from the EU.
"The remaining 27 EU members have made it clear that this deal represents their limits. I struggle to understand therefore, how any other group expects to improve on these terms by starting again at square one.” He ended by stating another referendum would be “disrespectful to democracy.”
Cllr Lisa Parker
Rugby councillor and leave campaigner Lisa Parker argued the PM’s deal is a “surrender” that would hand control back to the EU.
Cllr Parker, who spoke in a personal capacity rather than on behalf of the council, said: “It’s a disgraceful betrayal of the electorate who voted leave to take back control of our laws, our money and our borders in the biggest democratic mandate in this country’s history and are now being threatened with a Withdrawal Agreement that hands all control back to the EU.
"We won’t leave the EU but will instead be ‘half in and half out’ - truly a ‘vassal state’ many of whose laws will have been created abroad and over which we have absolutely no influence. This is completely against the spirit of the 2016 referendum in which 17.4 million UK citizens voted to leave the EU (57 per cent here in Rugby) and give us back control of our sovereignty.”
Addressing Mr Pawsey’s argument that the PM’s deal would be good for business in the UK, Cllr Parker said: “May and other Remainers talk about a ‘Brexit for business– well 92 per cent of businesses have no dealings with the EU at all.
"So forgive me if I put the sovereignty of our nation and the incredible opportunities Brexit provides above the temporary and exaggerated inconvenience of some globalist corporations.”
Cllr Parker also told the Advertiser that the deal would see us hand £39 billion of taxpayers’ money to the EU with nothing guaranteed in return, while we would be “locked” in a customs union which would create internal borders in the UK and threaten the Union.