In the 2016 referendum I voted to leave the European Union. I was part of the majority of North Norfolk voters, in the 59.9% of people who also voted to leave. I am proud that prior to 2016, I campaigned to achieve a referendum on whether we should be in or out of the EU. Whether my view agrees with yours or not, the important issue here is that we respect one another on how we voted. I have family and friends who voted to Remain, we have good discussions on the range of issues and importantly we respect one another’s views.
My key point here is respect, respect for the democratic process where a majority of the Country voted to leave - £17.2 million people. The Government must now deliver on that vote. We have to understand that this process is not going to easy. We are entwined with the European Union and agreeing on a consensus of opinions leading up to the exit on 29th March will not be a straightforward process.
But that said I voted to leave. I didn’t vote to cherry pick being part in or part out. Leave means leave to me. I do not advocate a second referendum, that makes a mockery of the democratic process and would be an insult to the electorate. Nor do I advocate extending Article 50 and drawing out this process even further. Quite simply the longer this exit takes the longer we have disharmony, division and a lack of confidence spreading throughout the country. This will materially affect investment, business decisions and in turn people’s jobs and livelihoods. Therefore, we either accept a majority deal through the Commons or we leave without a deal on 29th March. A deal is preferable but if not we default onto WTO rules for two years and adjust swiftly to a myriad of short term changes saving £39bn. I am not afraid of no deal. There is far too much scaremongering concerning this and quite frankly being in business myself, I know businesses will find a way to swiftly resume any obstacles to trade. The Germans will want to sell us their cars, the Spanish will want to get their tomato’s into our supermarkets – I do not subscribe that there will be an apocalyptic meltdown in our economy, some bumps in the road but we will be in a better position to strike out on a global stage than bound and hampered as we are now.
I voted to leave so our Country could make trade deals with the rest of the world, so deals with the faster growing economies of the world, could be struck. I chose to leave to be able to end the relentless uncontrolled free movement of people. I want to be able to control our borders. I want to be able to have our laws made in Westminster and not Brussels. And I want our Sovereignty back.
The Conservatives are the only party who can deliver this exit safely and control the process afterwards. Labour do not know what they want and as for the Liberal Democrats, frankly I find it appalling that they don’t respect the original democratic process.
I think it is quite clear that in North Norfolk, if you voted to leave, I am the only Politician that respects the overriding majority of how people voted in this constituency.