Ranil Jayawardena MP Takes Part in the EU Withdrawal Agreement Debate

Today, I spoke in the final day of the Brexit debate to put forward my views on the withdrawal agreement that has been negotiated by the Prime Minister. I want a good deal with the EU, but this is not that deal.

I have explained my position before, both on Facebook and by letter to all those constituents who have written to me on this subject. The deal has not changed since it was first brought back from Brussels last year, and my stance on it has not changed either. Whilst the time limit on speeches meant I couldn’t put on the record all I wanted to, you can watch my explanation for my position below - or email me for a fuller response: email@ranil.uk


You can read my contribution here.

"It is a pleasure to follow the hon. Member for Westmorland ​and Lonsdale (Tim Farron). He talks about winners and losers, but this is not about winners and losers; it is about what is right.

The Prime Minister has repeatedly said that no deal is better than a bad deal. I believe a deal is possible, but this is not it; this is a bad deal. I know that some, both in this place and beyond, have expressed their wish to agree it anyway: people who continued to campaign for remain after the referendum in order to guarantee we avoid no deal; or people who believed in leave but out of party loyalty or fear for Brexit seek to support the deal before us. I respect that others will vote as they see fit; it is important for every Member to act in good conscience, and it is for that very reason that I cannot support this so-called deal.

Trust in politics remains at an all-time low. To pretend that this deal delivers on the referendum only continues to foster the distrust we have seen out there. We must be honest with people: this deal does not deliver on the referendum. It retains the worst parts of the EU without the real benefits of Brexit. So I happen to agree with the vast majority of my constituents who have contacted me, both leave and remain voters, who have urged me to vote against this deal.

None the less, let me be clear: I do want to secure a deal with the EU, and I continue to believe that we can agree one. I believe that, sadly, the negotiation now potentially needs to continue even after a no-deal departure from the EU on 29 March. We must be bolder if we wish to strike the best deal for Britain, whether before D-day or beyond."