How I would ensure we are out of the EU by October 31st: no more delays and no second referendum

How I would ensure we are out of the EU by October 31st: no more delays and no second referendum

The Withdrawal Agreement is dead, but the need to deliver Brexit is urgent and critical – and I am committed to taking us out of the European Union in a constructive way and by October 31st this year.

Parliament has made clear that in all circumstances it will not support the Withdrawal Agreement Bill, and the European Commission has said it will not reopen negotiations on the Withdrawal Agreement, so we have to find another way.

I campaigned passionately for Leave, and I continue to believe that we have a superb future outside the EU as a global force for good.

I’ve had to make some difficult and uncomfortable decisions over the last three years, but I was always clear: I had a duty to do everything I could to get the Brexit we had fought so hard for over the line, and out of the EU. I made the decision to stay within Cabinet for as long as I could to fight for Brexit from the inside and to try to ensure that our departure from the EU was in line with what we had voted for.

Taking back control of our borders, our money and our laws ,and seizing the opportunities to once more trade freely around the world with old allies and new friends are the goals I seek.

I voted for the Withdrawal Agreement three times because it meant that we would be legally leaving the EU this year and, once the implementation period ended, we’d be able to take up all the advantages of our new-found freedom.

But what I could not support was a second referendum. My position has always been that re-running the June 2016 vote would be dangerously divisive and to do so would betray our democracy and risk our Union.

When it became clear that the Withdrawal Agreement Bill had been redrafted to include the possibility of a second vote, and those voices advocating policies contrary to the Government’s position on Brexit were gaining sway, I no longer had the confidence that our approach was going to deliver on the referendum result.

With the Prime Minister announcing her resignation, the next Prime Minister needs to be someone who actually believes in Brexit and will fight to secure us leaving by October 31st.

Crucially, though, they need a plan, and mine is well thought through and workable. I believe I am the decisive leader this country needs now; one who will honour the result of the referendum.

My three-step plan for a managed exit is clear, detailed, and deliverable, and will get us out of the EU by October 31st.

Based upon my experience as the former Leader of the Commons, and my knowledge of the parliamentary time available to us between now and the end of October – as well as the time I spent on Cabinet sub-committees focused on “day one readiness” for Brexit – I know that my plan is the only realistic one on the table.

Step One

I will immediately introduce a Citizens’ Rights Bill. This will give peace of mind to UK citizens living in the EU and EU citizens living in the UK, lifting the weight of uncertainty from their shoulders.

I will also introduce an EU Departure Provisions Bill that will include sensible measures that have already been negotiated and agreed by both sides – in areas such as sovereign bases, Gibraltar, security measures, air transport and medicines.

Step Two

I will significantly ramp up preparations for leaving the EU at the end of October. I will speed up work on alternative arrangements for the Northern Ireland border and look at specific arrangements for ‘just in time’ supply chains and agri-foods. This will give business the certainty and confidence it is crying out for.

Vitally, progress on our preparations will be completely transparent with regular updates to Parliament and business. Communication will be sent to all households and businesses setting out steps they will need to take in all eventualities, providing greater clarity and an open debate.

Step Three

I will personally lead a delegation of ministers to speak directly with key EU Heads of Government about the wide range of measures the UK is offering our EU friends to support our managed departure on October 31st. It will be for the EU27 to decide which of those measures they also want to accept, bearing in mind many of them have already been previously agreed between us.

The UK will convene a summit in early September in Belfast and Dublin to bring together the EU Council and the proposed new EU Commissioners to recognise that the UK is leaving the EU on October 31st, and to agree the sensible measures we will put in place to ensure a smooth exit.

The reality is that the country is tired of politicians in Westminster arguing, rather than doing. The result of the referendum was clear and there must be no rowing back from it: no further extension of Article 50, no more discussion of revoking it and absolutely no second referendum.

As Prime Minister, my three-step plan for a managed exit will get us out, give us the Brexit we voted for, and lead us to the bright future that awaits us.