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Rehman Chishti Resigns – 15 November 2018

A number of resignations have taken place following the “collective agreement” of the Cabinet to accept the Draft of the Withdrawal Agreement on the 14 November 2018.

Rehman Chishti resigns from his post as Vice Chairman of the Conservative Party and Trade Envoy to Pakistan.

It was an honour to be appointed by you as the Vice Chairman of the Conservative Party and also to serve as your Trade Envoy to Pakistan.

I regret to inform you that having seen the draft EU Withdrawal Agreement and listened to your statement in the House today, after reflecting on this matter and taking into account wider considerations which I will duly outline, I regret to inform you that I am resigning from both my positions with immediate effect.

At the outset, this, for me, is about delivering on the promises we made to the British people at the General Election last year in our manifesto, that leaving the European Union means leaving the Single Market and the Customs Union, that the UK will be taking back control over our laws, our borders, and our money.

I have repeatedly made this point whilst representing our party to many different media outlets as Vice Chairman.

‘It would not be appropriate for me to continue in these roles, which I enjoy very much, as it would require me to advocate for a position which I feel is contrary to our firm manifesto commitment which I stood for when elected in 2017, and have publicly advocated for since. The terms of the backstop, in effect, amount in my view to a hybrid membership of the EU Customs Union and Single Market and further the EU would hold a veto over our ability to exit. The UK in effect will be a part of a system where it will be a rule taker without any say on the rules.

The second point which brings me to write this letter is the manner in which the Government has dealt with the case regarding Asia Bibi. This is a case that I have worked on passionately since 2012, alongside Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali, the Former Bishop of Rochester, to ensure that justice is done which was handed down by the Pakistan Supreme Court only recently.

What I fond shocking, is that the British Government is failing to put into practice the core values that our country stands for: religious freedom, justice, morally doing the right thing, and that when we see injustice where an individual’s life is in clear danger ad they have been persecuted for their faith, we do all that we can to help them. The Government should not wait to see if another country offers sanctuary, we should have had the conviction to lead on this matter and offer sanctuary ourselves straight away.

The letter which I sent to you regarding this matter on 13th November now has the support of some 124 MPs and Lords. I would be grateful if you can personally intervene in his case to ensure that a morally right decision is finally made which takes into account our core values, irrespective of the position that any other country may take on this.

It was a pleasure to be appointed by you to serve as your PM Trade Envoy to Pakistan for the past 14 months, a country that I passionately care about. Thanks to the fantastic work and hard effort of our UK Pakistan Trade team, trade between our two countries has increased by over 10 per cent in the last year alone, and now stands at £2.9billion.

I will continue to work day and night to ensure that we have a Conservative Government which continues to help create a country that works for all with the core belief in aspiration and opportunity for all.

Yours ever,

Rehman Chishti

Prime Minister Press Conference 15 Nov 2018

Prime Minister Theresa May held a press conference in 10 Downing Street, on 15 Nov 2018, regarding the recent “collective agreement” by the Cabinet to accept the Draft Withdrawal Agreement.

Serving in high office is an honour and privilege. It is also a heavy responsibility. That is true at any time – but especially when the stakes are so high.

And negotiating the UK’s withdrawal from the EU after 40 years, and building from the ground-up a new and enduring relationship for the good of our children and grandchildren is a matter of the highest consequence.

It touches almost every area of our national life: our whole economy and virtually every job; the livelihoods of our fellow citizens; our integrity as a United Kingdom of four nations; our safety and security – all of these are at stake.

My approach throughout has been to put the national interest first. Not a partisan interest. And certainly not my own political interest. I do not judge harshly those of my colleagues who seek to do the same but who reach a different conclusion. They must do what they believe to be right, just as I do. I am sorry that they have chosen to leave the government and I thank them for their service. But I believe with every fibre of my being that the course I have set out is the right one for our country and all our people.

From the very beginning, I have known what I wanted to deliver for the British people to honour their vote in the referendum. Full control of our borders, by bringing an end to the free movement of people – once and for all. Full control of our money, so we decide ourselves how to spend it on priorities like our NHS. Full control of our laws, by ending the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice in the United Kingdom. Getting us out of the Common Agricultural Policy and Common Fisheries Policy for good.

That is exactly what this agreement will deliver. Free movement – ended. Vast annual payments – stopped. The jurisdiction of the ECJ – over. Out of the CAP. Out of the CFP. This is a Brexit that delivers on the priorities of the British people.

In achieving these objectives, I am also determined to protect the things that are important to us.

Protect the hundreds of thousands of manufacturing jobs that put food on the tables of working families right across the UK. Those jobs rely on cross-border trade in goods, with parts flowing easily in and out of the UK allowing for integrated supply chains. This agreement protects that.

Protect the close security co-operation that helps keep us safe. This agreement does that.

Protect the integrity of the United Kingdom and the peaceful settlement in Northern Ireland by leaving the EU as one United Kingdom, and having no hard border between Northern Ireland and Ireland. This agreement does that as well.

Yes, difficult and sometimes uncomfortable decisions have had to be made. I understand fully that there are some who are unhappy with those compromises. But this deal delivers what people voted for and it is in the national interest. And we can only secure it if we unite behind the agreement reached in Cabinet yesterday.

If we do not move forward with that agreement, nobody can know for sure the consequences that will follow. It would be to take a path of deep and grave uncertainty when the British people just want us to get on with it.

[Political content removed]. They are looking to the Conservative Party to deliver

To deliver a Brexit that works for the whole UK; a strong economy that keeps jobs safe and wages rising; and first-class public services we can rely on – an NHS there for all of us, great schools for every child and the homes that families need.

That is what the people we serve expect and that is what we owe it to them to deliver.

Theresa May updates the House of Commons

Prime Minister Theresa May updated the House of Commons on the Brexit negotiations, here’s the statement.

With permission, Mr Speaker, I would like to update the House on our negotiations to leave the European Union.

First, I want to pay tribute to my Rt Hon Friends the Members for Esher and Walton and Tatton. Delivering Brexit involves difficult choices for all of us. We do not agree on all of those choices but I respect their views and thank them sincerely for all that they have done.

Mr Speaker, yesterday we agreed the provisional terms of our exit from the European Union, set out in the Draft Withdrawal Agreement.

We also agreed the broad terms of our future relationship, in an Outline Political Declaration.

President Juncker has now written to the President of the European Council to recommend that “decisive progress has been made in the negotiations.” And a special European Council will be called for Sunday 25th November. This puts us close to a Brexit deal.

Mr Speaker, what we agreed yesterday was not the final deal.

It is a draft treaty that means we will leave the EU in a smooth and orderly way on 29 March 2019 and which sets the framework for a future relationship that delivers in our national interest.

It takes back control of our borders, laws and money. It protects jobs, security and the integrity of the United Kingdom. And it delivers in ways that many said could simply not be done.

We were told that we had a binary choice between the model of Norway or the model of Canada. That we could not have a bespoke deal. But the Outline Political Declaration sets out an arrangement that is better for our country than both of these – a more ambitious free trade agreement than the EU has with any other country.

And we were told we would be treated like any other third country on security co-operation. But the Outline Political Declaration sets out a breadth and depth of co-operation beyond anything the EU has agreed with any other country.

So let me take the House through the details.

Ranil Jayawardena Resigns – 15 November 2018

A number of resignations have taken place following the “collective agreement” of the Cabinet to accept the Draft of the Withdrawal Agreement on the 14 November 2018.

Ranil Jayawardena resigns from his post as Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Ministry of Justice.

This is a pivotal time for the United Kingdom. It is important to deliver on the democratic decision of the people. It is important to get the right deal for our country. And it is important for every Member to act in good conscience. That is why, with regret, I must offer my resignation as Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Ministry of Justice.

At the last election, you said:

“Our future prosperity, our place in the world, our standard of living, and the opportunities we want for our children – and our children’s children – all depend on getting the next five years right.”

I agree. But I cannot agree, in the cold light of day, that the deal in front of us today is right for our country. It does not deliver a good and fair Brexit.

A good and fair Brexit must be good for those with close links to the European Union, be that family or business, but it must be fair to those who voted to leave the European Union also – taking back control of our laws, our borders and our money.

This draft agreement does not do that. We will be locked into, amongst other deficiencies, European Union law. In particular, Article 89 sets out:

“Judgments and orders of the Court of Justice of the European Union … shall have binding force in their entirety on and in the United Kingdom.”

Article 174 continues that on a question of whether the United Kingdom has complied with its obligations under Article 89:

“The Court of Justice of the European Union shall have jurisdiction to give such a ruling which shall be binding …”

This is not taking back control of our laws. Further, at the last election we committed to leave the single market and the customs union. We committed to pursuing new trade agreements with other countries at the same time as maintaining free trade with European markets. This draft agreements put these and other commitments at risk too.

I entered public service not to be defined by the European question, but to deliver for my constituents and for our country. To provide the right infrastructure for our economy to grow. To secure the best education for our children so they have better lives tomorrow than they have today. To protect the public by enforcing our laws and our borders. I will continue to work hard from the backbenches to deliver on these priorities and for my constituents as their local Member of Parliament.

Yours sincerely,

Ranil Jayawardena

Suella Braverman Resigns – 15 November 2018

A number of resignations have taken place following the “collective agreement” of the Cabinet to accept the Draft of the Withdrawal Agreement on the 14 November 2018.

Suella Braverman resigns from her post as a Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Exiting the European Union.

Dear Prime Minister,

This is very difficult letter to write. One which I never expected to compose. It has been an immense honour to support you in delivering the historic opportunity of leaving the EU as a Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Exiting the European Union. It has, in many ways, been a dream job which I have enjoyed tremendously. However, despite my strenuous attempts, I now find myself unable to sincerely support the deal agreed yesterday by Cabinet. It is therefore with deep regret that I tender my resignation.

My reasons are simple. Firstly, the proposed Northern Ireland Backstop is not Brexit. It is not what the British people — or my constituents — voted for in 2016. It prevents an unequivocal exit from a customs union with the EU. This robs the UK of the main competitive advantages from Brexit. Without a unilateral right to terminate or a definite time limit to the Backstop, our numerous promises to leave the customs union will not be honoured. 17.4 million people voted for the UK to leave the EU in our own sovereign way and at a time of our choosing. The Backstop renders this impossible and generations of people will see this as betrayal.

Secondly, the backstop proposal set out different regulatory regimes for Northern Ireland and Great Britain threatening to break up our precious Union. I am confident — having met with Customs professionals in my role at the Department — that this could have been avoided.

Throughout this process, I have compromised. I have put pragmatism ahead of idealism and understand that concessions are necessary in a negotiation. I have kept faith in the ultimate destination to justify an uncomfortable journey. However I’ve reached a point where I feel that these concessions do not respect the will of the people — the people who put us here and whom we humbly serve. We must not let them down.

I thoroughly enjoyed working at the Department and have been supported by excellent civil servants. To them, I am grateful.

Thank you for the opportunity. I have immense respect for the way in which you have conducted yourself during these very difficult times. I know how extremely hard you have worked to serve our national interest.

I look forward to working to deliver Brexit in the best possible way from the Backbenches.

Yours sincerely,

Suella Braverman