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Article by Dominic Raab – 11 August 2019

Writing in the Sunday Telegraph on 11 August 2019, the Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab outlines his vision for a truly global Britain.

As we strive for a better deal with the EU, we need to view that relationship in the context of our wider vision for the UK after Brexit. Fifteen years ago, when I was posted as a Foreign Office lawyer to The Hague, I remember my counterparts from Japan, Australia, South Korea and Brazil lamenting the introverted perspective of the EU and the UK at the expense of the rest of the world.

It was a salutary warning. Today, the UK wants a strong relationship with our European partners. But Brussels isn’t the only game in town. It’s time we broadened our horizons, and my first visits as Foreign Secretary to the US, Canada, Thailand and Mexico, have shone a light on the opportunities for a truly global Britain.

In the US, President Trump told me how much America values its close friendship with Britain, his high regard for our Prime Minister, and his enthusiasm for a free trade deal with the UK. How serious are they? After our meeting, secretary of state Mike Pompeo told reporters that the US was poised “at the doorstep, pen in hand”, ready to sign a deal, which would boost business and enhance consumer choice on both sides of the Atlantic.

I also met vice president Mike Pence and national security adviser John Bolton, reflecting the fact that our relationship goes far beyond trade. Crucially, we work together to defend our shared values and to respond to security threats, whether by protecting international shipping from the menace of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard or striving to secure North Korea’s denuclearisation.

Few countries have been a better friend than Canada, which I visited earlier in the week. I spoke to business representatives, who committed to investing more in the UK, and discussed with Canadian foreign minister Chrystia Freeland the need for a smooth transition on our trade as we leave the EU.

Our vision for global Britain also involves promoting values. Ms Freeland and I pledged to work together to protect media freedoms globally. I heard about Canada’s experience of adopting a Magnitsky Act to impose visa bans and asset freezes on those responsible for gross human rights abuses. Once we’ve left the EU and regained control of our own sanctions rules, this government will implement the “Magnitsky” provisions of the UK Sanctions Act. That means human rights abusers anywhere in the world will face consequences for their actions, with any assets they hold in the UK frozen and a ban on travelling here. We will ensure that global Britain is not a safe haven for those who profit from torturing others.

Beyond old friends, we must deepen our ties with the world’s growth markets from Asia to Latin America. So last week, I was delighted to take up an invitation from the Association of South-East Asian Nations to attend their meeting of foreign ministers in Bangkok. In fewer than 20 years, the total GDP of the 10 nations in this club has expanded almost sixfold to nearly $3 trillion today. Scarcely anywhere in the world could match this rate of growth. Now is the time to bolster our commitment to the Asia-Pacific region, develop stronger trade, and work together to ensure the stability that allows us all to prosper.

The final leg of my trip again reflects the opportunities of the future. Mexico has a population of 126 million and an economy of over $1.2 trillion. UK exports to Mexico totalled £2.3 billion in 2017, up 18% in 1 year. Red London buses, built by a Scottish manufacturer, now ride along Paseo de la Reforma in Mexico City.

But we can do better in Latin America. Here’s one example. Two thirds of Mexicans have no bank accounts but half of them have a smartphone. That’s a great opportunity for innovative British businesses. With a bright future outside the EU, we will help Mexican firms trade more freely with the UK.

Wherever I travel, I take the Prime Minister’s message of optimism. We will remain strong European partners. But there is a wider world out there for us to re-discover. By the end of my first fortnight as Foreign Secretary, I have met the foreign ministers of 22 countries across the world. I am struck by how much they want to strengthen their ties with us. They too see the great benefits offered by Brexit to deepen our partnerships around the world.

Together there is more that we can and will do to enhance global prosperity and stability and defend our shared values of freedom, democracy and tolerance. So, let’s raise our game, rediscover our national self-confidence, and grasp the tremendous opportunities that lie ahead.

Dominic Raab 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.

Dominic Rabb resigns from his post as Brexit Secretary.

It has been an honour to serve in your government as Justice Minister, Housing Minister and Brexit Secretary.

I regret to say that, following the Cabinet meeting yesterday on the Brexit deal, I must resign. I understand why you have chosen to pursue the deal with the EU on the terms proposed, and I respect the different views held in good faith by all of our colleagues.

For my part, I cannot support the proposed deal for two reasons. First, I believe that the regulatory regime proposed for Northern Ireland presents a very real threat to the integrity of the United Kingdom.

Second, I cannot support an indefinite backstop arrangement, where the EU holds a veto over our ability to exit. The terms of the backstop amount to a hybrid of the EU Customs Union and Single Market obligations. No democratic nation ever signed up to be bound by such an extensive regime, imposed externally without any democratic control over the laws to be applied, nor the ability to decide to exit the arrangement. That arrangement is now also taken as the starting point for negotiating the Future Economic Partnership. If we accept that, it will severely prejudice the second phase of negotiations against the UK.

Above all, I cannot reconcile the terms of the proposed deal with the promises we made to the country in our manifesto at the last election. This is, at its heart, a matter of public trust.

I appreciate that you disagree with my judgment on these issues. I have weighed very carefully the alternative courses of action which the government could take, on which I have previously advised. Ultimately, you deserve a Brexit Secretary who can make the case for the deal you are pursuing with conviction. I am only sorry, in good conscience, that I cannot.

My respect for you, and the fortitude you have shown in difficult times, remains undimmed.

Dominic Raab’s speech on no deal planning

Dominic Raab made a speech, on 23 August 2018, outlining the UK Government preparations for Brexit if no deal is reached with the EU following negotiations.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/secretary-of-state-dominic-raabs-speech-on-no-deal-planning

Good morning everyone. Thank you all for coming.

Today, I want to set out the steps we in government and you in business, the public sector and voluntary sector should take, in order that we can make sure the United Kingdom goes from strength to strength. Even in the unlikely event that we do not reach a negotiated deal with the European Union.

I’m just back from Brussels, after a further round of negotiations with Michel Barnier. We are stepping up the pace and the intensity of our negotiations, and I am confident a good deal is within our sights. That remains our top priority. It remains our overriding priority.

So, before I talk about planning for no deal and the technical notices that we are publishing today, I want to reaffirm what we expect the negotiations to deliver.

A good deal with our EU friends. One that works in our mutual interests. And a deal that recognises our shared history and values, but also provides a strong and sustainable foundation for our future relationship.

So yes, winding down our membership of the EU, but maintaining our close trading relationship, building on our operational security cooperation, and sustaining the networks of cooperation from research to student exchanges, which we prize on all sides. I am still confident that getting a good deal is, by far, the most likely outcome.

The vast majority, roughly 80%, of the Withdrawal Agreement has now been agreed, and we are making further progress on those outstanding separation issues. And of course those settled issues include our agreement on citizens rights, so that 3.5 million EU citizens living in the UK and the one million Brits living in the EU have their rights assured, and can carry on living as they do now.

Now, on the basis that nothing is agreed until everything is agreed, we have agreed the financial settlement. And we have also agreed the terms of an implementation period, to give businesses the clarity and a sensible lead time to adjust to the changes that Brexit will bring, whilst also making sure people can feel confident that there is some finality to the whole process of leaving the EU.

On Tuesday, I met with Michel Barnier in Brussels for the third time since my appointment. We made progress on those outstanding separation issues. We continued our focus on the incredibly important issue around Northern Ireland, and I explained further the UK proposals on our future relationship, based on the White Paper we published in July. Addressing our future economic partnership, as well as the security cooperation that we want to continue to protect all of our citizens.

Theresa May to lead negotiations wih the EU

Its a good time to watch out for statements issued by the Government as MP’s rush off to enjoy their 6 week holiday break … here’s another one.

Theresa May has given a written statement to Parliament this afternoon (24 July 2018) where she states that in future she will lead the negotiations with the EU, Dominic Raab deputising on her behalf, and be supported by the Cabinet Office Europe Unit which

“will have overall responsibility for the preparation and conduct of the negotiations”

effectively sidelining the Department for exiting the EU, DExEU, and taking negotioations back under the control of the Remain-dominated cabinet.

Machinery of Government Change:Written statement – HCWS924

I am making this statement to bring to the attention of the House a Machinery of Government change.

It is essential that in navigating the UK’s exit from the European Union, the Government is organised in the most effective way. To that end I am making some changes to the division of functions between the Department for Exiting the European Union (DExEU) and the Cabinet Office.

DExEU will continue to lead on all of the Government’s preparations for Brexit: domestic preparations in both a deal and a no deal scenario, all of the necessary legislation, and preparations for the negotiations to implement the detail of the Future Framework. To support this, DExEU will recruit some new staff, and a number of Cabinet Office officials coordinating work on preparedness will move to DExEU while maintaining close ties with both departments.

I will lead the negotiations with the European Union, with the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union deputising on my behalf. Both of us will be supported by the Cabinet Office Europe Unit and with this in mind the Europe Unit will have overall responsibility for the preparation and conduct of the negotiations, drawing upon support from DExEU and other departments as required. A number of staff will transfer from DExEU to the Cabinet Office to deliver that.

There will be no net reduction in staff numbers at DExEU given the recruitment exercise described above.

Dominic Raab Statement to MPs on 24 July 2018

Dominic Raab gave a statement to Parliament on the publication of the White Paper on Legislating for the Withdrawal Agreement between the UK and the EU.

With permission Mr Speaker, I would like to make a statement on the White Paper which has been published today, setting out the Government’s plans for legislating for the Withdrawal Agreement and the implementation period.

On Friday the 29th of March 2019, the UK will leave the European Union, giving effect to the historic decision taken by the British people in the 2016 referendum.

This Government is committed to delivering a smooth and orderly Brexit. That’s why we’ve already passed the EU (Withdrawal) Act through Parliament, so we are ensuring our statute book functions after exit, whatever the outcome of the negotiations. I am grateful to the House, and the other place, for the many hours of scrutiny devoted to that vital piece of legislation.

We are now embarking on the next step in the process of delivering that smooth Brexit for the people and businesses of this country. Mr Speaker, since June last year, the UK has been negotiating with the EU to decide on the terms of our withdrawal.

We have made substantial progress: protecting the rights of EU citizens in the UK and UK citizens in the EU, deciding on the terms of the financial settlement, agreeing a strictly time-limited implementation period. Most of the Withdrawal Agreement, according to the EU side, around 80%, has now been agreed with our EU partners, and we have isolated outstanding issues for further focused negotiation. I will be meeting Michel Barnier again on Thursday, to take forward these negotiations at this critical time.

We have already agreed a financial settlement, estimated at between £35-39 billion, well below the figures being bandied around by some when we started this negotiation.

The implementation period is finite, it allows for the negotiation and conclusion of free trade deals.

Many of these arrangements will require new domestic legislation to deliver them into UK law.

And that is why, last November, we announced our intention to bring forward a new piece of primary legislation to implement the Withdrawal Agreement in UK law. So today, we are publishing a White Paper setting out our proposals for this important legislation, which will be introduced once the negotiations have concluded and Parliament has approved the final deal.

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