Gary's News and views

Gary Streeter MP for South West Devon

Gary writes a weekly article which appears in the Plympton Plymstock and Ivybridge News in South West Devon. The articles are published here.


Thursday, 20 October 2016


The British people have voted to leave the European Union and leave it we shall. Probably in 2019. But the method of leaving is complex and the referendum did not settle this. There will be plenty of Commons debates about these matters ahead. It will dominate our lives like nothing since the original decision to join up in 1972.

Here are my current thoughts

1)    The British people have decided to leave. It was a vote for pain but nonetheless, we must accept that decision. We are just beginning to see the forerunners of that pain – with the low pound meaning that the cost of imported goods has risen and this will add to the weekly shopping bill and inflation. Uncertainty about our future is not helping investment decisions by some companies, so the sooner we provide clarity the better.

2)    The referendum did not decide whether we should remain part of the single market. That will be a matter for the negotiations. The EU has made it clear that if we want to end the free movement of people (immigration) we will not have full access to the single market which has helped many of our firms to grow and prosper. This is the big ticket item.

3)    I am fully persuaded that the final say on whether or not the negotiated deal is acceptable should be made by Parliament and not the government. It is what we are for – to hold the executive to account. If negotiations get under way next spring and the government reports to Parliament, say, in 2018 with the proposed deal and Parliament rejects it, we are up a creek without a paddle. Or even a canoe. Nonetheless, if there is not to be a second referendum on the outcome, it must be for Parliament to have the final say.

4)    The best way forward is for the government to set out a white paper on its negotiating approach and for Parliament to express a view before negotiations start. Some say this would mean showing their hand, but I can see no alternative if we are to avoid the potential disaster set out above.

5)    This issue is more important than party politics and already cross-party alliances are forming. I am consulting the businesses in my constituency about their views on access to the single market and when this is complete I will reach a view and let you know.

posted by Gary @ 09:23