Brexit: Why I will not vote for Theresa May’s deal – Ross Thomson MP

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No self-respecting nation would accept the reported terms of Theresa May’s Brexit deal, writes Ross Thomson MP.

I campaigned for a Leave vote in 2016 because I believe Britain can thrive outwith the EU.

Theresa May's Brexit plan looks set to be defeated in the Commons even if it's approved by the EU27, potentially pitching the UK into a no-deal Brexit

Theresa May's Brexit plan looks set to be defeated in the Commons even if it's approved by the EU27, potentially pitching the UK into a no-deal Brexit

Throughout the negotiations, I have backed the Prime Minister and voiced my support for a deal that ensures we can seize the huge opportunities that lie ahead.

However, I have also been clear that we cannot have a deal at any cost.

I am a Unionist and I fought with head, heart and soul to stop the SNP breaking up the UK in 2014.

If the backstop arrangements mean a separate regulatory regime for Northern Ireland or closer alignment with the EU, then that is something no Unionist could support.

We have already seen Nicola Sturgeon leaping on any suggestion of a differential deal for Northern Ireland, and we can expect the SNP to continue to demand separate arrangements for Scotland.

READ MORE: SNP to vote against Brexit deal as Sturgeon demands same status as Northern Ireland

Furthermore, I have serious concerns about the so-called ‘review mechanism’ by which the UK can leave the ‘temporary’ customs union.

If this cannot happen unilaterally, then the customs union could be permanent.

Not only would that prohibit the UK from signing new wide-ranging trade deals with economies around the world, but it would leave the UK as a vassal state.

No self-respecting nation could accept that.

And on fishing, the Scottish Conservatives have been clear that we must leave the Common Fisheries Policy in December 2020, and we must have sovereignty over our waters.

That means we decide who comes in to fish and on what terms. Anything less than that would be unacceptable to fishermen in Scotland.

As things stand, we are about to hand over £39 billion for a vague 15-page political declaration on a future framework, we are putting our Union at risk through different arrangements for Northern Ireland, we could be stuck in a permanent customs arrangement and we are not being strong enough on fishing.

That is not what I campaigned for and if this is the deal on offer, then I will not vote for it.

READ MORE: Theresa May braced for Cabinet revolt over Brexit deal