ON Tuesday, MPs from across the country will take a vote in the House of Commons which could define the next few decades for our country.
When deciding whether or not to back the Brexit deal secured by our Prime Minister, there is much to take into account. However, it is not about how people voted in the referendum in June 2016.
That has gone and this deal is the result of more than two years of negotiating with the EU to find a solution which delivers on the result of 2016.
There are many things to consider when looking at this deal, but I believe it does deliver on the referendum result and is the best possible for my constituency, Yorkshire and the whole country.
And I also believe it is time for people to unite and get behind the deal which offers us the chance to take back control of our borders, our money and our laws, while at the same time protecting jobs, maintaining security and the integrity of the United Kingdom.
There are many aspects to the deal which affect all areas of the country, including here in Yorkshire. People living in our wonderful and diverse county have rightly been keen to see how this deal protects them now and provides opportunities for the future.
At a more local level, I want to see the best possible outcome for people living in my Elmet and Rothwell constituency. I want this deal to be approved because it ensures frictionless trade so the small and medium manufacturing companies in Elmet and Rothwell can continue to grow and thrive.
The importance of this cannot be underestimated as it would protect people’s jobs in my constituency and across the whole of Yorkshire.
And this deal does that. We will have an implementation period and a free trade deal with the EU. But, more than that, we will be able to strike our own trade deals around the world. So instead of just protecting jobs in the short-term, this deal offers the chance to create more trading opportunities and more jobs in the future. But until this deal is agreed, businesses will continue to be stalled by uncertainty. They want this deal done so they can move on and plan for the future.
It is the same for our farmers and fishermen across Yorkshire too. If the deal is voted for on Tuesday, we will leave the Common Agricultural Policy and the Common Fisheries Policy – policies which have brought unfairness to the farming and fishing industries over the past few decades.
We can now provide our own opportunities for farmers and fisherman without the needs and concerns of 27 other EU countries being taken into account. It will be about our laws and what is best for our United Kingdom.
We will no longer be sending vast sums of money to the EU and waiting for politicians in Europe to decide how to send some of it back to us. The money will always be here for our Parliament to decide how our money is spent.
As we prepare to leave the EU we are a growing economy, with low unemployment and rising wages.
The analysis shows this deal is the best available to protect and build on those things. Our economy will continue to grow and be strong into the future.
At the vote, some MPs from different parties will side against the deal. But turning the deal down will only result in taking us right back to square one. Voting for the deal will honour the referendum result while protecting jobs, investment and the economy.
Voting for the deal will allow us to unite the country.
And, finally, voting for the deal will give the Government more time to focus on important matters here in Yorkshire like the NHS, social care, schools and transport.
Of course, everyone is entitled to their view on the deal and on December 11, every one of our 650 MPs will be entitled to vote however they wish. But, I will be voting on behalf of my constituents in Elmet and Rothwell and I will be backing the deal as I believe it is the best way forward for us all in Yorkshire.
No one, not even the Prime Minister, is saying the deal is perfect. But I do believe it is a deal that works in the national interest. Now is not the time for playing politics. Now is not the time for using Brexit to advance causes both personal and political.
It is time for the people of this great county to come together and support the deal. It is now time for us to get on with Brexit. This deal needs to be backed for Yorkshire, and the country, to more forwards.
Alec Shelbrooke is the Tory MP for Elmet and Rothwell. He is also a vice chairman of the Conservative Party.