Mid Sussex’s MP has congratulated Prime Minister Theresa May on her ‘exceptional efforts’ to negotiate a draft Brexit deal with the EU.
Since the withdrawal agreement was published last night Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab and Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey have resigned from the Government.
Speaking in the Commons earlier today Mrs May said what was agreed was ‘not the final deal’ but a draft treaty which means the UK can leave the EU in a ‘smooth and orderly way’ in March and ‘sets the framework for a future relationship’.
However a number of Tory MPs have sent letters of no confidence to Sir Graham Brady, chairman of the Tory backbench 1922 Committee.
If 48 letters are received it will trigger a leadership contest.
Sir Nicholas Soames, Mid Sussex MP, said: “May I congratulate the Prime Minister on her exceptional efforts to honour the result of the referendum and to achieve a deal with the EU under the most difficult and demanding circumstances?
“Will she elaborate on the scale and breadth of the future partnerships agreed on security and defence?”
In response Mrs May said: “There are two areas in relation to security. One, of course, is internal security on which I have answered a number of questions, and where we intend to maintain co-operation in a number of areas where we are currently working very closely with our European partners.
“The other is external security and defence; we will have an independent foreign policy—it will be for us to make decisions—but what we have negotiated, and is set out in the outline political declaration, is an ability for the UK, where it makes sense to do so, to work with our European partners on matters of security and defence, and on issues like the imposition of sanctions where it makes sense for those sanctions to be Europe-wide rather than simply to cover the EU, and for the UK to be part of them. We will have our independent ability to deliver on sanctions, but we will co-operate with our partners in the EU.
“That retains our independence but also ensures that we are able to act at all times in the best interests of the UK and of maintaining our security and defence.”