There are many reasons why today’s European Union (Future Relationship) Bill will be widely welcomed… it marks the end of uncertainty and the beginning of our Nation’s future. It is a future in which our status as a sovereign and independent country has been secured. It is a future where we can look outward towards the world forging new trading relationships having secured the biggest trade deal in our history, with the EU.
I congratulate the negotiating teams who steered us to this point and our Prime Minister whose leadership, determination and belief in our country made this outcome a reality and I am pleased to support this Future relationships Bill.
The years since the referendum vote in June 2016 have been marred by division and uncertainty but, as surely as we now turn the page towards the New Year, we must also prepare ourselves to grasp the opportunities which our new relationship offers.
Coronavirus has changed our world and hasn’t yet run its course… but it has highlighted the vital importance of our health, biotech and life science sector. Today as we welcome the approval by the MHRA of the Oxford/ AstraZeneca vaccine it is also right to recognise and applaud the herculean efforts of our Secretary of State Health and Social Care Ministers and the entire Health and Life Science sector throughout 2020.
So, now being free of State Aid rules and having secured a free trade deal which protects jobs, we can focus on the opportunities for high quality employment to level up our economy… reinforcing our industrial Strategy ambitions, recognising the future role of life science investment and I suggest with emphasis on Greater Manchester, its universities, and the Cheshire life Science corridor where many of my constituents work.
I believe that we have an opportunity to build on the Government’s agenda to rebalance our economy with high skilled, well paid jobs and an accelerated investment in R&D unleashing innovation and ensuring that our future relationship with Europe and the world brings benefits and opportunities to our Northern regions so that we can fulfil our potential for economic growth and excellence.
This is a deal which moves us on from division and which looks to a positive future for us with the EU, which is why I have voted to support it today.