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PM's Brexit deal is best for West Berkshire, says Newbury MP

Richard Benyon insists withdrawal agreement will offer security to businesses across the district

Fiona Tomas

Fiona Tomas


01635 886639

PRIME Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal offers the kind of security that will benefit businesses across West Berkshire.

That was the view of Newbury MP Richard Benyon, who took to Northbrook Street this week to gauge whether locals supported the deal Mrs May will try to sell to Britain ahead of Parliament’s crucial vote on it later this month.  

The withdrawal agreement includes commitments over citizens' rights after Brexit, a proposed 21-month transition period after the UK's departure on 29 March 2019 and details of the so-called £39bn "divorce bill".

It also includes a commitment to protect the rights of EU nationals in the UK and Britons living in the EU to continue living, working and studying and that physical border checks will not be reintroduced in Northern Ireland.

Mrs May’s Brexit agreement won the support of EU leaders at the weekend after months of negotiations.

However, she has been forced to endure strong criticism from opposition parties as well as members of her own party.

It has culminated in a turbulent few weeks, with a number of Conservative MP’s handing in their resignations and talk of a no confidence vote and a leadership challenge.

However, Mr Benyon said a leadership contest would be a “great mistake” and pledged his full support for Mrs May when her draft Brexit plan was agreed by a split Cabinet.  

Parliament will vote on the deal on Tuesday, December 11.

After EU leaders stamped Mrs May’s deal with a seal of approval on Sunday – in which they said it was “best and only deal possible”, Mr Benyon conducted his own poll on Northbrook Street on Monday to hear lunchtime shoppers’ views on the withdrawal agreement. 

He asked people four options: whether they supported Mrs May’s deal, whether a no-deal would be a better outcome, if Britain should leave or if the UK should hold a second referendum.

The photo of his poll, which Mr Benyon uploaded on social media, showed 47 people participated.

Mr Benyon said: “I went out to Northbrook Street to conduct my own unscientific, random opinion poll.

“The overwhelming message was one of admiration for the Prime Minister and a heartfelt plan that we get on with it.

“By a large majority, it was gratifying, as that is what I decided to do.”

Mr Benyon was in Canada when Mrs May’s draft Brexit deal was agreed by a split cabinet last week, but he has since had the opportunity to read the 585-page legally binding document in full. 

Mr Benyon said: “I have actually immersed myself in the detail of the withdrawal agreement.

“For those who vote to leave, we are out of the jurisdiction of the European court, we are backing control over our immigration policies.

“That is what most people voted for when they were asked.

“This deal offers the kind of security that businesses in West Berkshire want to see and it will allow Britain to develop trade partnerships with other part of the world.

“It’s not a deal that everybody will love, but it’s one we can live with.”

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Article comments

  • Sarcastic neighbour

    03/12/2018 - 10:10

    Before joining the EU we were one of the greatest nations on the planet, now that we have no control over our country we are a joke. Leave the EU by whatever means necessary and lets rebuild our country to be one to be proud of not where you are embarrassed to call yourself British. A second referendum should never happen either, you can't just keep having a poll until you get an answer you're happy with, that's not how democracy works.


  • Kayaker Pete

    30/11/2018 - 14:02

    Mr Benyon, In your party's manifesto (see page 36 of you said "we will no longer be members of the single market or customs union" and that "Our laws will be made in London, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast, interpreted by judges across the United Kingdom, not in Luxembourg". Mrs May's cobbled together deal delivers on neither of these promises. So how can you justify supporting it? If you vote for the deal, I will not be voting for you.


  • EugeneStryker

    30/11/2018 - 13:01

    Did people really for this Brexit calamity in order to be out of the jurisdiction of the ECJ - it just doesn't make sense! I really want to find something positive, and based on some sort of evidence, about Brexit so I can change my mind about it just being a daft idea; its all just a bit depressing otherwise.


    • NewburyLad

      30/11/2018 - 16:04

      Why is it so difficult for remainers to understand the reasons for brexiters wanting to leave the EU. The reasons for leaving WERE made very clear before the referendum and it was never about just one thing - wind your necks back in all you screaming at brexiters with the words "bigots" and "hate". It was about leaving ALL the parts of the EU, including the huge weekly payments to get back a fraction of it, to stop being the dumping ground for their youth unemployment, for not having to put up with taking in their eastern european criminal gangs, to having the right to kick out EU criminals already here, to agreeing our own import tariffs, to import goods far cheaper from the rest of the world instead of the EU, our fishing rights, to set our own vat rates, to be allowed to renationalise things if we wanted to, to set our own laws and repel EU laws if it was beneficial to the UK and a host of other reasons, ALL of which were made clear by remainers like Nick Clegg and David Cameron.


      • George3

        02/12/2018 - 03:03

        Bollocks to Brexit


      • Bombey

        01/12/2018 - 21:09

        LOL, a dumping ground?!? Movement of labour to fill vacanices - a win-win situation really...


      • EugeneStryker

        01/12/2018 - 14:02

        I know the Daily Mail sound bites, I was looking to be pointed to where they have been scrutinised by experts in their fields who then find Brexit to be the answer. So far I have only found the contrary.


  • NewburyResident

    30/11/2018 - 10:10

    Theresa May said when she became PM that she wanted to unite the country again. she has because we all think her Brexit deal is c**p. Job done.