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Mike Gapes MP made the case for the UK to remain in the European Economic Area (EEA) in a debate in the House of Commons on Monday 6th November.

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You can watch Mike's speech on here or read the speech below:

"It is a real pleasure to follow James Cartlidge He has made an excellent speech, and I want to hear more from him in the future.

I begin by taking on the claim that was made by some on the Government Benches that, somehow, a decision was taken in June 2016 to leave the European economic area. If that is the case, I have to ask why, in their submission in December 2016, the Government’s lawyers said:

No decision has been taken either to serve or not to serve a notice under article 127 of the agreement. Consequently, there is no decision which is amenable to judicial review.

No decision was taken because that decision has to be taken by the Government; it was not automatic. Therefore, this Parliament must have the final say about that matter.

I am not an advocate in any strong way of the proposal of my hon. Friend Stephen Kinnock. I am an unreconstructed remainer. I remain so, and I will fight to stay in the European Union. We have not left yet, but if—if—we leave, I will fight to get the best possible deal for our country.

There are problems with EFTA and the EEA: the arrangements do not cover agriculture or fisheries. Potentially, that is a massive problem for Northern Ireland, and it needs to be taken into consideration. As we have heard, the arrangements do not cover the financial sector and they do not deal with many problematic issues that we will have to confront if we leave the customs union. We need to have an EEA-plus arrangement rather than just an EEA one, as that will need other agreements alongside it. It may take time to negotiate those, and in the meantime, let us not go on a Gadarene rush over the cliff."

Interjection by Edward Leigh: "I am amused by the hon. Gentleman’s proposal to have an EEA-plus. Presumably, he can now tell us what will be the difference between being a member of the EU and being a member of the EEA-plus?"

"EEA-plus would relate to issues such as having an agreement on a common foreign and security policy, and an agreement on those matters that do not affect some of the EFTA or EEA countries because the UK is not Liechtenstein, Norway, or Iceland. We must have the closest possible relationships with our EU neighbours and partners on many issues to do with policing, security and defence. Having said that, the essence, which is the economic relationship, is fundamental, and a transition is better than a disaster. The disastrous crashing out of the single market with no deal, or a very costly bad deal, is not in our interests. As Michel Barnier, the EU’s negotiator, has said:

We don’t have time to invent a new model.

Why reinvent something when it is already there and when it can be taken up and built on to establish the security and the certainty that our businesses need in this transition period?

Interestingly, there is support for that view in an article by Wolfgang Münchau in the Financial Times today. He said:

Once the reality of a limited trade deal sinks in, we are left with only two logical strategies: either join the EEA, or go for a minimalist agreement and focus on making that work.

That seems to be the choice, and there are some on the Government Benches who, for ideological reasons, want a minimalist agreement. That is because they are not Brexiteers, but wrexiteers and they are prepared to bring down our economy and slash our public sector and our national health service. It will cost our public services billions if our economic growth is reduced and our economy is reduced. We will then suffer the consequences. We will also suffer the consequences of unpicked fruit and difficulties in the agricultural sector. All the major financial services companies, banks and American banks are already planning to move their headquarters from London to Dublin and their personnel from London to Frankfurt and Paris. Those things are happening even now before the decision is finally taken. Let us stop this insanity, act now and, at least, stay in the EEA."

Mike Gapes MP makes the case for the UK to remain in the European Economic Area (EEA)

Mike Gapes MP made the case for the UK to remain in the European Economic Area (EEA) in a debate in the House of Commons on Monday 6th November. You...

On Wednesday 01 November the Speaker of the House of Commons, the Rt Hon John Bercow MP, the Director General of The Royal British Legion, and over 90 Members of Parliament raced alongside serving members of The Armed Forces on an exercise bike to raise money for The Royal British Legion’s annual Poppy Appeal.

The 12 hour bike ride was held from 08:00 to 20:00 in Portcullis House, Parliament and aimed to raise money for the Legion’s national Poppy Appeal. Mike Gapes MP represented his constituency of Ilford South by cycling as far as he could in 5 minutes, with the hope of topping the leaderboard, beating their fellow colleagues. Mike managed to cycle 2.10km in 5 minutes.
The bike ride was organised by the Industry and Parliament Trust (IPT) and The Royal British Legion following on from the successful bike ride held in 2016 (where 77 MPs and Peers cycled a total of 128.8 miles in 12 hours). This year’s race emphasised that The Royal British Legion will once again be asking the nation to ‘Rethink Remembrance’ and consider the meaning of the poppy as a symbol of Remembrance and hope.

MPs were encouraged to donate as they take part, with all of the money raised on the day going to help The Royal British Legion provide lifelong support for the Armed Forces community. The Central Parliament Poppy Appeal is the only charity that can fundraise in Parliament.

 

Mike Gapes MP said: “I would like to thank the Industry and Parliament Trust and The Royal British Legion for arranging this event. The Royal British Legion provides invaluable support to The Armed Forces community; I am pleased to have been able to support such a worthy cause."

Nick Maher CEO of the IPT said: “The work of The Royal British Legion is essential to the lives of the whole Armed Forces community across the UK and I am delighted that MPs and Peers are supporting us in our efforts to raise money for such a worthwhile cause. The support and enthusiasm from parliamentarians and service men and women has been fantastic"

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Local MP Mike Gapes Races Against Service Personnel in Support of The Royal British Legion’s Annual Poppy Appeal

On Wednesday 01 November the Speaker of the House of Commons, the Rt Hon John Bercow MP, the Director General of The Royal British Legion, and over 90 Members of...

Mike Gapes MP (Ilford South) has given his support to Early Day Motion (EDM) 486 regarding lifting the ban on UK flights to Sharm El Sheikh.

The text of the motion reads: 'That this House welcomes the successful implementation of the UK-Egyptian joint action plan and substantial investment in upgrading security at Sharm El Sheikh airport using UK expertise in transport and security services; understands that Sharm El Sheikh airport is now considered by Department for Transport officials as one of the safest airports in the world; further notes that the UK Foreign Office safety categorisation for Sharm El Sheikh is green meaning that it is assessed as safe; acknowledges the reinstatement of flights to Sharm El Sheikh from other European countries including Germany, Italy and Belgium and the resumption of holiday flights from the UK to Tunisia; and calls on the Government to review the situation urgently, taking account of updated security advice and to consider lifting immediately the ban on flights from the UK to Sharm El Sheikh.'

Mike Gapes signs Early Day Motion 468 (Lifting the ban on UK flights to Sharm El Sheikh)

Mike Gapes MP (Ilford South) has given his support to Early Day Motion (EDM) 486 regarding lifting the ban on UK flights to Sharm El Sheikh.


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