I strongly believe that the Prime Minister's proposals represent a realistic and practical vision that will deliver the referendum decision in full.
The UK will leave the EU, including the Single Market and the Customs Union on 29 March 2019. As we leave the EU, free movement and the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice will no longer apply and the days of sending vast sums of money to Brussels every year will be over for good. We will also leave the Common Agriculture Policy and the Commons Fisheries Policy and we will once again be able to strike our own trade deals.
The Government's plan provides a commitment for the UK to maintain a common rule book on industrial goods and agricultural products so that we have a free trade area with the EU. Parliament will, however, have the final say on any new rules or regulations. These rules have been relatively stable since the 1980s and the Government has always been clear that UK standards should be as high, if not higher, than those of the EU. I believe that having a common rule book as a minimum is a reasonable proposal.
Having common rules on goods, as well as a new business friendly customs model, will also ensure that there is no hard border in Northern Ireland or any border down the Irish Sea and that the integrity of our precious United Kingdom is safeguarded.
The EU, in contrast, had effectively proposed to keep Northern Ireland in the Customs Union and parts of the Single Market. The Prime Minister had always been clear that such a move, damaging the integrity of the UK, was completely unacceptable. The EU's other option would have been for all of the UK to stay in the European Economic Area and the Customs Union, keeping free movement and accepting all EU laws. This was also unacceptable.
And after we leave, we will want to continue working with the EU on security issues while having an independent foreign and defence policy.
I believe that the Government's plan contains sensible, common-sense proposals that deliver on the Brexit promises that people voted for, work for businesses and ensure that we take back control of our borders, law and money.