MP Steve Barclay 'delighted' by appointment as Brexit Secretary and promises to bring a 'deal that works for the whole of the UK'
On Friday local MP Steve Barclay took a major step up in the Government to become the country’s third Brexit Secretary.
The 46-year-old Conservative MP for North East Cambridgeshire announced his appointment on Twitter saying: “Delighted to accept the role of DExEU. We now need to keep the momentum to finalise Withdrawal Agreement and outline political declaration and deliver a Brexit that works for the whole of the UK. Looking forward to working with a team of talented ministers and officials to do just that.”
Mr Barclay, who has represented our area since 2010, was previously a whip the treasury department and was a health minister before his latest promotion.
In an article published in the Sunday Express Mr Barclay outlined his aspirations for the coming months and said: “In a few months we will leave the EU. It is something I campaigned for and millions of Britons voted for.
“But while it is a landmark moment we should look at it not as the end of a process but rather the start of one. March 29 2019 is the moment the UK takes a bold step into a new future.
“One which sees us once more an independent, sovereign nation reaching out to trade with partners old and new, exerting our influence for good on a global stage and securing a brighter, more prosperous country for our citizens.
“Last week we agreed a deal that secures the rights of around one million Britons living in the EU and more than three million EU citizens living in the UK.
“It is a deal which sets out the terms of a time-limited implementation period - giving businesses certainty over the next couple of years as they plan their investments.
“It ensures a fair financial settlement, which honours our international obligations as a dependable and trustworthy player on the world stage.
“We have also reached a deal, in principle, which guarantees no hard border between Northern Ireland and Ireland and ensures we can protect the economic and sovereign integrity of our precious union.
“But this exit deal - though hugely significant - is only a stepping stone to the real prize of an independent future outside the EU. Readers can rest assured we won’t sign it unless and until the second part of the deal - our future relationship - is agreed.
“With the withdrawal issues resolved the ground is now cleared to focus on the future. And that is what our negotiating teams are doing now.
“We want a future deal that protects our huge free trade area with the EU but at the same time lets us go out and sign trade deals with the world’s new growth markets.
“We want continued cooperation on foreign, defence and security issues with the EU, and a close relationship on services and investments.
“But of course we will do that while resuming control of our farming sector and our fishing industry, where our future is as an independent coastal state. This is all now within reach and the deal agreed last week is the key bridge to that brighter future.
“This deal takes back control of our borders, our laws and our money while protecting jobs, security and the integrity of our United Kingdom.
“It can bring our country together - by realising the benefits of Brexit but letting us focus on the big domestic issues.
“As Brexit Secretary I will ensure this Department continues the crucial work it has been doing in planning for all scenarios - deal or no deal.”
“The UK will thrive outside the EU in any scenario and while we have taken a huge step forward in agreeing an exit deal we should be prepared for everything.
“The final deal will be put to Parliament and MPs will have to decide whether to back or reject it.
“But they should not be under any illusions that the EU will be prepared to start all over again and negotiate a different deal. That simply isn’t a realistic option.
“The majority of Britons just want us to get on with this now and start looking to a brighter future. And that is exactly what we are doing.
“We may have taken a significant step forward but we must keep planning for no deal until this deal is finalised.”