Member of Parliament for the Cities of London & Westminster, Nickie Aiken gave the following speech in the House as it debated the European Union (Future Relationship) Bill.
The Bill, which was passed its Second Reading by a vote of 521 to 73, approved the trade deal that the government has agreed with the European Union earlier this month, ending the prospect of the UK leaving the European Union without a deal.
You can read Nickie’s speech in full below or watch the video above.
On the 23rd of June 2016, 72% of the electorate in the Cities of London and Westminster voted to remain in the European Union.
I was one of them.
Like so many, I felt unsure and worried by the referendum result but the majority of the UK electorate had spoken with a clear message.
They felt left behind, ignored and alienated by those in this House but more so by the unelected EU bureaucrats who had so much influence over their daily lives.
Madam Deputy Speaker, I am a Democrat and although I did not welcome the Brexit Referendum result, I accepted it.
Last year's general election was viewed as a second referendum on our EU membership and voters in places including Ashfield, Sedgefield, Burnley, West Bromwich gave their verdict a second time.
They have changed the look and feel of the Conservative Party for the better and I am proud to call Blue Wall Conservatives my colleagues.
I'm also proud of what this government has achieved, securing the largest-ever trade deal with our closest partners within 12 months.
And to achieve this while dealing with a global pandemic is frankly incredible.
I pay tribute to all those involved on both sides and I pay personal tribute to the Prime Minister who never gave up and showed such personal determination to the very end.
Although financial services are not covered in this deal, I'm pleased to report that the City of London Corporation welcomes the trade deal and the Joint Declaration on Financial Services Regulatory Cooperation.
Let's hope future progress and further progress with equivalence can be secured between the EU and the UK and other areas, such as data sharing and mutual recognition of qualifications.
Perhaps with the UK outside the EU, it is natural to feel a competitor.
However, being competitors does not need to mean we are opponents.
Successful UK financial markets will benefit the EU and vice versa.
Both the EU and UK can thrive and continue to work together on areas of mutual concern, including the green agenda, the digitalisation of the economy and the response to COVID-19.
I appreciate that some of my constituents will never come to terms with the fact that the UK has finally left the EU.
But most do wish to unite this country and live and trade on friendly terms with our partners across Europe.
I say to everyone, it is now time to put the last torrid years behind us and work together to rebuild our economy following the pandemic.
Today as we ratify this extraordinary trade deal, we close a painful chapter in our nation's history.
It is both an ending but also a beginning, a new dawn for this great country of ours.
We are no longer remainers or brexiteers,
We are one nation and I support this bill.