Tom has confirmed he will vote to start the process of negotiating an exit from the European Union in Parliament this week.
The vote will give the Prime Minister the power, under Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union, to notify the EU of the UK’s intention to leave and begin the formal two-year process of negotiating a withdrawal.
I voted to give the British people their say on leaving the EU and now I must vote to support their democratic decision. I voted for a referendum and then campaigned for Remain. Remain lost, so the UK must leave the EU.
Unlike Scottish nationalists who refuse to recognise the result of any referendum, and unlike the Lib Dems, who assume power in Government despite coming third, I must, as a believer in democracy, act upon and respect the result of the referendum on the 23rd June 2016.
There are serious challenges that face us, from securing the best trade arrangements for our industry, to protecting workers’ rights and keeping the country together. My focus must now be on meeting these challenges to get the best possible Brexit deal for Teesside and the UK.