Rishi Sunak made new Northern Ireland Protocol deal (Image: Getty)
As a Conservative, Unionist, and Brexiteer, I campaigned and voted to leave the European Union and take back control of our laws, our borders, and our money.
I believe that as a sovereign nation, there was no place for Britain in the ever closer union, the aim for the EU. It was the right choice for our country, and it was the largest democratic vote in British political history.
Until now, the Northern Ireland Protocol has undermined the Brexit that we voted for. It undermined Northern Ireland’s place in the Union.
It created unacceptable barriers to trade and an unnecessary and unwelcome burden on businesses.
It also created an unacceptable democratic deficit in which the European Union can continue to impose new laws on Northern Ireland without Northern Ireland having any say.
That is why I am so pleased that Rishi Sunak has negotiated a substantially better deal. The Windsor Framework allows us to take back control. It lets us truly get Brexit done.
It will chart a new way forward for Northern Ireland, delivering free-flowing trade by removing borders in the Irish Sea, abolishing things like arduous export declarations for goods going from Northern Ireland to Great Britain and scrapping customs for post and parcels.
The cornerstone of the Windsor Framework is the Stormont Brake. It puts power back into the hands of Stormont and Westminster, not Brussels.
In doing so, it addresses the democratic deficit and restores the balance of the Belfast Good Friday Agreement.
This week, Parliament will have its say – and a vote – on the Stormont Brake. We will be voting to safeguard Northern Ireland’s sovereignty and remove the threat of any ratchet of EU law.
It means that Northern Ireland will be able to block new EU laws through a UK veto. This is a huge achievement that many thought was impossible.
Yes, there are compromises made necessary by the free movement of people across the island of Ireland and the desire on all sides to avoid a hard border on trade between Northern Ireland and the Republic.
We owe it to the whole United Kingdom to make sure that we deliver Brexit and ensure that it works for everyone.
The deal brings a new stability and new opportunities, not least for business and prosperity in Northern Ireland.
It is our best chance to really make Brexit work. We must seize it.