West Yorkshire MPs have their say as Britain leaves EU tonight

As Britain prepares to be the first ever country to leave the European Union Calderdale and Kirklees MPs have had their say.

Friday, 31st January 2020, 4:31 pm
Updated Friday, 31st January 2020, 4:36 pm
Britain is leaving the EU at 11pm tonight (GMT)
Britain is leaving the EU at 11pm tonight (GMT)

As the clock ticks down to 11pm tonight, which is midnight in Brussels, the EU Withdrawal Agreement Act will come into effect.

Many MPs up and down the country have gave their view on the politically-historic moment including Halifax Labour MP Holly Lynch, Batley & Spenborough Labour MP Tracy Brabin, and Dewsbury Conservative MP Mark Eastwood.

Ms Lynch said: "We'll be leaving the EU and entering a transitional period, but the challenge for MPs still remains keeping a close eye on detail of negotiations.

Holly Lynch, Labour MP for Halifax

"Trade agreement between the UK, the EU, and the rest of the world will be formalised over the coming months and it's our job now to ensure our businesses are adversely affected, and that we don't move backwards on areas like environmental protections and workers rights.

"On a personal note, I was moved by the scenes in the European Parliament [on Wednesday night] which reminded me, whatever our political affiliations with the EU, we'll always have friends across Europe."

Calderdale voted to Leave the EU with a total of 55.7%, while Kirklees also voted in favour of Leave with a total of 54.7%.

Tracy Brabin, MP for Batley and Spen, said: "11pm will be a historic moment for our country as we leave the EU after 47 years of membership.

Calderdale voted Leave during the 2016 EU Referendum

"Over the past three and a half years I have scrutinised the Withdrawal Agreement at each stage to ensure it protects jobs and our future relationship with Europe.

"It's impossible to know what impact Brexit will have in the years ahead.

"In the meantime there's more to be done to benefit Batley and Spen, such as improving rail infrastructure, bus services and tackling issues such as crime, unemployment and housing.

"I'll continue to push for what's in the best interests of my constituents and community."

Tracy Brabin, MP for Batley & Spen

Mr Eastwood said: "Whether people agree with it or not, we have finally got Brexit done, which means we can move on to the other priorities we all care about.

"After three and half years of frustration and delay, following my election victory on December 12th, I was delighted to be able to be part of honouring the vote of 57% of people within my constituency who voted leave, by helping our Prime Minister Boris Johnson vote through his Withdrawal Agreement.

"Despite what the doom mongers would have you believe, it is my firm belief leaving the EU will benefit the people of Dewsbury, Mirfield, Kirkburton and Denby Dale both in the short and long term.

By leaving the EU, we'll be in a position to strike our own trade deals and strengthen our ties with nations like the USA, Japan and our commonwealth partners.

Mark Eastwood, MP for Dewsbury & Mirfield

"This will open more opportunities for businesses within the constituency in terms of imports and exports.

"We'll be able to opt out of EU regulations, while adhering to others.

"Importantly, it will be mostly our choice.

"One example of this relates to animal welfare and the export of live animals, which has been a concern of many of my constituents and is something we can now take action on by banning this cruel practice.

"These are just two examples, however, there are more that will benefit the Dewsbury Constituency in terms of a fair immigration system, the ability to make our own laws and to once again be a global outward looking nation.

"Finally, delivering Brexit goes some way to restoring peoples’ faith in our democratic system, something highlighted on the doorstep time and again during the General Election, not only by people who voted Leave, but by those who voted Remain and felt the result should be respected.

"We should never again be left in the position where a minority of self-appointed politicians, celebrities and legal professionals are allowed to try and block what the majority of people voted for in good faith on June 23 2016."