Hartlepool’s MP says the Government’s Brexit white paper represents a “fudged compromise” for both his constituents and the European Union.
Mike Hill was speaking after Prime Minister Theresa May unveiled her long-awaited framework for Britain’s future relations with the EU with a document which she said would deliver a “principled and practical Brexit”.
The 98-page proposal contains much to enrage Eurosceptic members of her own party.
It envisages the UK entering an Association Agreement with the EU, accepting a “common rulebook” on trade in goods and continued payments for participation in shared agencies.
And it is unclear whether it will win favour in Brussels, with resistance likely over Mrs May’s proposal for a “facilitated customs arrangement” at the border and her rejection of the EU’s “equivalence” system for financial services.
The White Paper states that the future framework for the post-Brexit relationship should be settled at the same time as the separate deal on the UK’s withdrawal.
Almost 70% of Hartlepool people who voted in the EU referendum in 2016 voted to leave.
Mr Hill said: “The White Paper deals with free movement of people, but on trade and goods and agriculture the requirement would be for us to give upfront guarantees of over ongoing harmonisation with EU rules. “Effectively we with have to continue to obay EU rules, principally to solve the issue of maintaining frictionless movement on the Irish border.
“The Cabinet split within 48 hours of the meeting at Chequers which established this set of proposals.
“Undoubtedly, the people of Hartlepool, who heavily voted leave, will be scratching their heads and wondering what’s going on.
“Certainly a scenario in which we continue to obey EU rules and participate in and financially contribute to a range of EU agencies that provide authorisations for goods like chemicals, medicines and aerospace components, is not something leave voters would have anticipated or expected.
“We will have to wait and see what the reaction of both the people and the EU itself will be over this clearly fudged compromise.”
Following the release of the white paper Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said Brussels needed to recognise the importance of reaching an agreement that worked for both sides.