Geoffrey Clifton-Brown backs the Article 50 Bill

1st February 2017

Geoffrey Clifton-Brown backs the Bill to enable the Government to trigger Article 50 and start the formal process for leaving the European Union and “reset our relationship with Europe”.

This is a historic debate. I was in the Chamber during the Maastricht debates 25 years ago: it has been a long time. The British people voted by a margin of 1.35 million to leave the European Union, and two thirds of the constituencies in the country voted to leave. I respect all my constituents who voted to remain—and The Cotswolds voted very narrowly to remain: it was 51% to 49%—and I totally reject the Liberal Democrats’ assertion that I cannot represent those constituents.

The British people, through this referendum, have regained the sovereignty of this Parliament. We will no longer be subject to the directives and regulations laid down by Brussels. We will regain control of our borders, and, above all, we will be able to reassure the Europeans who are living in this country that they are welcome here, provided that our European partners give reciprocal rights to us. Shorn of the EU competence for trade, we will be able to regain our old entrepreneurial spirit and go round the world, trading openly with all its nations. Some people assert that the peace in Europe has been maintained by the European Union. I say that the peace in Europe has been maintained by NATO—and it is absolutely right for our Prime Minister to ensure that all NATO members abide by their obligation to spend 2% of their GDP on defence.

As many speakers have said during this debate, we shall not be leaving Europe. We shall be leaving the European Union, but the Europeans will still be neighbours and friends. I think that, pragmatically, we will do a deal for this country that will be in the interests of all its people. It is a byzantinely complex negotiation on which our colleagues on the Front Bench are about to embark. I say to them that we have an absolute duty to get the best deal that we possibly can for this country. However, I am confident that when our partners look at what we have to offer them and what they have to offer us, it will, pragmatically, be in their interests to make sure we do a deal that suits both of us.

We will reset our relationship with Europe: it will be an easier relationship; it will be a relationship that all parts of this kingdom can relate to—whether that is England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland. I simply say to our Scottish nationalist friends, echoing the soothsayer in Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar”: beware of referendums—you cannot be certain what the result will be.

| Hansard


Please contact or 020 7219 5043 to make an appointment.

Cirencester Survey

Download Cirencester Survey

Latest Newsletter

Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown opening the new Stratton Court Care Home

I was very pleased to have been invited to the opening of the new nursing home and retirement village at Stratton Court in Cirencester.

17th May 2018

How to raise an issue

Call 020 7219 5043 or email if you wish to raise an important matter with me - but please check "What can an MP do for me?" in the section before making contact.

In some cases a face-to-face appointment/pre-arranged telephone call may be necessary in order to discuss and pursue matters personally.

However, I ask that all cases must first be raised with me in writing by letter or email.

Once initial enquiries have been made on your behalf then I will consider the best and most appropriate way forward in order to help you.


Many people think that their MP exists to solve all their problems for them: this is not the case.

MPs are there to legislate and help only with those matters for which Parliament or central government is responsible.

For many matters, the appropriate first step would be to contact your local Cotswold District or Gloucestershire County Councillor.

Stow GP Public Meeting

Verbatim Minutes of the Stow-on-the-Wold Public Meeting to discuss the provision of a new GP surgery – 30 June 2017.


View The Cotswolds in a larger map