Charlie Elphicke: Outside the EU, the regions of Britain will get a fair share at last

Will Brexit mean Brexit?
Will Brexit mean Brexit?
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THE position of the Government is very clear. Brexit means Brexit, and we will make a success of it; also, Brexit means Brexit, and we need to get on with it.

I think it important for us to understand, agree with, and endorse the position that the matter of Article 50 is a matter for the Prime Minister alone.

Theresa May has the mandate of the masses, given to her – or to the Prime Minister, and the Government on June 23 – and it is right for her to invoke it.

I believe that the sooner 
she invokes it the better, so 
that we have the security, the stability and the certainty that we need as we seek to build a post-Brexit Britain.

I am introducing a Bill first to give the House of Commons an opportunity to endorse and accept the decision of the British people on June 23.

This is an opportunity, in particular, for the Labour Party to reject the talk of leadership contender Owen Smith who says that we should have a second referendum to drag the British people back into the European Union.

It is an opportunity for the Labour Party to say “We accept and we will submit to the 
will of the British people, and we will help to make Brexit a success”.

Let me now deal with the red lines. It is clear that the British people are deeply concerned about the level of uncontrolled EU immigration.

They were told, and it was pledged in manifestos, that net migration would be brought down to tens of thousands, 
but last year the figure was 330,000.

Important research conducted by the Resolution Foundation shows that, on average, the mass migration that we have experienced has caused wages to be about £450 lower for the hard-working classes of Britain.

The second red line is also very clear. People do not want billions for Brussels: that has to end. We cannot have any kind of Brexit deal that includes the handing over of billions to Brussels. Instead, the money should be spent here at home, and invested in Britain.

What is the post-Brexit Britain that we are going to build? What will this country look like? Every single region in the country will be able to specify an infrastructure project for which it has been waiting for a long time, while things always seem to work for the jet-set elite and the metropolitan populace in London rather than for other towns and regions.

We need a rebalancing for the 90 per cent who live in the towns and regions of this nation, rather than the other 10 per cent.

It is time that Britain worked for everyone. It is time that public expenditure worked for everyone as well.

It comes down to this question: who does Britain work for? Who do constituents of the towns and regions of this nation feel that Britain works for? They feel that it too often works for the Philip Greens of this world, for the privileged few rather than the hard-working-class kids of Dover and Deal and Doncaster and Darlington, and they think that that needs to change.

First, big business needs a change of culture. We all know how Apple has been gaming the tax system and paying hardly any tax in this country: it is a bad Apple. We also know that Amazon has a Luxembourg structure. We should look closely at its books, and I hope that HMRC will do so.

On Google, we need to make sure that the Public Accounts Committee is supported in its searching, and make sure that Google pays a fair share of tax in this country.

When it comes to car rental businesses like Avis, it just shows that we are being taken for a ride when, the other ​day, it imposed a Brexit tax on Britons but is not paying any corporation tax to Britain because it has a Luxembourg structure. We need to call a stop to it.

We can do that when we leave the EU very simply, because we will not be struck by their anti-discrimination rules that make 
it so hard for us to secure our 
tax base.

Finally, I simply say that Brexit means Brexit. We are going to make a success of it, but it is also an opportunity to change how we run Britain, to change our national way of life and who our country works for and make sure it works for literally everyone, rather than just the privileged few, which is how people have felt for too long.

That is the kind of change we can make.

It was the towns and regions 
of this country that decided to take us out of the EU, and they should be supported in leading the charge for the kind of 
future we can build as we 
head out into the single market 
of the world.

Charlie Elphicke is a Tory MP who tabled a Parliamentary motion calling on MPs to ratify the EU referendum. This is an edited version.