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Mr. POE of Texas. Mr. Speaker, our British allies are making a bad deal. The current Brexit deal that Theresa May's government has made with the European Union could position the United Kingdom as a de facto colony, where it is subject to EU rules but without any vote. Essentially this would be worse than Britain staying in the EU. Moreover, it could damage the strong economic ties we hold with our closest allies, meaning Americans could end feeling the sting of a bad Brexit deal.
When the British people made the choice to depart from the European Union in 2016, I applauded their decision. Great Britain--which has always stood apart from the continent in its traditions, politics, values, and character--has reasserted its sovereignty with the historic Brexit referendum. Membership in the EU had come at too large of a cost to Britain, and the British people have decided to determine they want to chart their own course into the future--not have it determine for them by Brussels. Therefore, as a steadfast ally and friend of the United Kingdom, America should support their decision.
The current proposal, however, could come at a cost to our economic relationship with Britain. Under Prime Minister May's deal, there will be a two-year transition period before the UK can fully separate from the EU which beholdens Britain to EU regulations without a vote. During that time Britain will be able to negotiate new trade deals but cannot implement them until 2021. This means even if the U.S. and UK sign a new free trade pact--which we absolutely should--that it will collect dust while Britain is left at the EU's mercy. There is a chance that if the UK and EU do not agree to a new trade deal that the transition period then extends thus further delaying implementation of a new trade pact with the U.S. Meanwhile, Britain's economy suffers.
America needs a strong Britain. The British people have stood by us on our most trying days and are often the first to pledge their support when we act to confront the world's most complex challenges. There is no nation on Earth that is as indispensable to our security and prosperity as the United Kingdom. Any arrangement that potentially weakens Britain's sovereignty or economic well-being is counter to America's interests. For the sake of our alliance, this current Brexit bad deal should not go through.
And that's just the way it is.
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