It was a pleasure to be back in my place on Tuesday as Leader of the House to support my Rt Hon. Friend David Davis MP, Secretary of State for Exiting the EU, in his statement to the Commons.
The Brexit Secretary and his team have continued their sterling work to progress the joint negotiations with the EU, and you may have heard his recent announcement that the EU has agreed that British citizens living in the EU27 (the European Union minus the UK) will continue to have access to free healthcare through the EHIC health insurance card scheme. This provides vital reassurance to our expats abroad, as well as for those EU27 citizens resident in the UK.
The progress on joint healthcare was coupled with similar agreements on wider social security provisions for existing UK citizens living abroad and vice versa, as well as on frontier workers (those who work on one side of a border but live on the other, returning home at least once a week). I greatly welcome the work done by my Rt Hon. Friend over the summer, and look forward to seeing him announce further such progress in the coming weeks and months.
Today, we have the first of two full days’ debate on the Second Reading of the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill ahead of the vote next Monday (the House is not sitting on Friday). I am looking forward to voting in support of this most important legislation, respecting the mandate given by the British people in the EU Referendum on June 23rd 2016, and I hope that colleagues from all sides of the House will join me in doing so. The Government is absolutely clear on our vision for Britain after Brexit: we are leaving the EU, there will be no side-stepping of the decision by the British people in the referendum, and we will have a bright and prosperous global future outside of the Single Market and Customs Union.
If you would like to see David Davis’ statement to the Commons in full and the subsequent debate, you can read more on Hansard.
You can also watch the first day of the debate on the Second Reading here.