FOLLOWING this week's resignations from the Government over Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit policy, Taunton Deane MP Rebecca Pow gives her view below.

"POSITIVE progress is being made following the Chequers Cabinet meeting, which means that a precise and responsible basis for progressing negotiations is now on the table demonstrating to our European colleagues that we mean business in terms of leaving the EU.

"As I said to the Prime Minister at the 1922 Committee, it is time now to pull together for the greater good and to consider the wider picture. That means politicians in Parliament working together as well as the whole nation as we develop our new tailor made relationship with the EU.

"We are respecting the outcome of the referendum but at the same time we must ensure that jobs and business here are not jeopardised.

"This new Association Agreement overseen by a Ministerial Governing Body, sets out the basis for this new relationship with the EU using a common rulebook for industrial goods and agricultural products and friction free movement of goods between Northern Ireland and Great Britain and Ireland and Northern Ireland, while at the same time giving us the freedom to strike new trade deals around the world.

"With this agreement and the backing of a renewed, strong Cabinet, signals are being sent to our EU colleagues that we mean business.

"The agreement clarifies that we will be leaving the EU on March 29, 2019, and we will be ending free movement and taking back control of our borders.

"While unfettered movement of people will be ended, I have made particular representations to Minsters calling for a mechanism to be included that will allow essential skilled labour to continue to access the UK including seasonal workers that are so important for our agricultural industry in the area, particularly potato growers and those growing other horticultural produce.

"Already agreement has been reached to enable skilled medical staff to come from the EU to work here.

"I am pleased too that a commitment has been given to maintain high standards on consumer and employment rights and the environment and we are committed to coming out of the Common Agricultural Policy and Common Fisheries Policy.

"I am particularly involved in the latter two areas in my capacity as a PPS in DEFRA and good progress is being made.

"The Fisheries White Paper sets out a clear plan for gaining a fairer share of our fish, for ensuring sustainable and profitable industry here and a great deal of work has been devoted to this proposal which should stand us in good stead.

"As promised in the referendum the supremacy of British courts will be restored by ending the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice in the UK and continued close cooperation on security and defence will enable us to keep our people safe.

"And finally we will no longer have to send vast sums of money each year to the EU.

"There is still a long way to travel in these negotiations but I reiterate that we must look to the greater good for all to get the very best deal for individuals and business and to reach agreement on a sound and sustainable future relationship with our European neighbours.

"That said, preparations for a range of potential outcomes are underway, including the possibility of ‘no deal.’ Lets hope it doesn’t come to that and that with this plan we can deliver on the referendum result, secure a brighter future for the UK, and truly make it a country that works for everyone."