It is an honour and a privilege to have been re-elected to the all-important Exiting the European Union Select Committee by my fellow Conservative MPs. In order to focus my efforts on perhaps the most significant political decision the United Kingdom has made for a lifetime, I decided to not stand for re-election to the Work & Pensions and EU Scrutiny Committees.
The Committee has the major task of quizzing, cross-examining and scrutinising Cabinet Members and experts about our negotiating strategy and the implications of our departure from the EU. Notable witnesses that we have already questioned include Brexit Secretary David Davis and the Chief Minister of Gibraltar, Fabian Picardo.
Hilary Benn MP, who supported the Remain campaign in the EU referendum, will continue to act as Chair of the Committee.
This time round, six out of ten of the Conservative Committee members backed the Leave campaign. However, just like the rest of the Conservative Party, all ten accept the result of the referendum and are determined to secure the best possible deal for the UK. Those on the Committee include Jacob Rees-Mogg and former Culture Secretary John Whittingdale.
Since the British people voted to the leave the European Union in June last year, there has been an increasing amount of attempts by 'Remainers' to overrule the democratic will of the nation and flippantly criticise the Government at every step of the negotiations. Now that Article 50 has been triggered, it is imperative that we ensure that the Government's hands are not tied by these people, to allow them to negotiate the best possible deal for Britain.
I have always been clear - the referendum result must be respected.
I look forward to continuing to work with colleagues on the Committee to do everything we can to ensure that the Government works to get a good deal for Britain.