Economic growth is strong, and a record number of jobs are being created. But all of this is under threat if we get Brexit wrong. Of course issues like the Irish border, fishing rights and the backstop are important, but here in the Black Country, Birmingham, Solihull and Coventry, free access to the European market is critical.
We have become the export capital of the UK, with hundreds of thousands of jobs in high-tech manufacturing.
As a result, the West Midlands and the North East are the most vulnerable in a ‘No Deal’ scenario, with Government economists estimating that our economy could be nearly 10% smaller than it would be with the proposed deal.
The West Midlands region voted to leave the European Union by the largest margin in the UK (59% to 41%), with people voting to take back control from Brussels.
If we are to maintain trust in our democratic system, we must honour the result of the referendum, and that is exactly what the Government’s deal does.
The deal with the EU secures much of what people in the West Midlands voted for.
We will no longer be under the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice, we will be able to set an immigration policy which works for our people and our economy, and our manufacturers like Jaguar Land Rover will be able to trade with Europe freely and easily.
This access is vital when 25% of their finished cars go to Europe and 40% of their suppliers are in Europe.
With our future trading arrangements, these companies will be able to sell more to growing markets across the world.
It will, in short, secure thousands of jobs for the long term.
In the coming months, there are details which will be worked through, but on the substantive points, this deal works for the West Midlands.
The Prime Minister has been pragmatic, business-friendly, and doggedly determined in her negotiations.
In the face of slings and arrows from members of all parties, she has shown grit and bravery.
These are the characteristics which the British public admire, and which will ultimately lead to a successful Brexit and to a reunited country afterwards.
We are seeing significant economic success in the West Midlands, in a way which we have not for forty years.
For the UK to succeed, the West Midlands must succeed.
Let us not put it all at risk by hoping for the perfect deal.
I hope that MPs in the region will put aside party politics, and pluck up the courage to vote in the interest of the people of the West Midlands.
And I hope that MPs from the rest of the country will remember that delivering Brexit and the future prosperity of this country will require them to be brave and pragmatic in the national interest.