In June 2016 the people of this country voted to leave the European Union, and in the 2017 General Election the British public voted in MPs from both main parties on a promise to deliver on this.
As the MP for Northampton North I have been representing my constituents – who voted 58.4% to Leave– by voting in favour of leaving the EU in multiple votes in the House of Commons.
Indeed, in the three recent votes in the Commons I consistently voted in favour of delivering Brexit without further delay.
I voted in favour of the Prime Minister’s Deal because whilst it is not perfect it does deliver on the main reasons why people actually voted to leave the EU. The PM’s Deal:
· gives us control of our borders;
· stops the large payments to the EU;
· returns power back to our Parliament and Courts; and
· allows us to create an independent trade policy.
I have also voted NOT to take No Deal off the table. I voted that way because, although I support the Prime Minister’s Deal, and indeed have voted for her Deal twice so far, the Deal has not been passed by the Commons so far and I took the view that it would be sending the wrong signal to the EU to say we will not proceed without a Deal and it would weaken our negotiating hand if we removed the possibility of something the EU is also concerned about. I certainly do not believe that a No Deal situation is the optimal scenario but we do need to deliver on Brexit.
I voted AGAINST delaying Brexit by seeking an extension of Article 50. It was my view that a delay would not solve the problems we face, and my preference was to proceed without a delay.
Regrettably, the House of Commons on each occasion voted in their majority against the position I took and voted in favour of a delay to Article 50. It is clear that whilst the Government and I have been working extremely hard to deliver Brexit, it has been Parliament and the opposition parties who have sought to obstruct, frustrate and delay.
The Prime Minister has sought a short technical extension to Article 50. The EU have accepted such an extension on the proviso that the House of Commons approves the Prime Minister’s deal.
The Prime Minister has now agreed that, subject to her deal being passed, the date of our departure would be extended to Wednesday, 22nd May 2019. This extension will give the Government the necessary time in order to pass through legislation to allow us to exit from the EU in an orderly manner. If, however, the deal is rejected once again then the EU Council have agreed to extend Article 50 until Friday, 12th April 2019 – at which point we would either leave with No Deal or there would have to be an alternative plan.
There is only one Brexit agreement that delivers the referendum result – taking back control of our borders, money and laws – and that has been agreed by the EU and that is the Prime Minister’s deal.
I will vote in favour of this deal and continue to support the Government’s efforts in leaving the EU.
You can read more about my views on Brexit by reading this just published Chronicle and Echo article: https://www.northamptonchron.co.uk/news/northampton-people-would-be-appalled-if-brexit-was-blocked-says-town-mp-1-8861334.