I respect and accept the outcome of the June 2016 referendum on our membership of the EU. However, this does not mean that I accept the Prime Minister’s negotiated deal on Brexit. The referendum was a vote to mandate the Government to enact Article 50 and begin the process for the UK to leave the EU. It was not a mandate for Parliament to support any deal the Government came back with. More importantly it certainly wasn’t a mandate for the UK to walk away from the EU with no deal.
After 20 months of negotiations, I believe the Government’s approach has resulted in a bad Brexit deal that does not work for our country and is unlikely to be endorsed by Parliament. This is a result of the Government’s failure and refusal to adopt the kind of approach I have been calling for that could have safeguarded jobs and the economy.
As it stands, I intend to vote against the Prime Minister’s deal.
Unlike the Prime Minister, however, I do not believe that Parliament’s choice is simply between her deal or no deal at all. I think a no-deal Brexit would be catastrophic and the Government does not have the right to plunge our country into chaos because of its own failure to get a good deal.
Therefore, if Parliament votes down the Prime Minister’s deal, I believe this Government will have lost its mandate and given the seriousness of the situation, in any other circumstances, other than the fixed term Parliament we now have, they would do the honourable thing and go to the country. If that is not possible then all options, including a public vote, must be on the table.
This is one of the most important decisions facing our country and I can assure you that I will be following developments very closely. As your elected representative in Parliament, I welcome your views and comments throughout this process.