Following the result of the Brexit Referendum I have consistently supported respecting that vote through an orderly withdrawal on the basis of an agreed deal.
I have repeatedly reassured constituents that the Prime Minister was striving to secure just such an equitable withdrawal agreement with our European partners.
He has done so.
He has managed to reopen the Withdrawal Agreement, remove the “Backstop” and reposition the Political Declaration on our future relationship. Both sides have made compromises but both sides have an agreement that can work.
Those who voted Leave determined to “take back control”, to leave the political institutions of the EU and jurisdiction of the ECJ and all that flows from both can be reassured that this is being delivered. Those fearful that this will mean “cutting ourselves off from Europe” should read the Political Declaration and the clear desire from both sides that our common outlook, our common heritage and common interests should be reflected in close co-operation as independent but friendly neighbours.
This route forward I believe can command a majority in the House of Commons and start bringing the country back together.
Given this I was enormously disappointed by the result of the Commons’ Saturday sitting, As The Figaro put it
“It should have been a day of clarification; it has been a moment of additional confusion. British MPs have added an incredible episode to the already lengthy Brexit series. By deciding not to decide anything”
The vote taken on Saturday risks delaying getting this deal considered and over the line. However the Government will persist and do so with the support of all MPs who wish to see the democratic decision of the British people honoured.
I have no doubt that there will be attempts to derail this process. This may include attempts to add a further lengthy delay for a second referendum. As Theresa May said so powerfully in the Commons on Saturday, having voted overwhelming to hold a Referendum, Parliament cannot simply ignore its outcome.
This deal is a sensible, pragmatic route to implement the result. It works for both the U.K. and EU.
The patience of our European friends is not limitless. They agreed a deal with Mrs May. Contrary to everything then said they have been persuaded to reopen that deal and renegotiate it to produce an outcome that is more acceptable to the British Parliament. Parliament now needs to get on and get this done.