Over the past few weeks I have received correspondence from people expressing many different points of views. I have been asked to vote to leave with no deal and vote not to leave with no deal. I’ve been asked to vote for the existing Withdrawal Agreement and to vote against it. I’ve been asked to vote to hold a second referendum, to vote to revoke Article 50 and to vote to extend it. I have also been asked to vote for different forms of a softer Brexit such as a single market or a customs union.
I have continued to vote in a way which is consistent with the views I expressed at the General Election in 2017, that is to honour the result of the referendum held in 2016, but ensuring that we leave in a managed way. I voted to trigger Article 50 and have voted for the Prime Minister’s deal three times. Had it passed we would have left the EU by now.
I recognise the damage that would be done by a no-deal Brexit which is I why I voted for an extension to Article 50 and voted to enable the so-called indicative votes process. During this process MPs voted on the different options to try and find a solution which commanded a majority. I supported all the outcomes which would allow the UK to leave the EU with a deal. Unfortunately no option that was put to MPs got a majority, this includes those options I do not support including revocation of Article 50 and a second referendum.
The only deal to have received the most votes in Parliament is the Prime Minister’s deal which, in my view, is still the best option. The Government are talking with the Labour Party about finding a way forward. I remain very opposed to much of Jeremy Corbyn’s policies for this country but I think that in the circumstances of Parliamentary gridlock most people want MPs to work on a cross-party basis to find solutions on which a majority can agree.
We now have an extension of Article 50 until the end of October. This is flexible and so, if a deal can be got through Parliament before then, the UK can leave at an earlier date. I hope that MPs will see that the national interest is best served by working together to find a solution and then backing it in Parliament.