On Tuesday I voted for the so-called Grieve amendment. This was not out of some desire to thwart attempts to leave the EU or engineer a second referendum by the back door. I was voting to reduce the chances of a no-deal Brexit.
I am supporting the Prime Minister’s deal in the knife edge vote next week. If it fails to get a majority in Parliament the Government has until 21st January to find an alternative. If no measure can get through the House of Commons by then, under the terms of the Withdrawal Act the Prime Minister must bring a motion to Parliament saying that there has been no deal agreed with the EU. Under the change I voted for we now can promote a pragmatic measure which still allows the UK to leave the EU on 29th March but ensures we do not suffer the potentially catastrophic consequences of a no-deal Brexit.
I have come to this opinion after hearing from employers in my constituency who have told me in graphic detail what would happen to their businesses in those circumstances.
The Prime Minister’s deal is not perfect but whoever carried out a negotiation and got everything they wanted? It ensures we respect the result of the referendum by taking back control of our laws, our money and our borders. I hope it passes but if it does not we have to be prepared to bring forward a solution that will command a majority in the House of Commons.