After the high intensity of previous weeks, with the deadlines of March 29th, and April 12th passed by, we are currently in a different phase of the Brexit process.
There is no less concern, nor urgency, but this is being reflected in another way than on the floor of the Commons chamber.
As constituents will know, I have voted to leave the EU in accordance with the Prime Minister’s Withdrawal Agreement negotiated with the EU, and do not accept that this does not constitute ‘leaving’ the EU. I reject the objections of a number of my Conservative colleagues who have refused to support it, and regret that they, the bulk of the Labour Party, Nationalists, DUP and Lib Dems have done the same for a variety of reasons. Their combination is what prevented the UK leaving on March 29th.
I also reject leaving without a deal, which I believe will be harmful to the country and my constituents.
All this has effectively forced the Government into seeking a negotiation with the Opposition, to see if there is any consensus across Parliament as to the terms to leave the EU, and take forward the further negotiation for a future relationship. The Prime Minister is doing this to fulfil her commitment to her manifesto, and I believe much of the criticism of her personally has been poorly directed.
So what is currently going on are these talks, and, thanks to modern communications, you are as up to date on these through the press, media and social media as any Member of Parliament! There is much scepticism of course that these will get anywhere, but I know the Government has entered into them genuinely. If not successful, then the Government must either come forward again with the Agreement, or the Withdrawal Bill which could be amended, or some further options based on the ideas previously considered as part of the Letwin Amendment recently. I fully appreciate the frustration which all this is causing, and share it. Some of us are doing our best to move things forward.
I expect some progress next week, as most Parliamentarians say they do not want the EU elections. Nor do I.
I am still of the view that, in present circumstances, it remains best to leave, with an agreement and move forward to a new, good relationship with the EU.
I will continue to keep constituents informed.