Constituents will be aware that on Tuesday 29th January, the Commons agreed to the Prime Minister returning to the EU and seek an amendment to the Withdrawal Agreement around the issue of the ‘backstop’. I voted to support this.
This represents a further attempt to pursue what Parliament has indicated is the best response to the Brexit debate following the Referendum - an agreed process which leaves the EU, but opens up a good future relationship between us through a political declaration. I have written upon this many times to explain why I agree with such a position.
Parliament also indicated once again, through a further amendment, though not a binding one, its belief that there should not be an exit with ‘no deal’.
The Prime Minister has achieved a consensus finally in Parliament as to what it is looking for in an Agreement, after Parliament rejected the previously negotiated one. Now the difficult job of securing some further alteration to the EU position will be attempted.
None of this is perfect - but we have got to move on, and quickly.
If the Government can secure any further change, or even if not, the Prime Minister will bring the matter back to Parliament by the 14th February.
I very much hope that on that date we get a resolution of this element of the issue, by way of a positive vote to secure the agreement between the U.K. and the EU. There will be much more to come, by way of discussion of the future relationship, but the agreement would ensure a number of positive advantages for trade, employment and all citizens.
A failure to support an agreement would continue the uncertainty which many constituents tell me they want to see ended. At this late stage, just six weeks before March 29th, such a position would be damaging for both the U.K. and EU.
I shall write again with an update shortly, but in the meantime very much appreciate the continuing emails and contacts I am receiving.