21.01.19

Following the Prime Minister’s latest statement to the House of Commons this afternoon on exiting the European Union, it is clear that further compromises must be made soon if the Government are to find a way forward that delivers on the Referendum result.

I firstly welcome the Government’s continued commitment to respecting the Belfast agreement and her willingness to engage with opposition parties, even if they don’t reciprocate.

As it is in the best interests for both the UK and EU for the Northern Irish Backstop to be amended, I hope that this will be achieved in the forthcoming week of negotiations between the EU, the Prime Minister, and Members of Parliament.

If, however, the EU does not compromise on the Backstop, leaving without a deal would be preferable to remaining trapped in the EU single market under the Backstop arrangement currently outlined in the Withdrawal Agreement. “No deal is better than a bad deal!”

Despite my optimism for a WTO clean global Brexit, if the Backstop were to be removed from the Withdrawal Agreement, I would nevertheless be willing to vote for the Prime Minister’s deal.

Of the correspondence that I have received on this subject since early October, roughly twice as many North Herefordshire constituents have contacted me specifically to say that they would reject the deal as it stands than those who have written in support of the deal.

The Prime Minister has made it clear that there is no majority for a Second Referendum in the House, and that the Government has a duty to implement the result of the 2016 Referendum.

I therefore look forward to the revised deal that the Prime Minister will return with after re-negotiating with the EU.

I hope that it is one that I can confidently support in the knowledge that it will deliver the Brexit that the majority of North Herefordshire voted for in June 2016, and address the many important issues raised by my constituents.