As I’m sure you are aware, the Government has failed again tonight to win Parliament’s approval for its Brexit deal with the EU. I had desperately wanted to be able to support it and hoped earlier that I might be able to. However, many legal advisors, including the Government’s own Attorney General, have said today that the risk of the UK remaining trapped in an indefinite backstop remain unchanged. For that reason, I have had to vote against the deal put before the House tonight. I couldn’t vote for it in January and I could not vote for it again today, because fundamentally nothing has changed. This is still not a good deal.
Looking ahead, the rest of this week brings more votes. Tomorrow we will vote on whether to take no deal off the table. I will vote against this. If not enough of my colleagues join me then on Thursday, we will vote on whether to extend Article 50 without a clear purpose. I will vote against this also.
Let me be clear, whilst I still agree with the Prime Minister that no deal is better than a bad deal, I don’t want us to leave the European Union without a deal; I want us to leave with a good deal. For that to happen, we need to have the negotiating position of being able to walk away with no deal, and we need to have the certainty of a deadline. Taking no deal off the table or extending Article 50 will make reaching a good deal more difficult, will prolong uncertainty, will weaken our position and will threaten our democracy and our Union. That is the reason that I will be voting the way that I will this week.
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