Westminster Letter Article for Bucks Free Press published 18 March

At this juncture, choosing to write about Brexit, once more, is inevitable: if I do not, there is not only an ‘elephant in the room’, if not more than one of them, but a queue of ‘elephants’ down the stairs, all around the car park and stretching out of sight down the road.

The fact that so many constituents contact me on a daily basis with their thoughts reassures me that people do want to see this process through. Although it now seems that it could be likely that there will be an extension to Article 50, which would mean continuing negotiations after 29 March, the aim is to keep this within a closely defined time.

I voted against leaving the EU without a formal deal on the table because so many constituents feel this would not provide the certainty we need and upon which individuals and businesses can plan their future. The House of Commons as a whole agreed.

There will now be a third Meaningful Vote, to decide what the course of action should be. The issue of what to do next must be addressed because Parliament agreed to leave the EU on 29 March and otherwise we could be faced with a “no deal” departure, which the House of Commons voted against.

MPs could decide to accept the existing deal, and for me the crux of that issue is what happens about the “back stop”. There have been moves towards limiting the operation of the “back stop”, which means that the present customs and other arrangements would operate. The worry is that by agreeing with the EU about this, the UK could be locked into the current situation indefinitely and the goal of being able to exercise decisions about our country’s future would not be achievable.

Published 18 March 2019