Brexit Update - Indicative Votes

Brexit Update – Indicative Votes

Many constituents have contacted me regarding last night's indicative votes on Brexit. Some have merely been asking me how I was planning to vote, while others have been expressing how they would like me to vote. As ever, I appreciate hearing the thoughts of constituents.

I have previously stated my concerns around the so-called Letwin amendment that allowed the indicative votes to take place. This was not because I had a fundamental issue with the sentiment of having indicative votes, but rather the impact it has on how the House of Commons conducts its business, and the impact this may have in the future. It represented an unneccessary precedent as the Government had already committed to holding indicative votes.

I will lay out below how I voted on each motion, and briefly explain my reason for this vote:

(B) NO DEAL - AGAINST

This motion instructed the Commons to leave the European Union on 12th April without a deal. I have never supported a ‘no-deal’ exit, and will continue to do so.

(D) COMMON MARKET 2.0 - AGAINST

This motion did not respect the referendum result, and requires financial contributions with no say on the budget, requires compliance with all EU regulations without having a vote on those regulations. Further, it precludes an independent trade policy, and allows the EU to negotiate on our behalf. We would be disadvantaged as the EU would provide preferential treatment to EU member states. This would likely be detrimental to the City of London as a centre of world finance.  

(H) EFTA and EEA – AGAINST

My issues with EFTA and EEA are the same as Common Market 2.0, but would also still require a solution to the Northern Ireland backstop, which has not been forthcoming.

(J) CUSTOMS UNION - AGAINST

A Customs Union would preclude an independent trade policy, putting our economy at risk as the European Union would prioritise member state’s needs. This option would still create issues surrounding the Northern Ireland border.

(K) LABOUR’S ALTERNATIVE PLAN - AGAINST

My objections to Labour’s Alternative Plan are the same as those of Common Market 2.0. In addition to this, it would remove any ability of UK Parliament to reject EU regulations as they would have to be accepted and implemented.

(L) REVOCATION TO AVOID NO DEAL – FOR

I have always been consistent that I do not support a ‘no-deal’ exit from the European Union – this motion ensures that an accidental no deal cannot happen, which is why I supported it.

(M) CONFIRMATORY PUBLIC VOTE - AGAINST

A confirmatory public vote would run contrary to my established position of supporting the Prime Minister, and supporting the Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration she has negotiated. A further referendum, even a confirmatory one, would add to the current Brexit delay, would not eradicate uncertainty and would involve participation in the European Parliament elections. I do not believe that, having voted to Leave the EU nearly three years, the British public wish to be involved in these elections under any circumstances. In my view, if the Prime Minister secures the support necessary then we must move on. We would be leaving the EU with a deal that replicates many of the key benefits of membership, and protects jobs and the economy. If the deal can pass through Parliament, then we must get on and move on.

(O) CONTINGENT PREFERENTIAL ARRANGEMENTS – AGAINST  

This motion effectively represented a managed no-deal and is unacceptable due to the economic disruption it could cause. Further, it is also non-negotiable with the European Union, and to use a phrase that has become common in Brexit, is a unicorn.

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