Last night, the Commons voted in favour of the so-called Letwin amendment. I voted against the amendment. This is not because I have a fundamental issue with the sentiment of having indicative votes on Brexit alternatives, but because of the impact the amendment has on how the House of Commons conducts its business. The Government of the day customarily controls the agenda of debate and the timetabling of business. Without such control - which has been a norm for over a hundred years - the Government of the day would simply not get its business through the Commons. The amendment creates a major rupture in our parliamentary procedures. As such, I felt that I could not support the amendment.
It is worth adding that Government had itself offered to allow Government time to debate and agree alternatives that might have majority support in Parliament. This would have achieved the same objective without tearing up our parliamentary procedures. It is disappointing that this compromise that delivered the same outcome, without upending our process of Government, was not accepted by the opposition parties and a few of my colleagues.