Over the last few months Brexit has dominated the business in Parliament.
I have always said that I would prefer to leave the EU with a deal but I have consistently voted to keep no-deal on the table. I have also voted against a second referendum and against an extension of Article 50.
Many people rightly feel let down by Parliament for failing to deliver our exit from the EU on 29th March. I believe that Brexit has been treated as a problem instead of an opportunity and choreographed by people who have never believed in it.
The EU has confirmed the Prime Minister’s deal will not be re-negotiated. It has become clear that both the House of Commons and the Prime Minister were not prepared to leave the EU without a deal under any circumstances. I do not agree with this position.
Back in January, I resigned as a Minister to vote against Theresa May’s deal as I felt that it did not provide a clear path out of the European Union. Since then the political situation has changed and my greatest fear is that Brexit will not happen at all.
The failure to pass the deal means that we currently have an extension of Article 50 until 31st October 2019. In addition, we will have to participate in European elections, costing us at least £108 million, unless the Prime Minister’s deal is passed by 22nd May. It also now sees us in a position where Theresa May is being dictated to not only by the EU, but potentially by Jeremy Corbyn.
Labour’s position is that any Brexit should include a customs union, which I strongly oppose. This would prevent us securing trade deals with other countries and lead to us taking laws from the EU that we would have no control over. As the Secretary of State for International Trade said a few weeks ago, Labour’s proposals would be the worst of both worlds, commenting “we ourselves would be traded”.
We must move forward and deliver Brexit. My votes will continue to be to try and secure a genuine Brexit and to deliver what two thirds of people in Dartford voted for.