In recent days I’ve been going through the hundreds of emails and letters sent to me by constituents on Brexit, I’ve tried to respond to each giving the fullest answers I can. In those replies up until yesterday afternoon I had said, unless something exceptional happened, it was likely the deal proposed by the Prime Minister would be defeated resoundingly in the House of Commons.
Despite all of the assurances over the weekend and on Monday morning itself that the vote was going ahead. The whispers of the vote being postponed was confirmed by the Prime Minister in the chamber at just past 3:30pm.
The Prime Minister said that she was withdrawing the motion as the previous three days had shown her that their lacked any sort of majority in Parliament in support of her proposed deal and she wished for more time to get greater assurances about the Northern Ireland ‘backstop’ protocol. However, concerns about the proposed deal run much deeper than just the Northern Irish border issue and it is unlikely that any new concessions would change the collective view of Parliament.
The Prime Minister was unable to say when she would return with a new deal offer. The Prime Minister was unable to explain what substantive changes she was likely to be requesting or what support she had from other European Leaders to reopen the withdrawal agreement. The Prime Minister did not offer any guarantee that the concerns raised by MPs on other issues such as customs arrangements, access to the single market and jurisdiction of the European Courts would be up for reconsideration.
Much of the debate and commentary over the past few hours has now switched to procedure and the potential horse race within the Conservative Party to replace the Prime Minister. Ignoring the looming disaster that would be a ‘no deal’ scenario. The situation is fast moving but I’ll endeavour to keep you updated and reply to all constituents that have written to me on this matter.