This week, I voted for the Withdrawal Agreement as I saw it as the surest way to guarantee we leave the European Union.
I voted against taking no deal off the table as I believe it is still our biggest bargaining chip.
I voted against extending Article 50 and holding a second referendum, as both violate the majority vote of MK and the British public in 2016.
Crucially, backbenchers failed to take control of legislation and future Brexit proceedings from the Government, meaning the legislation to revoke Article 50 is not in the hands of those who are opposed to and frustrating Brexit.
However, I am frustrated that MPs voted to extend Article 50 and it is now up to the EU to decide how long this extension is and at what cost. Currently, the default legal position is that the UK is still set to leave the EU on the 29th March as Article 50 and the EU Withdrawal Act are still in place. But, as the majority of MPs voted against leaving with ‘no deal’, this legal position is an issue that is still to be resolved.
I am committed to leaving the EU, and would prefer to do so with a deal which is why I will vote in favour of the Withdrawal Agreement once again on next week. As votes have shown, not supporting the deal means we risk never leaving the EU, or a lengthy and costly delay. This delay would not be in our control but the EU's, prolonging uncertainty for MK residents and businesses. In the circumstances that the deal passes, I would be prepared to support only a short technical extension for a few weeks – necessary to pass the legislation needed to ensure a smooth exit. I would not support a lengthy delay.
If the deal is voted down once more, I am prepared to leave without a deal.
I fully appreciate that there are those who do not agree with my approach and residents in MK who are calling for us to remain in the EU and hold a second referendum. However, I must be clear that it is my duty as MP for Milton Keynes North to honour the majority vote of my constituents. It was on this basis that I was re-elected in 2017 and as such, the vote must be respected and that is what I intend on doing.