February: There is a chance that by the time this article reaches publication there may be yet more changes, but as Brexit gets closer I continue to firmly believe in the importance of avoiding ‘no deal’. I have talked with many local businesses here in NE Beds with interests, either import, export or with employed EU citizens, who want to be sure this doesn’t happen. The best option from business is agreeing a deal, and leaving without it will affect people who work and live here in Bedfordshire. The position of the Labour Party is not helpful to the UK, and neither is no deal.
In avoiding no deal it does not mean any disrespect at all to the result of the 2016 Referendum, but recognising that result is the best way for the future – leaving, and leaving well.
The Prime Minister has been working with Parliamentarians across the House and was in Brussels last week with Cabinet colleagues to continue discussions on how we can address the concerns of Parliament, alongside continuing to engage with leaders of the other EU member states. There have been meetings with the EU on the proposals put forward by MPs in the Alternative Arrangements Working Group and the Attorney General is also working on legal changes to the backstop. I have been with the PM in Egypt at the EU-Arab League Summit, where again she has been working towards resolution with international colleagues.
Parliament has been clear that it does not want to leave without a deal. The only way to rule out no deal is for Parliament to approve a deal and that is what the Prime Minister is working towards.
It has been absolutely essential we do what we have done to give every possibility of an agreed deal.The PM’s team will be back in Brussels shortly. As a result of that, there will not be meaningful vote to parliament this week, but it will happen by 12thMarch.
March 29th remains the date to leave and I will do all I can on my constituents’ behalf to achieve that.
This is a monthly guest column provided by
Rt Hon Alistair Burt MP and published unedited.