Further indicative votes were held on Monday 1 April, I voted against the Common Market 2.0 , Confirmatory Public Vote and Parliamentary Supremacy motions. I choose to abstain from the Customs Union motion because whilst this doesn’t answer the frictionless trade or Irish border issue, it is an area where we could possibly work more closely with opposition parties to define and agree a customs arrangement for manufactured goods and agricultural products.
Friday 29th March
Indicative votes were held this week to try to establish what type of Brexit arrangement MPs would support. Unlike many MPs I have voted twice for Brexit and I fully support the Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration as a reasonable, collaborative approach to leave the EU in an orderly way.
In terms of the indicative votes, I voted against all options that put our economy and jobs at risk and anything that looked like a second referendum in disguise. I have consistently said I do not believe we should have a second referendum which would undermine our democratic process and only prolong uncertainty for both businesses and individuals.
The other deal types, I believe, are all inferior to the bespoke arrangements that the Prime Minister has negotiated and agreed with the EU27 countries. In many cases, they still require the Withdrawal Agreement to be agreed and are largely unworkable as propositions. In particular they require the UK to continue with freedom of movement of people and to not enter into our own trades deals.
The reason I abstained from the EFTA/EAA arrangement (Motion H) is that it is the only option that could potentially be agreed without a Withdrawal Agreement, however, it would still be difficult to negotiate, with even more parties involved. In my view, this approach is still very much inferior to the Prime Minister’s deal as it would include accepting freedom of movement which the agreed deal does not after the transition period. However, I felt I ought to indicate if the PMs deal is not going to go through, what option could be considered if other MPs refuse to back the Withdrawal Agreement and the Political Declaration.