Update on the UK's withdrawal from the EU

The House of Commons is this week continuing to debate Brexit and to vote on the various options that MPs have put forward regarding Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union and our future relationship with the EU.

I am continuing to vote consistently in line with my constituents’ democratic decision to leave the European Union.  I have on three occasions supported the Prime Minister’s withdrawal deal as I believed it to be the best way of securing Brexit on time, providing certainty to businesses and getting us out of the EU. However, I have been clear that Brexit must be delivered whether we have a deal or not.

There have been a series of ‘indicative votes’ on alternative plans put forward by opposition parties and other MPs.  I have used my vote in favour of keeping 'no deal' on the table, so that we retain the right to walk away from the EU with no agreement if no agreement is possible.  I have voted against numerous remain motions including the revocation of Article 50 and against locking the UK into any form of ongoing customs union with the EU.

As MP for Stoke-on-Trent South, I cannot support a customs union or continuing membership of the single market that would keep us tied to parts of the EU without a say. These things would require us to adhere to the EU's rules on freedom of movement, and prevent us from signing free trade agreements with countries across the world. That would not be delivering Brexit. I am pleased so far these attempts to thwart Brexit have failed.

This week the vast majority of Labour MPs have voted to keep us saddled to the customs union and single market with the intent of permanently binding us to parts of the EU and continuing freedom of movement. I am disappointed that other MPs, especially on the Labour benches have persisted in acting to delay and frustrate Brexit. I know many people are incredibly frustrated with Parliament and it is because of those MPs that Britain did not leave the EU as planned on 29 March.  I believe that it is now incumbent on the House of Commons to deliver an orderly Brexit, as speedily as possible, in line with the manifestos of both major political parties.  For this reason I did not vote to extend Article 50.

It is vital for public trust in our Parliament that we keep our promises. That is why I will only support measures that deliver the Brexit that my constituents voted for by a large majority.