Yesterday Parliament voted on the principle of leaving the European Union without a deal.
I have consistently argued that Parliament should agree the deal negotiated by the Prime Minister, which will see the UK take control of our money, our borders and our laws and deliver on the results of the June 2016 referendum. Furthermore, throughout the referendum campaign both sides argued that in principle, there would be a negotiated deal between the UK and the European Union to enable us to make an orderly transition which is in the interests of the British people and British businesses.
As a member of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Select Committee, I have heard considerable evidence from businesses throughout the country, as well as here in Rugby and the West Midlands, about the economic challenges which leaving the European Union without a deal would create. A No Deal Brexit would cost jobs, investment and growth in our community and I cannot in good conscience support this outcome.
Because the House of Commons on Tuesday chose not to support the Prime Minister’s deal, the Government brought forward a motion on leaving the EU without a deal. I wished to support the motion tabled by the Prime Minister, which made noted that leaving without a deal remained the legal default in the absence of a deal being agreed by Parliament and therefore did not support either of the amendments voted upon yesterday. However, the House of Commons chose to amend this motion to rule out No Deal in all circumstances. Given my genuine concerns about the consequences of No Deal for my constituents, I chose to support the amended motion.
It does however remain the case that the legal position remains that the UK will leave the European Union on 29 March 2019, unless Article 50 is extended or a deal is agreed. I do not wish to see a long extension of Article 50, which would delay Brexit and perpetuate uncertainty for residents and businesses. As such, I will continue to support the deal brought forward by the Prime Minister which represents the best way to deliver on the decision of the British people in June 2016 to leave the European Union.
Mark Pawsey MP