This week was an eventful one when it comes to voting on how we leave the EU. Of course, I would have preferred for the Government motion, to leave the EU on 29 March with a deal, to have passed. However, although more people voted for the deal than in January, it still didn’t get over the line.
The following is a summary of comments of how I voted in this week’s motions and amendments:
Tuesday 12 March:
I voted to LEAVE the EU on 29 March 2019 under the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement.
Further to a similar vote in January, the Attorney General has provided advice that "reduce(s) the risk that the UK could be indefinitely and involuntarily detained" within a potential backstop. This resulted in an increase in support for the deal.
There are still those who think voting against the deal somehow increases their aim of either:
a) leaving without a deal, or
b) not leaving at all...
yet, both of these groups went through the 'No' lobby on Tuesday night - they can't both be right!
I still firmly believe that the UK MUST leave the EU with a deal which informed my voting throughout the rest of the week.
Wednesday 13 March:
Contrary to some comments on other posts, I did NOT vote for 'no-deal'. Neither did I vote to take no-deal off the table completely.
I had intended to vote for the motion to decline leaving the EU without a deal on 29 March 2019 (but ONLY on that date). However, the so-called 'Spelman Amendment', which would have resulted in taking no-deal off of the table completely, narrowly passed, so I voted against the motion as amended.
The possibility of leaving the EU with or without a deal remains - but, because of the intransigence of some members and a seeming desire to prolong the uncertainty, a SHORT extension looks likely to be sought from the EU.
Thursday 14 March:
The motion laid on Thursday, noted the outcomes of Tuesday's and Wednesday's votes and would therefore seek an extension of a period to exend no later than 30 June 2019. The motion also took note that any extension beyond 30 June 2019, would require the UK to hold European Parliament elections in May.
More important perhaps than the main motion, were the amendments - each of which I voted against and each was beaten or withdrawn:
Sarah Wollaston's amendment for a second EU referendum was soundly beaten 334 – 85.
Hillary Benn’s amendment for Parliament to take control from the Executive on 20 March was thankfully narrowly beaten 314 – 312.
Jeremy Corbyn’s amendment for his multiple aims of; taking the deal AND no-deal off the table was beaten 318 – 302
I have always been against the idea of an extension - particularly if only an attempt to frustrate the Brexit process. However, due to the loss of Tuesday's vote and the intransigence of those determined prolong the uncertainty, I voted for this motion in order to facilitate leaving as soon as possible, with a suitable deal.
Please note, that this motion does NOT commit the UK to hold European Parliament elections.
I receive many emails expressing a range of concerns from; “we must leave without a deal”, to, “we must not leave at all!” However, a silent majority of people I talk to on the doorstep, on the street, across rural communities and particularly in business, almost all take the view that, whether we voted leave or remain, we need to just get on with leaving!