After a turbulent few weeks in Parliament, I thought I would update you on what’s been happening in Westminster ...
After the withdrawal agreement was voted down, last Tuesday, the Prime Minister brought forward a motion to allow the House of Commons to express its will. Through a series of amendments, set out in the table, the House voted on a variety of options going forward. As you can see above, the House agreed that with a legally changed backstop they could support the withdrawal agreement.
The Prime Minister will take this mandate forward and seek to obtain legally binding changes to the withdrawal agreement. The Leader of the Opposition finally met with the Prime Minister to discuss negotiations going forward, and I understand that they are meeting again this week. It’s vital that we deliver in the national interest and bring the country together, which the Government are determined to do.
It’s also worth noting that the Spelman amendment rejecting “no deal” is not legally binding – like any responsible Government, we continue to prepare for all circumstances. As the Maritime Minister with responsibility for Ports and Shipping, we are working hard night and day to deliver all of the Statutory Instruments (SIs) and legislation we need to ensure that we are fully prepared to leave the EU as frictionless as possible – for example just last week I delivered an SI on cabotage, the right to operate sea transport services in territorial waters once we are no longer members of the EU.
I will continue to make sure Wealden’s voice is heard in the Brexit discussions, as well as all other Policy areas. The Government continues to deliver on what matters to our constituents, for example last week we also passed an Immigration Bill where Labour’s chaotic and embarrassing U-turn meant they failed to support an end to freedom of movement, as raised by constituents again this weekend.
Most constituents just want us to get on with Brexit and ensure that we leave on March 29th – this is the position of the Government and the Prime Minister, which I continue to support.