Chloe Smith
MP for Norwich North

April 2nd Statement from the Prime Minister

Author: Chloe Smith, Updated: 03 April 2019 10:38

Last night the Prime Minister gave a brief statement inside Downing Street on the current Brexit position. I wanted to write a quick blog for you to cover what was said in the statement and Monday night’s (April 1st) “indicative votes”.


On Monday night, MPs were asked to vote again in a set of several “indicative votes”, aimed once again to break the deadlock in Parliament. There were voted on four amendments with options including another referendum (People’s Vote), seeking a customs union, staying in the single market, and potentially cancelling Brexit altogether if no deal could be agreed.


I voted against all four of these amendments as I outlined in my previous blog post; these options were not consistent with respecting the result of the referendum. You can find my reasoning behind these decisions on previous blog posts below.


Yet again, Parliament failed to vote for an option that carried a majority of support.


Consequently, the Prime Minister held a marathon session of Cabinet yesterday (April 2nd), to talk through Brexit and attempt to find a way forward.


Following this Cabinet discussion, the Prime Minister delivered a statement inside Downing Street. In her statement the Prime Minister has offered to hold constructive talks with the leader of the opposition, to attempt to reach some common ground that will break the Brexit impasse.


In order for talks to proceed or an alternative to be reached the Prime Minister has proposed a longer, but still minor, extension to Article 50.


I have previously voted against extending Article 50 and I am disappointed that it has had to be done.


On every occasion I have voted to deliver Brexit. On all three opportunities in Parliament I have backed the Prime Minister’s deal which would have allowed us to move on to the next stage with a pragmatic Brexit deal. I am disappointed we have been unable to pass a deal so far, but with the further extension I hope an agreement can be found.


As I have made clear in previous blogs, it is necessary for any deal to be ratified by Parliament. I urge Labour to vote for a deal, so we can get on with this.


This said, I do want to be clear that we are leaving the EU.  As I have consistently argued, it would be much better to leave with an agreed deal with our friends and neighbours, but even if Parliament and the EU do not manage to do this, we still have to leave.


Thanks again to all constituents who are taking the time to get in touch about Brexit. I read everything sent to me, and I respond to keep you updated including through this blog. I will continue my work in Parliament to support getting a pragmatic deal, because that’s what is in the best interests of my constituents in Norwich North.