Chloe Smith
MP for Norwich North

Brexit Blog - 21st March EU Council Summit Update

Author: Chloe Smith, Updated: 22 March 2019 15:11

Events have moved at pace since my last Brexit blog (15th March) and I wanted to quickly update you on the outcome of the 21st March EU Council summit.

My last blog set out how I voted on the three major recent votes on Brexit and my reasoning behind this and if you have not done so already, you can read that here.

 This week the Prime Minister has been in Brussels at the European Council – where it was agreed that, subject to the Prime Minister’s deal being passed next week, the date of our departure will now be extended to 22 May.

Whilst I voted against any extension to Article 50, I expect to retain my support for the deal negotiated by the Prime Minister when it comes back before Parliament.

On 21st March at the EU Council summit the UK reached an agreement for a short technical extension

What this would mean is that the Government will bring forward proposals for a third vote on the available deal as soon as possible and, if it is passed, an extension to 22 May will provide the time to pass the necessary legislation to have an orderly exit.

If Parliament does not agree a deal next week, the EU Council have agreed to extend Article 50 until 12 April. At this point we would either leave with no deal or put forward an alternative plan. If any future plan involved a request to the EU to agree a further extension, it would mean participation in the European Parliamentary elections or could risk no Brexit at all.

I want to reiterate: this government is determined to deliver Brexit, even with the short delay, to avoid damage to our democracy and respect the trust of all those who voted in the referendum.

I would urge my colleagues to get behind the Government’s deal which does deliver on the referendum result in a real and pragmatic way. 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.