This is a quick blog to let you know how I voted in the “indicative votes” in Parliament last night. First of all, thank you to constituents who let me know their preferences.
The Speaker selected which ones would get voted on. I voted as follows:
I voted against the proposals of ‘Common Market 2.0’, EEA/EFTA, and a customs union, because they all contained things that are fundamentally part of the EU, such as membership of the single market, free movement of people or a common external tariff, and as such are likely to have been in many constituents’ minds when they voted to leave the EU. I’ve voted consistently with this before, for example in opposing membership of the customs union.
For reasons I’ve already put many times here before, I opposed the proposal of a ‘people’s vote’ and revoking our decision to leave. These are not consistent with respecting the result of the referendum.
There was also a proposal to leave without a deal. I’ve blogged here before to explain that I don’t think ‘no deal’ is desirable, and as you know, I support the deal that has been negotiated. So I don’t wish to vote for ‘no deal’. However, if the deal is not supported then I know that people and businesses also need certainty. It is consistent with the result of the referendum that we could leave without a deal, even if that poses challenges. So, I don’t think it’s right or realistic to remove this option outright, and therefore I abstained on this vote.
What happened once all the votes were counted? Nothing. No option carried a majority of support.
What happens next? There’ll be a further round of votes on Monday in the Commons. I will report back afterwards.
What does this mean then? Well, we are still leaving the EU because, whatever the House of Commons thinks, that is what the country decided to do. It is surely preferable that the Commons gets behind this, and it is still open to the Commons to get on with it by voting for the deal that has already been negotiated, which takes us out of the EU and offers a good future relationship with our friends and neighbours. I’d urge my colleagues to do that; I’ll be voting for that deal again because it promotes jobs and opportunities for Norwich.
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.