I have been asked by a number of people about this week’s votes on Brexit so I thought that I would set out my position.
I stood for re-election on a manifesto which promised to respect the result of the referendum. In my view, this does not mean accepting any deal Theresa May brings back. It does mean trying to get a deal which is good for my constituency and the country.
That is why I voted against the Tory government’s deal this week. No deal would also be disastrous for Warrington’s economy and for the country.
I also voted to limit any extension of article 50 to 30th June. Unfortunately this was defeated. I then voted for the amendment proposed by Hilary Benn which would have given parliament the chance to vote on various options for Brexit. This was lost by 2 votes.
It is not good enough for ministers to call for parliament to say what it wants as well as what it doesn’t want and then vote against giving us time to do that. The government, of course, controls the parliamentary timetable.
I voted against a second referendum for two reasons. The first is that I stood on a pledge to respect the 2016 referendum result. The second is that in a representative democracy, I believe strongly that it is parliament’s job to see that we get a good deal, one that protects people’s jobs and living standards. That is what I shall continue to work for. Unfortunately, the campaign for a second referendum has been a diversion which has taken away valuable time from securing a good deal.