March 2017 – Parliamentary Votes on Exiting the European Union

March 2017 – Parliamentary Votes on Exiting the European Union

Thank you for contacting me about the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, and in particular suggestions that Parliament should vote on the final deal.

The Prime Minister has already committed to such a vote, allowing Parliament to accept the negotiated deal or choose to leave under WTO terms instead, and it is right that Parliament make this decision.  What I will not support, however, is any attempt to backslide on the results of the referendum – for example, the suggestion that at the end of the negotiation there be some option, via a Parliamentary vote or other mechanism, to keep the UK in the EU.  The British people voted in a free and fair referendum to leave the EU, and I expect the Government to uphold the commitment, published in the leaflets it delivered to every household prior to the vote, to implement that result.  Furthermore, leaving such an option open during negotiations would, in my view, be highly irresponsible, as it would encourage any recalcitrant elements remaining in Brussels, that have not yet accepted Britain’s decision, to give the UK the worst deal possible in hopes of keeping the UK in the EU, in the end.

The Prime Minister has been clear that there must be no attempts to remain inside the EU and no attempts to rejoin it through the back door, and I agree.  I understand this position will be very satisfying to some and disappointing to others, however I think it is best for me to be clear about my thinking on this subject.

Thank again for taking the time to get in touch.