Last night I took the difficult decision to vote against the Government and resign my role as a PPS in the Home Office. I have been clear that whilst I believe we must honour the result of the EU Referendum, I cannot support the U.K. leaving without a deal. Last night I honoured that position.
It had been my intention to support the Government motion, which objected to leaving without a deal on 29 March whilst noting that to avoid that a deal needs to be agreed. Unfortunately, a broader amendment passed which replaced the motion completely so that opportunity was not available. If the amended motion had been defeated, there would have been nothing to stop the U.K. leaving without a deal. Given this was the only opportunity to register my stated opposition to a no deal Brexit, I could not in good conscience vote against the amended motion.
I have always believed the best way forward to honour the result of the U.K. wide referendum and the manifesto on which I was elected by the people of East Renfrewshire in 2017 is to leave the EU with a negotiated deal that minimises economic impact and sets us up for a very close future economic, trading and security relationship. This is also the surest way to avoid No Deal, which is why I have supported the Withdrawal Agreement twice.
I remain committed to supporting the Prime Minister in delivering a negotiated settlement with the EU to allow us to implement the result of the referendum in an orderly manner.
You can read all my statements on Brexit here : https://www.paulmasterton.org.uk/news/brexit-update-0