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'I supported the Prime Minister on Brexit vote'

By Grantham Reporter

My colleague Richard Graham, MP for Gloucester, put it best in a tweet he sent yesterday morning: “Thank you to constituents who’ve contacted me to demand that I: stop Brexit, deliver Brexit tomorrow, stage a 2nd referendum, not betray Brexit, support every Lords amendment, get rid of the Lords, back the PM, sack the PM and remember who I represent. It’s possible I may not satisfy you all.”

In recent days the House of Commons has been voting on the EU Withdrawal Bill, which is designed to make sure that our laws continue to function without disruption after we leave the European Union and EU law no longer applies in the UK. The House of Lords has inserted all sorts of amendments to the Bill in an attempt to bind the government’s hands over the Brexit negotiations and give Parliament a greater role in deciding whether the Brexit deal is satisfactory or not.

Like Richard Graham, I have received dozens of communications from my constituents urging me to take a whole series of mutually contradictory positions. Every MP will have had the same experience. What I have done is what MPs have to do when asked to vote on contentious issues: I have weighed up the views of my constituents, the commitments that I made in the manifesto on which I was elected and the promptings of my conscience, and then made a decision.

On the matters we have been debating this week, I have concluded that I should support the Prime Minister.

In the weeks and months to come there will be more bills relating to Brexit, and many more contentious votes. In all of them I will seek to balance the opinions of those who elected me, the promises I made during the election campaign and my own beliefs. In the words of Martin Luther, “I can do no other.”


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