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'Never mind buffoons - I will vote for deal'

Column by Grantham MP Nick Boles

On Thursday, the most absurd and unnecessary set of elections in the UK’s history will take place.

We will all be invited to elect people to represent us in a Parliament, that three years ago a clear majority of the British people voted to leave. The only reason we will have to put ourselves through this ridiculous democratic contortion is that, for the last six months, MPs have failed to vote the Withdrawal Agreement negotiated by the Prime Minister.

I voted for the Brexit deal on each of the three occasions that it was put before MPs. But an unholy alliance of Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn, of Labour MPs who want to overturn Brexit in a second referendum, and hard Brexiter Tories who want to overthrow Theresa May and leave the EU without a deal, conspired to defeat it and stop Brexit happening on March 29.

Grantham and Stamford MP Nick Boles (8273574)
Grantham and Stamford MP Nick Boles (8273574)

I can well understand the anger that many people will feel at the failure of MPs to deliver Brexit. I am beyond furious with the self-indulgent buffoons in the Conservative Party who have refused to back a reasonable Brexit compromise that would honour the referendum while preserving our economic strength and national unity. They are the reason I left the party.

Many of you will want to protest against the failure of all the parties at Westminster to deliver Brexit by voting for Mr Farage. I can’t say I blame you, though I don’t agree with him on anything.

For my own part, I am going to sit the whole thing out. The European elections are a charade. I don’t intend to pollute my democratic record by casting a vote in such a pointless exercise.

Ten days after the European elections, in which both the Conservatives and Labour will be comprehensively mullered by the Brexit Party and the Lib Dems, MPs will return to Westminster to lick their wounds. Soon afterwards, the Prime Minister will bring a compromise Brexit deal back to Parliament for a fourth, and final, time.

After six weeks of negotiations, the government has agreed to preserve workers’ rights and environmental protections so that the UK does not fall behind our European neighbours. These concessions make the Brexit deal even better for working people, so if Corybn refuses to back it yet again, we will know that he is determined to frustrate the referendum and that there is no version of Brexit that Labour MPs will ever support.

They say that the definition of madness is doing the same thing again and again and expecting a different result. But if so I will claim the label of one of my favourite bands with pride. I will vote for the Brexit deal in June, just as I voted for it in January, February and March. I believe it’s my democratic duty as your MP and while I remain in Parliament I will continue to do it.

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