29 March Brexit Update

Today Britain was meant to leave the EU. But the House of Commons has just rejected the Withdrawal Agreement for a third time. I deeply regret this as I continue to believe that we should honour the referendum result by leaving the EU with a deal.

Since the Commons has already rejected ‘no-deal’ it is likely that it will support a further extension beyond the new deadline of 12 April. But the EU must agree to this, and as before they will set the terms. And the UK would have to take part in the European Parliament elections in May.

On Monday MPs will again consider potential alternatives to the deal. Yet all of these would still require a Withdrawal Agreement, except for a second referendum or revocation of Article 50, both options which I oppose and have voted against.

It is ironic, and frankly extremely disappointing, that the most ardent supporters of Brexit have again prevented it from happening, voting against the deal alongside those who clearly wish to frustrate it.

As I have repeatedly warned, failing to agree a deal is likely to mean Brexit is delayed, diluted or even ditched altogether. We must deliver on the democratic decision of the British people to leave the EU, and that means being willing to compromise and find a sensible way through.