[5th Allotted Day]

Part of European Union (Withdrawal) Act – in the House of Commons at 7:02 pm on 9th January 2019.

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Photo of Douglas Ross Douglas Ross Conservative, Moray 7:02 pm, 9th January 2019

If the hon. Gentleman listens for another 90 seconds, he will be able to decide whether I have trod that road.

After weeks of wrestling with my concerns about the agreement and seeking assurances over the issues I have highlighted, I have not been able to resolve them. I would like to support the Prime Minister and my Government, but I must also stand up for those who elect me. This is not a decision I have reached quickly or easily, and I am sure that, ultimately, history will judge each and every MP on how we vote and decide whether we got it right or wrong. In doing so, however, history will have the benefit of hindsight—something none of us is blessed with.

My decision comes down to this: my overarching belief that I am elected to this place to be Moray’s voice in Westminster, and not Westminster’s voice in Moray. I have to put my constituents and my constituency ahead of my party and my Government. It is for that reason, Mr Speaker, that when this debate concludes and you call the Division on the withdrawal agreement, it will be with a heavy heart but a clear conscience that I will not be able to support the Government and I will vote against this agreement.