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No Confidence in Her Majesty’s Government

Part of Business of the House (Today) – in the House of Commons at 4:25 pm on 16th January 2019.

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Photo of Richard Drax Richard Drax Conservative, South Dorset 4:25 pm, 16th January 2019

I agree, and in my short speech on Monday I made exactly that point. How can any of us go to our constituency with our political manifesto and tell people, “This is what we are going to do,” when quite clearly we do not do what we say we are going to do? Who in this country will believe us?

This debate is not about personal views. The personal views of Members are hugely diverse and different, and I respect that. There are 650 of us, and I suspect that every right hon. or hon. Member has a view on something, but the people of this country, to whom we gave a vote, told us to execute leaving the EU.

What to do next? I have great sympathy for my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister. She has been handed a can of worms—an extremely difficult issue which I suspect no one in this House could manage either better or worse. However, may I suggest that she gets back on her feet and deals more firmly with the EU? I believe that if we, as the United Kingdom, had stood like a rock to say, “We want a deal—of course we do. We want to be your friends and your allies, but we want to be in charge of our destiny,” the EU would by now have said, “We hear you. You are one of our major trading partners. Of course we want to deal with you and remain friends with you, because you are friends of ours and will continue to be so.”

I advise Ministers to go back to the EU as fast as they can—people say there is no time, but the EU has a wonderful way of moving quickly if it needs to. The Prime Minister must say to the EU, “I have heard the voice of the House—the home of democracy. I cannot get this deal through. We need far more flexibility than you have been prepared to offer. For example, remove the backstop.” I think that then she could come back and get the agreement of the House. Then, we could get on with Brexit, which is antagonising millions of people across the country.