Steve Double MP statement on Withdrawal Agreement vote in Parliament – 12 March

“My decision on last night’s vote was one I arrived at following much agonising and consideration. It was one of the hardest choices I have had to make as an MP.”

“As I said in my speech in the debate - we should not be in this position just 17 days before we are due to leave the EU when our exit is still not settled.”

“Last night's choice put before MPs was an unacceptable choice.”

“We were in a situation where it was a case of choosing essentially what is the least worst option.”

“To vote for the terrible deal on offer from the government or to vote against it and in my mind risk an extension beyond 29 March or even seeing further dilution or the loss of Brexit altogether.”

“Thus my reference in Parliament yesterday to this being ‘a turd of a deal’.”

“Last night’s vote was about the balance of risks. The least worst option.”

“I voted for the Withdrawal Agreement yesterday to try and save Brexit from possible oblivion or being kicked into the long grass.”

“With the Withdrawal Agreement voted down last night, we move onto further Brexit votes today and tomorrow.”

“Today I will be voting for us to leave as scheduled on 29th March, if necessary with no deal.”

“Tomorrow I will also be voting against any extension which would simply extend the uncertainty and prolong the debate without providing any answers to the deadlock we are in. I believe any extension would also provide the opportunity for those who wish to overturn Brexit altogether.”

“Another danger in the offing is that if Parliament votes to ask the EU for an extension, which I will vote against, it is most likely that as the price for an extension the EU will insist we enter into a permanent Customs union which is an even worse scenario than the deal I reluctantly supported last night.”

To see my speech on this from last night, follow the link here