Brexit remains an extremely complex and controversial issue.
While there is always the chance of no formal agreement being reached, the government have agreed a clear set of proposals which retain the principles inherent in the referendum result, namely to leave the EU, including the Single Market, Customs Union, and the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice.
Whatever the criticisms of this approach, the Prime Minister is working hard to secure support for them, both at home and across the EU. In doing so, she has had to make a number of concessions. I would not be happy to see any more major concessions being made – above and beyond the proposals in the Chequers Agreement. We have to be prepared to walk away. Ultimately, we have to be true to the referendum result.
The alternative option of a Canada-style free-trade agreement is possible, and one that I could support. One thing I won't support, though, is any proposal that divides Northern Ireland from the rest of the United Kingdom.
I strongly disagree with those who suggest there should be another referendum. Parliament gave the British people the final say on the UK's membership of the EU and that result must be respected.
The ballot paper presented voters with an unambiguous choice to remain in the EU or to leave. The consequences of either decision were communicated by campaign groups through a variety of print, audio-visual and digital media. The Government also sent a document to every household in the UK on the benefits of staying in the EU. Amid all this, it was made clear by both sides in the campaign that leaving the EU meant leaving the single market and customs union.
As in every election, it was up to the electorate to judge the merits of the different arguments and over 17.4 million voters decided to leave the EU. Both main political parties also pledged in their manifestos at the General Election 2017 to respect the EU referendum result, including leaving the single market and customs union, and these parties received over 80 per cent of the vote.
MPs from across the political spectrum voted 494 to 122 in favour of invoking Article 50 in 2017. The majority of issues that needed to be tackled as part of any new agreement have been settled. The exit negotiations are well under way and I am confident that an agreement can be reached to the mutual benefit of the both the UK and the EU. MPs will vote on any deal when it comes to Parliament.
Brexit may be imperfect, but I believe we, as MPs, have a responsibility to honour the referendum result and work to get the best possible outcome we can.