Finally we have (I hope) a week without daily movement and discussion on the Brexit issue, which means I can finally write and update you on how things stand, writes Ben Bradley MP.
Now the whole process is in a more stable position, I hope that there’s less chance of it all changing between me writing it and you seeing it.
After last week’s votes the Prime Minister has a very clear task ahead of her.
Parliament has told her to go back to the EU and seek to remove or improve the Northern Ireland ‘backstop’ element, which is the part that could potentially have seen the UK remaining tied in to EU institutions permanently.
Brexiteers like myself in Parliament see a number of issues with the Withdrawal Agreement, but if Mrs May can remove the ‘backstop’ then many of the other problems within it also become temporary, and Brexiteers could, I think, hold their noses and support it to ensure that it grantees the UK leaving on March 29.
If the EU won’t budge, and we will all find out for certain on February 13, then in my view the only remaining option is for the UK to simply walk away.
A new proposal put together jointly by both leavers and remainers on the Conservative benches suggests that if the EU won’t play ball, Britain could leave without a Withdrawal Agreement, but work on securing a transitional period to give everyone time to fully prepare and to potentially agree a future trade deal.
That kind of proposal is something that even most remain-backing MPs on the Government benches could support as it would effectively give Britain a much smoother ‘transition’ and still have the potential of a good future trade deal.
It sounds good to me.
For all of my fall outs with the Prime Minister last year, she has at least been constistent in saying the Britain must leave on March 29 come what may.
Recent weeks have taken the Government a step closer to delivering on that promise and I’m increasingly optimistic that this will now happen.