It’s been a few months now since I last wrote about Brexit in my column, writes Ben Bradley, MP for Mansfield.
I know we’re all sick of hearing about it, but as we reach decision time this autumn things are likely to get pretty busy and, as always in these things, go down to the wire.
We saw last week in Salzburg an incredibly disrespectful and unhelpful tone from Brussels, and it seems like they certainly aren’t helping the UK to a positive conclusion right now.
Afterwards I was pleased to see the Prime Minister stick up for herself and for Britain in her speech, where she called on them to stop playing games, to show some respect, and to get serious with these negotiations.
This week, the Institute of Economic Affairs launched a plan called ‘Plan A +’ where it laid out an alternative proposal to the Chequers plan.
This new plan sees the UK enter a free trade agreement with the EU as equal partners rather than as rule-takers.
That’s the kind of agreement I think the UK needs and what I’m pushing for along with a growing number of Conservative colleagues.
More and more people are speaking up in favour of a plan like this and I’m increasingly hopeful that we will end up with this kind of positive agreement.
Meanwhile at the Labour conference, as I write this, there are two days left to go of their meetings in Liverpool.
Jeremy Corbyn is talking about backing calls for a second referendum vote.
He says if Labour members want it (which polling suggests they do) then he would put forward a second referendum as Labour’s formal policy.
Personally I don’t think that 71 per cent Leave-voting Mansfield wants another referendum, and it shows just how far detached Labour have become from communities like this.