FIONA ONASANYA

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - YOUR TELEGRAPH -

The EU With­draw- al Bill, as­sum­ing there are no fur­ther de­lays, will be put for­ward in Par­lia­ment next week. Af­ter re­al­is­ing she didn’t have enough sup­port from her own party or oth­ers to get her deal through Par­lia­ment in No­vem­ber, the Prime Min­is­ter will again be try­ing to con­vince MPs that this is a good deal for Britain. A tough task, par­tic­u­larly when you look at what is on of­fer.

As an in­de­pen­dent MP, I want to in­form con­stituents that there is no pos­si­ble way I could vote for this botched Brexit deal in good faith.

I have re­ceived cor­re­spon­dence from all sides of the ar­gu­ment, but the con­sen­sus ap­pears to be that many who voted to Leave sim­ply can­not re­spect the deal the Prime Min­is­ter has put for­ward.

This is a gov­ern­ment that has crossed the red lines it set it­self months ago. Af­ter years of ne­go­ti­a­tions, all the gov­ern­ment have to show for it is a deal that keeps Britain as rule-tak­ers, not rule-mak­ers.

While the Prime Min­is­ter will try and main­tain the il­lu­sion that this deal takes back con­trol, the re­al­ity is that she knows her gov­ern­ment has fal­tered on the world stage.

I am aware that it is in­cred­i­bly dif­fi­cult to ne­go­ti­ate with the Eu­ro­pean Union, as other mem­ber states such as Greece can tes­tify, but the gov­ern­ment has still of­fered no clear as­sur­ance about the ‘in­def­i­nite back­stop’. The Prime Min­is­ter’s ‘bloody dif­fi­cult wo­man’ act is good rhetoric but sim­ply doesn’t match up to the re­al­ity of the sit­u­a­tion.

She may be stub­born, but what is on the ta­ble ap­pears to be vi­sion­less about what a post-Brexit Britain would look like. As I have said be­fore, it ap­pears that the gov­ern­ment’s pri­or­ity af­ter we leave is sim­ply to sur­vive, in­stead of to thrive. That is not what peo­ple in Peter­bor­ough voted for, and there­fore I can­not do so my­self.

I am not sure how this deal is meant to sat­isfy the coun­try when it can barely sat­isfy the Prime Min­is­ter’s own party. She can­not con­tinue to run away from the in­escapable truth that new ne­go­ti­at­ing po­si­tions and strate­gies are needed to pre­vent a dis­as­trous no deal. With Brexit Sec­re­tary af­ter Brexit Sec­re­tary re­sign­ing, it is ev­i­dent that this botched deal is the prod­uct of chaos and con­fu­sion, in­stead of hope and re­gen­er­a­tion.

The sit­u­a­tion is now more ur­gent than ever be­fore, and time is of the essence. The coun­try is months away from leav­ing the Eu­ro­pean Union, and there is no post-Brexit vi­sion, or even a deal that stands a good chance of get­ting through Par­lia­ment. I’ve al­ways said the ques­tion is how we leave the EU, not if.

I re­spect the re­sult, but I have grave con­cerns that for as long as this gov­ern­ment re­mains in power, this dan­ger­ous im­passe will con­tinue to keep British pol­i­tics and the Brexit process grid­locked.

The coun­try is months away from leav­ing the Eu­ro­pean Union, and there is no post­Brexit vi­sion

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