Thank you to everyone from Chelmsford who has written to me in the past 24 hours or so.
I voted for the Prime Minster’s Withdrawal Agreement today. If the Agreement had been passed, it would have enabled the UK to ensure an extension of time so that the full deal that has been negotiated between the Government and the EU can be further considered. This would be in line with the position I have taken consistently since the referendum, which is to Leave the EU, but with a deal rather than no deal.
As the Agreement was not passed today, it is now unclear if the agreed deal between the UK and the EU can be delivered. Therefore I will continue to work with colleagues in the Conservative Party and beyond, for an alternative. I expect to vote for some of those alternatives next Monday if that is the case.
The best future for the UK and the EU is for a new relationship between us as good independent partners, especially with a deep relationship especially on trade and security. This is in line with the manifesto I stood on in the last election.
These are unprecedented times in Parliament and I know from reading through the thousands of emails and other pieces of correspondence that I have received that there is a large amount of frustration in Chelmsford and across the country. Many people have contacted me about their support for a second referendum. However my reservations persist. In addition has been made clear on several occasions that leaving the EU without a deal is not acceptable to the majority of MPs
It is difficult to predict what might happen in the coming days. In my nearly ten years as an elected parliamentarian I have never known a period of time like this. The emails I receive contain strongly worded views, and occasionally these are in terms that are personal and offensive. Although it is disappointing, I understand the strength of feeling on Brexit. I take note of everyone’s views and comments and my job is to absorb it all and try to find a solution which will attempt to satisfy the majority, and best meet the needs of all those I represent.