York Outer MP Julian Sturdy:Ultimately, I believe that agreeing to the deal represents a leap of faith, and that is why, currently, I could not vote for it. However, having said that, I do not believe that no deal or no Brexit are unacceptable alternatives. In delivering a second referendum, we would just continue, and even deepen, the division and uncertainty with what would be an abdication of our responsibility as elected representatives to deliver a workable solution. I also have grave concerns about no deal. I believe it would lead to an economic correction.
Huddersfield MP Barry Sheerman:This deal does not deliver what we need or want. The Chancellor is looking at me carefully. He has criticised me in the past for synthetic passion. This is not synthetic, Chancellor. This is me with a heartfelt plea about our global position as a nation. I am speaking from a Parliament that should be representing the people from our constituencies. I do not want a poorer Britain. I do not want poorer constituents. This deal will deliver both those sad outcomes, and I urge the House to vote down the motion.
Scunthorpe MP Nic Dakin:The PM has not listened to the people. In 2017, she asked for a larger majority to push through a hard Brexit and the people said, “No thank you!” Afterwards, she should have reached out to all the Opposition parties, not just the Democratic Unionist party, in the interests of national unity to find a way forward. Instead, she has dug into her bunker, behaving as though she has a huge majority even though she leads a minority Government. That is what has got us to today: a Government of headless chickens running round in ever-decreasing circles of Dante’s “Inferno”.
Rotherham MP Sarah Champion:Rotherham voted overwhelmingly to leave the EU, and I take very seriously my job to represent my constituency. I want to support this deal, but I cannot currently as it has fundamental flaws—not least, that it omits protections of workers’ rights. The political declaration is vague and non-binding. It is not a framework for a future trade deal.
Batley and Spen MP Tracy Brabin:In this febrile atmosphere, we must lead from the front with calm and purpose. If we do not, the tensions I feel in community halls and pubs across my constituency will only get louder and angrier. With religious hate crimes up fivefold in the last five years, Batley and Spen is at a tipping point. For some in Batley and Spen, Tommy Robinson is a welcome visitor. We know that the far right is increasingly emboldened by this worst of all deals.
Alec Shelbrooke, Elmet and Rothwell:When I have looked around the Chamber and listened to the speeches, I have realised that a lot of the opposition is based on so many issues other than the actual deal on the table. It is based around whether people can get a general election, a second referendum or a reversal of the deal, or perhaps on whether it will help somebody’s leadership hopes. Only a few people in here are ideologically opposed to the idea of any deal, and I respect them because it is a position they have held for a long time.
Great Grimsby MP Melanie Onn:Like all colleagues, I have been inundated with emails from my constituents about the withdrawal agreement vote in December and the one coming up later today. For those who worry that MPs do not read their emails, I would just say: Chris from Scartho wants to remain; Pete on the Willows wants a closer deal than is offered by the current deal; I hear that Sue in Yarborough wants a clean break regardless of Northern Ireland, jobs or wages being impacted; and Christopher in the same area is telling me that I should reject this calamitous Chequers betrayal and we should just leave. I hear all those views.
Thirsk and Malton MP Kevin Hollinrake:A no deal could have significant and perhaps irreversible consequences for Northern Ireland and for the integrity of the United Kingdom, which is why I support the Prime Minister’s deal. The deal is a stepping-stone to the future. Yes, there are risks, but clearly we have negotiation advantages, too. For an SME, hope is not a strategy.
Morley and Outwood MP Andrea Jenkyns: The Prime Minister speaks of a deal that will unite our country, a goal that no doubt we all desire, but the division we have seen is of the Prime Minister’s own making. Her desire to get a deal at any cost, prolonging “Project Fear”, and her decision to postpone last month’s withdrawal agreement vote were mistakes—and that decision has only led to more division at a time when our country should be uniting behind the democratic decision to leave the EU.
Brigg and Goole MP Andrew Percy:The Secretary of State made a comment about working more closely with Parliament. I ask him to reflect on the fact that this place is grossly out of touch with the public on the fundamental issue of whether we are a member of the European Union. This House is not representative of the people.
Doncaster MP Caroline Flint:For too long the debate in this House has been polarised, with the rhetoric too sharp and many Members on both sides of the House too quick to condemn and too slow to listen. I campaigned for remain. A majority of my voters voted leave, although many voted remain as well. I have always been honest with my leave voters that there will have to be compromise in the final deal that allows us to chart our own future and have more independence over many policy areas—the ability to move beyond the EU and deal with many of the concerns that led to their voting leave. But I have also been up front about recognising that we need a strong partnership with the European Union as we leave, and much of that strength is through co-operation.