Robin Walker MP has maintained his commitment to leaving the European Union, and opposed Jeremy Corbyn’s proposal for extending negotiations with no clear plan for how to get a deal. He voted against the emergency debate proposal in the Commons last night and will vote against the proposed legislation which would tie the Government’s hands today.
Last night, Robin voted against the proposal to bring forward a bill for extension to the Brexit deadline into next year. Those MPs from across the House who supported this extension have not yet been able to explain what the extension would be used for or how it would help resolve the deadlock- except to overturn the result of the referendum. The Prime Minister meanwhile has been clear that he is pursuing a deal with the EU and will bring one back to the House of Commons to debate following the European Council in mid October.
Three years ago, the people of this country came out in record numbers for what proved to be the largest democratic exercise of this nation’s history, Worcester voted by a clear majority to leave the European Union and many of those voters find it frustrating that three years on the UK remains a member state. In Worcester more than 29,000 people voted to leave the EU and Robin has repeatedly made clear that he intends to respect that vote. He voted to leave the EU with a deal on three occasions under the last Prime Minister and has welcomed the new Prime Minister’s commitment to doing so.
Over 80% of sitting Members of Parliament were elected on a manifesto that pledged to respect the result of the referendum and deliver Brexit. Both the Conservative Party and the Labour party promised to do so in the 2017 General Election and between them they won over 90% of the votes in Worcester that year.
Robin continues to support his manifesto commitment to leave the EU and has taken every Parliamentary opportunity to do so with a deal. He in has always been clear that while he would prefer to leave the EU with a Withdrawal Agreement and future partnership in place, leaving without a deal would be preferable to a bad deal or not leaving at all. The British people must be able to trust their politicians to deliver on their promises, and the Prime Minister has made it clear that the UK will be leaving the EU on 31st of October.
Having served as a Minister in the Department for Exiting he EU over the last three years he is strongly supportive of the argument that the best way of getting a deal done is to be prepared to leave without one and he has had strong support from constituents on the doorsteps of Worcester for this approach.
Speaking to BBC Herefordshire and Worcestershire, Robin said:
“We need a decisive outcome. I have voted for a deal three times and I want to leave the EU with a deal, but I hear day in day out from my constituents that they are fed up with the delay, they want a decision on this [Brexit] and they want their vote to be respected.”
“55 per cent of people in Worcester voted to leave the European Union and I think they are long overdue delivery on what they voted for. Therefore, I will be supporting the Prime Minister and the call for a general election to decide this issue because I think it is absolutely essential that we respect democracy and respect what people voted for, not only in the referendum but also all those people who voted for the Conservative party and, for that matter, the Labour party in 2017.”
“By delaying until December [as this bill suggests, we would] send the EU a signal that the longer, we delay the longer we will continue to pay into their coffers and there is no reason for them to negotiate. I think it is much better to negotiate with a strong hand, that we are ready to leave.”
“Labour has gone for an extension with no plan as to what they want to use that extension for. It is very clear that the only reason for this is to reverse the referendum and I don’t think that is something which is democratically acceptable. Labour MPs have consistently voted against a deal and they are proposing no solutions, just endless extensions.”
Robin highlighted two of the speeches from the debate in Parliament last night which resonated with him:
Speaking from Chamber last night, Member of Parliament for West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine, Andrew Bowie, said:
“To those on the Opposition Benches who claim that they would do anything to stop no deal, I ask this simple question: why didn’t you? When the question was brought before the House three times, why didn’t you?”
“If those Members were genuinely serious about doing anything to stop no deal, they would have voted for a deal, so I ask them to stop pulling the wool over the eyes of the public and to be honest with voters.”
Also speaking from within the Chamber, Member for Bromley and Chislehurst, Bob Neil, said:
“If I believed that passing this motion today would make it easier for us to achieve a deal, I would support it, but I do not believe that it does. You will know, Mr Speaker, that I have not been afraid to defy the Whip of my party in the past when I thought it right and proper to do so. But after real heart searching and thought, I have concluded that it would not have that effect, and that it might, regrettably, have the contrary effect, of reducing the Government’s leverage in negotiations. If we are to get a deal, the only point that we will realistically do that now is at the Council on 17 and 18 October. I do not wish to bind the hands of the Government in the run-up to that; it may be a narrowing window of opportunity to get a deal.”
Notes to editors:
For more information on last night’s votes and statements, please see:
For Robin’s previous releases relating to Brexit, please click here.
For more information on Robin’s Brexit voting record, please see: