European Union (Withdrawal) Act: [9th Allotted Day]

I had planned to support amendment (q) this evening, because the safeguards sought on the backstop are necessary and supported by a substantial number of Members. However, I shall now be voting for the similar amendment (f), which was tabled by my hon. Friend
the Member for Basildon and Billericay (Mr Baron). I arrived in Westminster yesterday expecting to resign today as a PPS to vote against the motion. While there is much to support in the withdrawal agreement and future partnership, under a prolonged backstop, we could not take back the control that I campaigned for in the referendum and 71% of my constituents in Dudley South voted for. That has not changed, and this still worries me.

I have concluded, however, that there is now a much greater threat to the Brexit that my constituents voted for. Events over the past week show that there are some in this House who will stop at little to frustrate Brexit, leaving no convention and no established practice of the House safe. I cannot risk those who have never accepted the referendum result stealing the Brexit that my constituents and people around the country voted for in record numbers. My constituents are not stupid; they were not misled. They knew that they were voting to take back control of our laws, our borders, our trade and our money. They knew it would not be plain sailing, but they knew it was a battle worth fighting. They expect us to deliver.

I do not expect the motion to pass tonight, so the Government must listen to genuine concerns across the House. The deal with which they come back to the House must genuinely take back the control that the people voted for in 2016. I will support that work, starting tonight with this evening’s vote. It is the last chance and the best chance we have to deliver on the promise of Brexit, and our democracy desperately needs it to succeed.