George Freeman calls on MPs to back the Prime Minister’s Brexit withdrawal agreement

26th February 2019

Following the Prime Minister’s statement to the House of Commons on the Government’s work to secure a withdrawal agreement that Parliament will approve, George Freeman calls on MPs to back the deal but in the event that it is rejected calls on the Governemnt to look at EFTA as a solution.

Public trust in this institution is low and falling. I welcome the Prime Minister’s statement that she, this Government and this party will honour the referendum result. She, like me, campaigned for remain, and we are equally committed to getting a deal. I beg colleagues who do not think that this deal is perfect to vote for it so that we can move on and deliver what the British people asked for. In the event that the House rejects the Prime Minister’s deal again, which I hope it does not, and rejects no deal, can we use the extension period to reach across the House—in the spirit of what the right hon. Member for Don Valley has said—and look at EFTA instead of the backstop, and at other variations? We need to deliver a Brexit in the national interest, not party interest.

My hon. Friend is right to say that we are working to deliver a deal in the national interest. We have reached across the House, although we have so far had limited discussions with those on the official Opposition Front Bench. We are happy to continue those discussions with the Opposition Front Bench, but we have also been talking to Members from across the House. It is important that we get a deal that the House is able to support, and the stronger the support across the House, the better that will be.