08 March 2019

    Thank you for your correspondence on Brexit.
    I receive correspondence from constituents pressing for many different outcomes, including a second referendum, a no-deal Brexit, extending article 50, joining the EEA, voting for the PM’s deal, voting against it, voting to stay in the customs union, voting for indicative votes in Parliament, etc.  I fear I will not be able to satisfy everybody.

    I wanted to remain in the EU but was always adamant that the result of the referendum should be respected.  For that reason I do not favour a second referendum but nor do I want a no-deal Brexit.  The Prime Minister’s deal is the best way for us to leave the EU.
    The Prime Minister and all HM Government, myself included, are working hard to deliver the deal in a form that can be accepted by Parliament.  On 26 February the Prime Minister set out the way forward:
    'First, we will hold a second Meaningful Vote by Tuesday 12 March at the latest.
    Second, if the Government has not won a Meaningful Vote by Tuesday 12 March then it will – in addition to its obligations to table a neutral, amendable motion under section 13 of the EU Withdrawal Act – table a motion to be voted on by Wednesday 13 March at the latest, asking this House if it supports leaving the EU without a Withdrawal Agreement and a framework for a future relationship on 29 March.
    So the United Kingdom will only leave without a deal on 29 March if there is explicit consent in this House for that outcome.
    Third, if the House, having rejected leaving with the deal negotiated with the EU, then rejects leaving on 29 March without a withdrawal agreement and future framework, the Government will, on 14 March, bring forward a motion on whether Parliament wants to seek a short limited extension to Article 50 – and if the House votes for an extension, seek to agree that extension approved by the House with the EU, and bring forward the necessary legislation to change the exit date commensurate with that extension.'
    In light of this commitment the original ‘Cooper-Letwin Amendment’ was withdrawn and another which reiterated the Prime Minister’s programme was tabled and agreed with Government support.  HM Government also supported the ‘Costa Amendment’ on making a discreet agreement on citizens’ rights.
    I hope that we can make sufficient progress in the coming days and weeks so that Parliament can pass the Withdrawal Agreement and we can leave the EU with a deal on 29 March.
    Thank you again for contacting me.

    Yours sincerely,

    Mel Stride MP

    MP for Central Devon

    Financial Secretary to the Treasury and Paymaster General