Article 50 (Revocation)

From the outset, I would like to state my position that Article 50 should not be revoked. 

I was elected as MP for Cheadle in 2015 on a manifesto pledging to hold a referendum on the UK's membership of the European Union. The House of Commons overwhelmingly voted for such a referendum to take place and politicians from across the political spectrum and on both sides of the campaign promised to both respect and implement the result.      

Therefore, despite both personally voting to remain and being conscious of the fact that 57% of people in Cheadle did so too, I kept my promise to the people of Cheadle to abide by the verdict of the British people by voting with a clear majority of my colleagues from across the House to invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty. I was then re-elected in 2017 with an increased share of the vote on a manifesto promising to both respect the result of the referendum and in doing so, to leave the Single Market and the Customs Union. 

I appreciate that some believe that I should reflect the fact that Cheadle voted to remain by supporting the revocation of Article 50. However, I think it is important to bear in mind that a significant number of remain voters, like myself, believe that the decision of the majority of UK voters must be respected. Furthermore, if each MP was to vote according to how their constituencies voted in the EU referendum, a clear majority of MPs would vote to oppose revocation given that a clear majority of constituencies voted to leave. 

I have never believed that leaving the EU without a deal is a position which the people and the businesses of Cheadle, or the country as a whole, want. There is a clear majority of voters who want the UK and the EU to have a forward-looking partnership whether they supported remain or leave. As such, whilst I agree with your desire to prevent a 'no deal' scenario, I do not believe that revocation of Article 50 and thus completely setting aside the verdict of 17.4 million voters is a solution that a majority of the electorate either in Cheadle or the country would support. Indeed, I believe the only solution is for Parliament to pass the Withdrawal Agreement. 

Whatever we think about what the future relationship between the EU and the UK should be, regardless of whether we think the UK should stay in the Single Market or the Customs Union, the UK can only negotiate a future relationship once the Withdrawal Agreement has been ratified. 

Some MPs who voted against the Withdrawal Agreement have made clear that they do not wish to stop the UK leaving the EU, they simply disagree with the Prime Minister's vision of our future relationship. These MPs have acknowledged that they would not and could not change the Withdrawal Agreement. I have therefore urged all such MPs to act upon the logic of their position and to vote in favour of the Withdrawal Agreement.