This week, the Prime Minister has requested that the current parliamentary session end in September, with a new session commencing on Monday 14th October, and a Queen’s Speech setting out the Government’s legislative agenda for the next year.
It is a long-established precedent that Parliament is prorogued for a period of time prior to a Queen’s Speech, marking the beginning of a new parliamentary session. This current parliamentary sitting has lasted more than 340 days, the longest in almost 350 years, and a new legislative agenda must be brought forward so that we can get on and back our NHS, fight crime, better fund our schools, and boost our infrastructure – all issues which I know are important to the people of Cheadle.
The Prime Minister is not proroguing Parliament to force through a ‘No-deal’ exit from the European Union, and Parliament will have sufficient time starting next week and following the Queen’s Speech to debate a new Withdrawal Agreement. Should a new deal be forthcoming at the EU Council on 17th October, the Government will introduce a Withdrawal Agreement Bill and move at pace to secure its passage before 31st October. I fully expect to support a deal should one be agreed with the EU.
Parliament has debated our withdrawal from the European Union for more than 500 hours over the past 3 years. We have all had the chance to make our views clear on the best way to proceed with Brexit and shape the necessary legislation. As your MP, I have argued the case in Parliament for leaving the EU with a deal. I have also served on the European Statutory Instruments Committee, ensuring that our statute books are ready for when we leave the EU.
My view on the manner of our departure from the EU has been straightforward and has not changed - leaving with a deal is the best way to deliver the national referendum result which I promised to respect. To that end, the Prime Minister has made clear that a key part of the Queen’s Speech will be the introduction of a Withdrawal Agreement Bill should an agreement be reached with the EU.
I have been entirely consistent with regards to our relationship with the European Union since I was first elected as MP for Cheadle in 2015. I was elected on a manifesto pledging to hold a referendum and when the House of Commons overwhelmingly voted for such a referendum to take place, politicians from across the political spectrum, and on both sides of the campaign, promised to both respect and implement that result.
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 abide by the verdict of the British people by voting with a clear majority of colleagues from all parties to invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty and begin the process of exiting the EU.
It continues to be my view that leaving with a deal is the best means of exiting the European Union in an orderly way and I still believe that it is possible to secure Parliament’s support.