9th December 2018

The decision I make and the vote I cast in the House of Commons next week on 11th December, is the one of the most important votes I have ever made as your Member of Parliament.

Following the announcement by the Prime Minister of the details of the deal she has negotiated and agreed with the European Commission, I have received hundreds of helpful letters and emails with views from the Royal Town about how Britain should now proceed.

I think everyone appreciates that this is an extremely complex issue as we all try to decide what is in the best interests of the Royal Town and our country. I have always believed that the Prime Minister should be strongly supported by Parliament as she negotiates this deal. But once the Executive have made their decision, it is for the House of Commons to make its judgment. While the Government proposes, it is for us in the House of Commons as your elected representatives to dispose. There is no doubt that the business community is broadly supportive of the Prime Minister’s deal. I fully understand that business likes certainty and worries about risk. The concerns of the business community are extremely important because business provides the jobs and incomes of so many of my constituents.

But I am also extremely conscious that our country is now more divided over Brexit than it has been in my political lifetime. Not just in places like the Royal Town where we were split 50:50 between those who want to leave the EU and those who wished to remain. But political parties, communities and families are all divided on this issue and it is important that the country moves on, reunites and comes back together. One of the problems with the Prime Minister’s deal is that it shows all of the appearances of perpetuating this division: Brexiteers will argue that we haven’t properly left and those who wished to remain will now say that our country is now ‘rule taker’ under the new arrangements whereas previously we were makers of the rules. Thus is division perpetuated as neither side of this harsh divide will see the deal as a satisfactory one.

Add to all of this that the Government is a minority one and Ministers have had to learn that power in Minority Governments, flows out of the Cabinet room and across the road into the House of Commons. We may be about to see a significant change with Parliament reasserting its authority over Ministers. After all it is Ministers who are accountable to Parliament and not the other way around.

The picture shows the First Minister of Northern Ireland with our MP Andrew Mitchell, the President of the Royal Sutton Coldfield Conservative Association, Ewan Mackey and Mr Christopher Ives the Chairman of the Royal Sutton Coldfield Conservative Association.

Andrew Mitchell with First Minister of Northern Ireland Arlene Foster