12 DEC 2018

Meaningful Vote Update

Like tents at a jousting match the media circus pitched camp on College Green in Westminster several days ago. Reporter and camera duos loom around the estate, inside and out, like pairs of mantises waiting for the next piece of passing Parliamentary prey.

This is a weird time, a bad time. The atmosphere on both sides of the house is terrible and I've never experienced such malevolence in this place in my 8 years as a Member. Some colleagues are not speaking to each other, some are openly having rows, the air is edgy and uneasy, without direction or unity.

The PM's understandable decision to postpone the 'meaningful vote', attracted open criticism from the Speaker amidst derision from around the house. To add petrol to the bonfire of calamity Labour's Lloyd Russel-Moyle was dismissed from the chamber after having removed the gold mace from its place in childish protest at the proceedings. Is this how we should be conducting ourselves?

Colleagues are pulling in opposing directions within their own parties, while the country watches in anguish and the rest of the world laughs at our dysfunctionality.

We are Parliamentarians with a mandate to act responsibly for the best interests of our constituents and our country. We owe them this duty and we need to get our act together.

A significant number of colleagues still seek further changes and reassurances on the Irish Backstop before they will consider supporting the PM's proposals. If these concerns can be allayed, then there may well be sufficient consensus to get the deal over the line. Then we can deliver Brexit and restore some semblance of respect to our political process and our Parliament.

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