Theresa May must now return to Brussels to renogotiate the Withdrawal Agreement with the EU, writes Conservative MP Steve Baker, a key member of the Eurosceptic European Research Group of Conservative MPs.
The postponement of the Commons’ vote is essentially a defeat of the Prime Minister’s Brexit deal.
The terms of the Withdrawal Agreement were so bad that they didn’t dare put it to Parliament for a vote. This isn’t the mark of a stable government or a strong plan.
The Prime Minister should now go back to Brussels and demand a better deal:
1, get rid of the dreaded backstop or at least seek a right to leave the backstop unilaterally so that our UK Parliament is truly sovereign;
2, reform the political declaration so that it commits us to a free-trade agreement, rather than to “build and improve on the single customs territory”;
3, keep hold of our £39 billion and use it to negotiate a Canada-style trade deal with the EU – something they’ve offered us already
4, ensure there is no role for the European Court in our affairs.
Parliament should have been allowed to voice its concerns about the proposed Withdrawal Agreement.
Without a clear rejection of the terms by MPs, the Prime Minister has kicked the can down the road and the EU is very unlikely to re-negotiate.