This evening I am attending a meeting with members of the local Conservative association. Many of them are unhappy about the things I have been saying and doing in Parliament in relation to Brexit and want me to be deselected as the local Conservative standard bearer. That is their right. But I do want to make sure that the constituents I represent in Parliament, have an accurate picture of my views. Here is what I really think:
1. The best thing would be for the UK to leave the EU on 29th March with a deal that has been ratified by Parliament. That’s why I voted for the PM’s deal last week and will vote for any variant of the deal that she agrees with EU and brings to Commons.
2. The next best thing would be for the Government and the EU to extend Article 50 for a few months so an alternative deal like Common Market 2.0 or Norway Plus can be negotiated and ratified.
3. Revoking Article 50 and abandoning Brexit would be a huge mistake. I will never support it.
4. Leaving the EU on 29th March without a deal would be a disaster for farmers, businesses and families in Lincolnshire as the country is not remotely ready and the government has totally failed to make the necessary preparations. I will do everything in my power to stop it happening.
5. A second referendum would deepen divisions and increase cynicism about the honesty and competence of politicians. I will never vote for one.
6. The UK voted to leave the EU and must now forge a new kind of relationship with our European neighbours. If a second referendum were to be held, I would not vote to remain in the EU.
I doubt many readers will agree with me on all of these points. But I have thought very hard about them and drawn what I think are the right conclusions for those I was elected to serve.