Harold Wilson famously said a week is a long time in politics, so writing a column at the start of a week to be read at the end is always risky.
The 2016 EU Referendum was meant to bring the country together but actually achieved the opposite. I voted to trigger Article 50 in good faith in order to find a deal. I admire the Prime Minister’s stamina but not her judgement. The handling of negotiations has been flawed from the start and when the EU failed to live up to the part of villains the Prime Minister blamed MP’s. MPs were actually doing their job, scrutinising her plan and assessing the cost. And there will be a cost, particularly in the North East.
This week I was briefed on Privy Council terms on the impact of leaving the EU without a deal. It underlined to me the importance of avoiding a no deal Brexit. Last weekend London saw one of its biggest marches, for a People’s Vote and Parliament saw its biggest ever petition calling for Article 50 to be revoked.
It is from that mix – from no deal to a deal to revocation – that MP’s are tasked with finding a way forward. Even if a deal emerges I fear it may lack sufficient authority. In those circumstances it would be right to put it back to the people who started and should end the process.