North Swindon MP Justin Tomlinson releases statement following tumultuous week in Parliament

By Ben Fitzgerald - 15 March 2019


Justin Tomlinson, Conservative MP for North Swindon, has released the following statement following a rollercoaster week in Parliament - with key votes taking place on the Brexit issue:

"It is unsurprising that trust in politicians is at a low point. Since the UK voted to Leave the European Union in 2016, there have been Members of Parliament from both sides of the debate who have frustrated, delayed and attempted to block Brexit. 

Remain MPs who have not accepted the decision have voted consistently against the progress of Brexit through Parliament; and on Tuesday evening, ERG Brexiteers voted against delivering a Brexit deal that would have seen us take back control of our laws, money & borders, as well as leave the Customs Union & Single Market at the end of the transition period.

Ironically those MPs who want to reverse Brexit merrily joined forces with those who refuse to accept a sensible & orderly Brexit deal.

I voted to Leave in the referendum campaign. As the MP for a constituency which also voted Leave, I have respected this decision at every single opportunity in the House of Commons by voting for Brexit. 

It has always been my position that we need to leave the European Union in a sensible and orderly way with a deal. Throughout the referendum, the Leave campaign themselves said that they would have to agree a deal in order to leave the EU.  

I still believe that the Prime Minister’s deal delivers on the referendum result (for the reasons given above) whilst remaining close allies with the European Union on a variety of issues including security and trade. The transition period in the deal would also allow businesses, including those here in Swindon which create thousands of local jobs, to adjust. This is crucial.

It won’t be perfect for everybody but in these situations it is absolutely essential for the sake of the country for both sides to dig themselves out of their respective trenches and compromise to break the deadlock. 

This week there have been a number of votes including on some complex amendments. On Tuesday, I voted to deliver Brexit.

On Wednesday, I voted against taking No Deal off the table. As a former business owner, I understand that you cannot take your strongest negotiating hand off the table – regardless of whether you intend to use it or not. 

However I also understand that businesses need more than 15 days to adjust and make the necessary arrangements – whether that be to prepare for a deal or no deal. Having had numerous meetings with businesses of all sizes in Swindon, I know just how important it is to have an orderly process rather than a cliff-edge. I cannot ignore the views of local job creators who want transition time; which is why on Thursday, I voted for a small delay to Article 50 (on the provision that it will allow more legislative time for the deal to pass).  

To be clear, I do not want an indefinite delay. Which is why I also voted to keep No Deal on the table.  But if a short amount of time is required in order to reach a deal that a majority can agree on, then that is sensible and pragmatic. By voting for a small delay to Article 50, yet keeping no deal on the table to focus minds, I want to ensure that we do actually leave whilst protecting businesses. This means we can deliver the will of the public, whilst not forcing businesses into a situation in which they are not prepared for in two weeks’ time.

I am, and have always been, fully committed in delivering Brexit. If we do not deliver that, then trust in our politics will plummet and the public will rightly ask why they should ever bother to vote again.  MPs from both sides of the debate, with equally strongly held views, need to be willing to compromise for the sake of the public and businesses.

I will continue to vote to deliver Brexit in the only way that is possible - through a sensible and orderly way that allows businesses the crucial time to adjust.  Next week will be the final chance for common sense to prevail.

To read South Swindon MP Robert Buckland's statement regarding the week of key votes click here.


Your Comments

Justin is to be admired for his commitment to corresponding with constituents on any matters of concern. But he and I beg to differ on the matter of brexit. He wrote to me today to again say that he believes we need to respect the outcome of the referendum. This was my reply:
Justin - I'm a strong advocate of RESPECT too, but in this case I believe it is more important to respect the people, rather than the outcome of a corrupt referendum. By all means respect those who voted to leave, including those who voted that way because they believed the lies and empty promises (and possibly still do). But also respect those that voted to remain, who believe they are having their EU Citizenship stolen from them, with its unique rights and privileges. Respect too for the disenfranchised - long-term UK residents overseas and EU citizens resident and working in the UK, who are anxious that they will be second class citizens in the new post-brexit order. And likewise respect the whole population, especially younger people who stand to lose so much in the way of living standards, opportunity and security by any form of brexit. And respect our nation, which up until now has enjoyed a leading influence in the development of the European project and which stands to throw it all away. Likewise respect our United Kingdom, which could soon disintegrate into individual, less powerful states if brexit has its terrible way.
I think this matter of respect certainly applies to the business community too. He refers to favouring a 'small delay to Article 50'. 'Small' will not be long enough, even if TM coerces enough of her party to accept her failed 'deal' in the coming days, especially when the promise of business opportunity is so spurious. She has resisted all attempts to enable Parliament to find common ground through a series of indicative votes - in fact it is quite clear that it is her 'deal', or go to [CENSORED]. This is hardly businesslike in the 21st Century. I bet she would send in a gunboat if she could!

Posted: 15 March 2019, 6.13PM by: SwindonGeezer

Tell that to the employees of Honda. Well done mate. You're slowly breaking the UK with this Brexit rubbish.

Posted: 15 March 2019, 6.52PM by: Billy Bob

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