Sir Edward Leigh: Statement on Leadership Ballot & Brexit Withdrawal Agreement

Sir Edward Leigh commented:

“I did not ask for the Leadership vote to be triggered. I  did not and do not consider it has been helpful to the true  Brexit cause. I have not told anyone how I voted; it is a secret ballot for a good reason, to enable people to vote for what’s good for the country,  not to please one side or another .

“I am backing PMs bid to get a legally enforceable end to the backstop. I hope to be able to vote for her deal if we get further reassurance on this. I want to get Brexit on 29th March with an end to freedom of movement and this is what the Government wants and what Lincolnshire people want.

“My amendment would achieve certainty by mandating the Government to abrogate those parts of the treaty relating to the backstop if they last beyond 2021. It can be found on the order paper.”

I have discussed it twice with the PM alone in the last two weeks and she and the Chief whip have thanked me for my constructive efforts. Both sides in this debate need to work together and realise that we cannot get all we want. I think we also need to ensure that we are all polite and respectful to each other. 

“I personally think a no deal exit on World Trade Organisation terms is perfectly manageable, but sadly there is no majority for it in Parliament.

“I am fearful that if Mrs May’s deal is rejected we could end up with a second referendum. That would be a disaster. The people of Lincolnshire were told that this was a full and final decision. Sixty-two percent of my constituents voted leave, as I did. Our task is to implement that decision by working together.”