How I will vote on May’s Brexit deal

Fiona Onasanya
Fiona Onasanya

We have been asked why the PT is publishing Fiona Onasanya’s columns following her conviction at the Old Bailey.

The PT offers columns to the two sitting MPs covering Peterborough if they choose to submit one. While she is still the MP - and therefore the elected representative - we believe it would be wrong to deny our readers the chance to read what she has submitted. To censor the column would, in my view, be wrong, and in my experience our readers are quite capable of making their own minds up about the columns submitted by local politicians. The column will of course remain subject to our normal legal and Editor’s Code of Conduct boundaries.

Editor - Mark Edwards

The EU Withdrawal Bill, assuming there are no further delays, will be put forward in Parliament next week.

After realising she didn’t have enough support from her own party or others to get her deal through Parliament in November, the Prime Minister will again be trying to convince MPs that this is a good deal for Britain. A tough task, particularly when you look at what is on offer.

As an independent MP, I want to inform constituents that there is no possible way I could vote for this botched Brexit deal in good faith.

I have received correspondence from all sides of the argument, but the consensus appears to be that many who voted to Leave simply cannot respect the deal the Prime Minister has put forward.

This is a government that has crossed the red lines it set itself months ago. After years of negotiations, all the government have to show for it is a deal that keeps Britain as rule-takers, not rule-makers. While the Prime Minister will try and maintain the illusion that this deal takes back control, the reality is that she knows her government has faltered on the world stage.

I am aware that it is incredibly difficult to negotiate with the European Union, as other member states such as Greece can testify, but the government has still offered no clear assurance about the ‘indefinite backstop’. The Prime Minister’s ‘bloody difficult woman’ act is good rhetoric but simply doesn’t match up to the reality of the situation.

She may be stubborn, but what is on the table appears to be visionless about what a post-Brexit Britain would look like. As I have said before, it appears that the government’s priority after we leave is simply to survive, instead of to thrive. That is not what people in Peterborough voted for, and therefore I cannot do so myself.

I am not sure how this deal is meant to satisfy the country when it can barely satisfy the Prime Minister’s own party. She cannot continue to run away from the inescapable truth that new negotiating positions and strategies are needed to prevent a disastrous no deal. With Brexit Secretary after Brexit Secretary resigning, it is evident that this botched deal is the product of chaos and confusion, instead of hope and regeneration.

The situation is now more urgent than ever before, and time is of the essence. The country is months away from leaving the European Union, and there is no post-Brexit vision, or even a deal that stands a good chance of getting through Parliament. I’ve always said the question is how we leave the EU, not if.

I respect the result, but I have grave concerns that for as long as this government remains in power, this dangerous impasse will continue to keep British politics and the Brexit process gridlocked.