Peterborough and Cambridgeshire’s metro mayor has called for Theresa May’s Brexit deal to be delivered.
Asked by the Peterborough Telegraph for his views on the EU withdrawal agreement, which has prompted numerous ministerial resignations today, Mayor James Palmer said: “I feel on balance that this deal should be delivered and government can then work on getting the best possible trade deal during the transition period from March 2019.”
Mayor Palmer voted Remain in the EU referendum, but said in October 2017 he had been converted into a Leaver after becoming “increasingly upbeat and confident” about what Brexit could mean for the county.
Another Remain voter was Shailesh Vara, Conservative MP for North West Cambridgeshire, who today quit his role as Northern Ireland minister.
Mr Vara, whose constituency covers parts of Peterborough, said Mrs May’s deal would leave the UK in a “half-way house”.
His resignation was supported by former MP for Peterborough Stewart Jackson, who tweeted: “My former neighbour @ShaileshVara has done the right thing for his country and his constituents in NW Cambridgeshire.”
Conservative member for Stanground South on Peterborough City Council, Cllr Chris Harper, tweeted about Mr Vara: “Our MP truly is a man of principle and he has my full backing. I am struggling to justify staying a member of our party because of this but part of me also knows this can only be sorted by the us coming together rather than jumping ship entirely.”
East of England Labour MEP Alex Mayer labelled Brexit a “once in a generation catastrophe for our country”.
She added: “I will never back a deal that further deregulates the economy, supports neo-liberalism but undermines the rights of working people.
“We were promised the same benefits we enjoy today in terms of trade and access to the world’s largest single market. Instead, Britain will be stuck in an indefinite limbo without any real say.
“Theresa May is wrong - this Brexit deal isn’t in the national interest.
“I don’t want this bad deal or no deal. It’s time for a general election or a public vote on the deal.”