MPs defend Prime Minister after bad Brexit week
North West Norfolk MP Sir Henry Bellingham has defended the Prime Minister as an “honourable and patriotic person doing her best for the country”.
He told The Lynn News there remains plenty of support for Theresa May, who wrote to the European Union this week asking for a three-month delay to Brexit.
Sir Henry said: “Of course members of the public are getting frustrated but what I am finding is that there is a huge amount of support, sympathy and understanding of the Prime Minister’s position.
“Most people I meet are saying they regard her as an honourable and patriotic person doing her best for the country.
“As I have said many times her deal is far from perfect, but it does deliver a legal Brexit and enables us to reach the next stage which are the trade negotiations.”
He also said he felt “personally very sad” the Withdrawal Agreement was not passed after voting in support of it twice, and regrets the fact the United Kingdom is “most unlikely” to be leaving the European Union on March 29.
His words come after South West Norfolk MP Liz Truss was one of seven Cabinet ministers who voted against the Prime Minister’s motion to delay Brexit last Thursday.
She said: “The British people voted for Brexit and I want this government to deliver it.
"I voted against a delay and I fully understand the public’s frustration with the current situation – the sooner we leave, the sooner we can get on with negotiating our own trade negotiations.
“I support the Prime Minister’s withdrawal agreement and I am urging my colleagues to get behind it.
"There are lots of opportunities post Brexit and any delay to leaving the EU needs to be minimised to a short, technical extension."
In a week where Speaker John Bercow was the centre of attention after ruling out a third vote without “substantial changes” by Mrs May, Sir Henry has not ruled out becoming Speaker himself.
He said: “I stood for the Deputy Speakership in 2013 and came very close to getting it.
“I have always maintained if the current Speaker stands down whilst I am still in the House and not too old then I would certainly put my hat into the ring.
“However, the Speaker has said that he will stay in place until after Brexit so we have no idea of when he is likely to go.”