'Let's end the Brexit uncertainty', says West Norfolk MP
A West Norfolk MP has urged his colleagues to back new Brexit proposals during a crunch vote later today.
Sir Henry Bellingham has hailed what he claims is a "breakthrough" by Boris Johnson that could finally see Britain leave the European Union.
But both pro-EU activists and hardline Brexiteers have united in opposition to the plan.
MPs are expected to vote this afternoon on whether to accept a new withdrawal agreement with the EU in the first Saturday sitting of Parliament since the Argentinian invasion of the Falkland Islands in 1982.
Many commentators believe the vote is likely to very close with the votes of some Labour MPs and Tories who were thrown out of the party last month set to be crucial.
But Sir Henry says the time has now come to come together.
He said: “Over the past few months I have spent a lot of time visiting businesses in our area, both large and small and what I keep hearing from them is that many of them have exciting and innovative investment schemes in place, but all of this is being held up by Brexit uncertainty.
"Would it not just be a vast relief for everyone if this was lifted once and for all.”
However, pro and anti-Brexit politicians are united in opposition to the deal.
Ruth Jolley, the Brexit Party's prospective parliamentary candidate for South West Norfolk, said: "It's the second worst deal in history - with Theresa May's deal being the first.
"It will heavily restrict our foreign policy and military independence as well as policies on trade, tax, fishing, the environment, social and employment law, competition and state aid. The regulatory alignment the deal commits us to means this isn't Brexit.
"If the treaty is passed, a transition period of over 3 years is likely, when we will have no voice, no vote and no veto. And we would also be unnecessarily paying £39 billion."
Meanwhile, Labour's Jo Rust said: "They’ve wrapped up a bad deal as the only option so close to the end date.
"Henry has been clear from the start, he wants to leave. He doesn’t care about the impact this disastrous deal will have on those he claims to represent, he just wants to leave at any cost.
"Yet we know this deal will leave constituents and communities poorer. The deal also threatens our union with Ireland and Scotland and this is something I’m keen to maintain even if our MP isn’t."
And Rob Colwell, chairman of Norfolk for Europe and the Liberal Democrats' prospective parliamentary candidate for North West Norfolk, said: "The proposed deal will be bad for our economy, bad for our public services and bad for environmental standards.
"Just like every version of Brexit, this is a bad deal. Johnson’s deal is nowhere near as good as the deal we have now, as a member of the EU.
"I am more determined than ever to stop Brexit. Any deal should go back to the public in a People’s Vote and I hope this is voted on today or in the coming week."