Being called to ask a House of Commons question to the Prime Minister does not happen every week, so when the opportunity comes around it is important to make the most of it.
Last week, I asked Theresa May to rule out delaying Brexit beyond 29th March this year. I remain concerned of a threat to Brexit through any possible Article 50 extension.
The Prime Minister is of course in the middle of negotiations with the EU so cannot absolutely rule things in or out, and I support continuing these talks and urge her to take a robust approach.
The following day I spoke in the parliamentary debate on our EU withdrawal, highlighting the point that we need to end the uncertainty over leaving. One thing which would prolong uncertainty, not to mention damage our democracy, is to hold another referendum after the people made their decision in 2016.
Indeed, ahead of that vote, the Government at the time spent more than £9 million of taxpayers’ money on a leaflet to every household in the country not only urging people to vote Remain, but stating clearly that the verdict of the electorate would be carried out. It was clear that this was a once in a generation decision.
The Brexit vote was a call not just to leave the European Union, but for wider change in our country. We need to seize this moment which should include further reforms, including greater devolving of powers locally.
Typical of what I hear from Crawley residents was what someone said to me on Tilgate Parade the other day, which was that we need to get on and implement the decision taken more than two and a half years ago now without delay – by a majority of 58 per cent of electors here in Crawley.
The people of Crawley and our country have been clear and the Government must ensure this instruction is enacted.
Henry Smith MP