I was really pleased that Sir Graham Brady’s amendment to seek alternatives to the Northern Ireland backstop passed with a majority of 16 on Tuesday.
Supportive of the Prime Minister’s negotiated deal with the EU, Sir Graham’s amendment now requires the backstop to be replaced with "alternative arrangements to avoid a hard border". Although not binding on the Government, the PM has said that she will be doing everything she can to reopen negotiations on alternatives to the backstop.
I voted in favour of the Brady Amendment on Tuesday, and against the other amendments selected by the Speaker which all sought to either reverse or frustrate our leaving the EU.
As a Conservative MP, I was truly delighted to see that the Brady Amendment had brought nearly all our colleagues together, with 297 of our MPs voting in favour of it along with a number of Labour MPs, the DUP, and some independent MPs. It showed the best of what collegiate politics can achieve, especially after the efforts of MPs on both sides of the debate to produce what is being heralded as the Malthouse Compromise. It was named after Housing Minister Kit Malthouse who worked with Steve Baker, Jacob Rees-Mogg, Stephen Hammond and Nicky Morgan to bring different views together.
I wish the PM every success as she goes back to Brussels to make very clear to the European Union that they must recognise the expressed position of the UK Parliament, namely that we have to find a solution to the issue of the backstop.