Statement from Robert Buckland MP

"I have been working constantly for a smooth Brexit, rather than a crash out no deal at the end of the month.

“I voted again for the Withdrawal Agremeent on Tuesday and after it was lost by a narrower margin, On Wednesday, I wanted to support the Government’s original motion ruling out a no deal Brexit on 29th March, together with an amendment that sought out another way of providing an orderly Brexit (known as the Malthouse compromise). This Brexit initiative would have helped us to deliver a working Brexit that gave maximum certainty to our businesses and citizens. It would have also meant that Britain left the EU on time with a new backstop, which would have been acceptable indefinitely, as well as helping to incentivise us all to reach a new future relationship with the EU.

“The Malthouse compromise was not passed and instead, a widely-drawn Spelman amendment trying to rule out a no deal ever, which I had voted against, was passed.  I then did not feel right to vote against the only chance to oppose a crash out on 29th March, which is why I abstained in the final vote on Wednesday.

"On Thursday, I voted against a second referendum and in favour of seeking a short extension to Article 50 if the Withdrawal Agreement deal is approved next week, or a longer extension if the Agreement failed to pass next week.

“I have consistently voted to end the uncertainty but have and will always try to act what I judge to be in the best interests of the Swindon economy.  I will be voting again for the Withdrawal Agreement next week as the quickest way to end the uncertainty and to secure Brexit as soon as possible within the next few months.”