Public views are all-important

Ronnie Campbell MP'Picture by Jane Coltman
Ronnie Campbell MP'Picture by Jane Coltman

How is possible that even the current government could have made such a pig’s ear over Brexit?

At Westminster we’re debating yet again on Theresa May’s hopeless compromise deal as the clock ticks towards our exit from the EU on March 29.

The prime minister insists that there is no Plan B, and the bureaucrats and chancers in Brussels and Strasbourg are not going to give an inch, which means there is every chance of a ‘no deal’.

The Tories are dangerously divided on the issue, as, to be fair, is my own Labour party.

As a life-long socialist I’ve generally seen the EU as a bureaucratic billionaire boys’ club.

But most importantly, my Blyth Valley constituents voted by a 60 per cent margin to get out. Their views are all-important.

I don’t disregard those who voted Remain, and accept that a ‘no deal’ Brexit would cause short-term problems regarding trade, industry and national borders, although I think those problems will be sorted out over time if needs must.

I am not convinced that no deal would be as bad as some make out for their own reasons, but if it comes to that, obviously I will have to think very, very carefully about the impact on jobs, trade and industry.

But the will of the people must be paramount, which brings me to the growing calls for a second referendum by Tory, Liberal Democrat and Labour activists.

I think that is nonsense.

The people have spoken and it is the job of both government and the opposition to deliver an outcome that reflects that.

Jeremy Corbyn has resisted calls from within Labour to get behind another EU referendum, insisting an election is still his top priority if Mrs May’s deal is rejected by MPs.

He is right to take that line.

If the 2016 ballot was dominated by Project Fear put about by the Remainers, the next one would be Project Terrify.