Boris Johnson has publicly confirmed that he will be taking the “very painful” step of voting for the Withdrawal Agreement today. As Boris says, MPs have to choose between options that actually exist:
Today is the day we promised the country we would leave the European Union. I bitterly regret that we have failed to keep that promise.
Instead we will today vote on the Withdrawal Agreement. I have been and remain intensely critical of the deal. But we have a choice to make now, and that means choosing between options that actually exist. I have come to the sad conclusion that neither this government nor this parliament is willing to leave with no deal.
We therefore run the risk of being forced to accept an even worse version of Brexit or losing Brexit altogether. A bad deal that we have a chance to improve in the next stage of negotiations must be better than those alternatives.
It is very painful to vote for this deal. But I hope we can now work together to remedy its defects, avoid the backstop trap and strive to deliver the Brexit people voted for.
The deal is a bad deal but there is an even worse deal looming into view – full EU membership. May’s promise to leave with no deal is ancient history. The UK can fight to improve a bad deal, if we fail to leave at all there will be no Brexit left to fight for…