Our Man - Brexit

Regular readers of this column will know that I normally only talk about issues affecting Ashford and the surrounding area here. There are many other outlets for national politics.

I will make an exception this week, as almost the only subject of conversation, and certainly the subject filling my e-mail inbox, is Brexit. Every point of view is represented in the emails, showing how divided this constituency is, let alone the country.

I can give little insight into the immediate future, as I am writing this at the start of the week and you are reading it afterwards. Given the unpredictability of politics at the moment, it would be particularly foolish for me to look into a crystal ball.

What I can do is look further ahead, whatever the immediate political activity this week and next. I spoke in the Commons in the debate on the Withdrawal Bill, and made the point that those voting against the Government’s deal need to consider what the other options are.

There is the possibility of a Norway-style arrangement, or a deal similar to the one Canada has signed with the EU. Either of these might be negotiable, but either would need a backstop arrangement to stop a hard border in Ireland, so they would suffer the same objections as the original deal.

There are those are argue for another Referendum, obviously in the hope of reversing the original decision. I fear another Referendum would be divisive without being decisive, as the result would be narrow again.

My biggest fear is of a No Deal exit. Some have said this is the simplest way out, with no compromises involved. Everything I have heard from the Port of Dover and Highways England has convinced me that the very likely level of traffic disruption would be disastrous for Kent, as well as business throughout the country. Which I why I have been supporting the deal on offer, and hope that an improved version will be even better.