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MP for South Suffolk warns of terrible impasse if Parliament fails to reach consensus on Brexit deal

By Priya Kingsley-Adam

South Suffolk MP James Cartlidge at Sudbury railway station. (6570824)
South Suffolk MP James Cartlidge at Sudbury railway station. (6570824)

The MP for South Suffolk has warned that Parliament would be “heading for a terrible impasse”, should it fail to reach a consensus over the terms in which Britain should leave the EU.

Prime Minister Theresa May’s withdrawal agreement was rejected by the House of Commons on Tuesday, prompting the opposition party to call a no-confidence vote in the Government.

Following the historic defeat, South Suffolk MP James Cartlidge told BBC’s Radio Suffolk that cross-party unity would be crucial to deliver the referendum result.

“We have got to come together and form a genuine consensus in Parliament around what we can actually deliver for the country, and try to unite the country,” he said.

Mr Cartlidge warned of the possible repercussions, should Parliament fail to achieve this.

“If we don’t do that, we are heading for a terrible impasse, a political paralysis, which will probably eventually result in a general election,” he said, adding that electing a new Prime Minister would “resolve nothing”.

Mr Cartlidge highlighted that, regardless of whether a new party leader was elected, a majority vote would still be crucial in getting the Brexit deal through Parliament.

“If the Prime Minster was changed tomorrow, it wouldn’t make a blind bit of difference to the arithmetic,” he said.

Acknowledging the overwhelming defeat, Mr Cartlidge commended Mrs May’s composure following the result.

“She immediately set out what she was going to do,” he said. “There was no hint of a tremor in her voice; how many of us could do that?”

Asked whether a no deal scenario was possible, Mr Cartlidge replied: “At the moment, we don’t have any of the legislation we need to have a no deal.

“It’s one thing saying we think we could have survived without being in the EU, which I don’t agree with, but all of the Government’s bills to deliver Brexit are sitting like planes in a deep blizzard, waiting on the runway to take off.”

“They are grounded because Parliament will not pass them. Parliament will put in amendments about stopping a no deal.

“Parliament is in paralysis, so no option is currently available.”

Mr Cartlidge is hopeful that MPs will put on a united front to pass the withdrawal agreement.

“We should look to this country when it was at its best,” he said. “When we stood together, when we rose above party lines to form a consensus – that’s the way forward in my view and I hope that’s what pertains in the days ahead.”


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