There have been a handful of occasions during my time as an MP, where the burden of responsibility weighs more heavily than usual. Tuesday evening was one such occasion, traversing the famous House of Commons lobbies to cast my vote on the Withdrawal Agreement. I felt the eyes of history scrutinising colleagues as we started to determine our country’s future outside the EU. It was, in all senses, a meaningful vote.
In the five-day debate preceding the vote so much was said about the what-ifs and what-nots, whilst society outside was starting to creak and strain. In my contribution I felt the need to remind colleagues that it was incumbent upon us as MPs to step up to the plate, find a solution and stop the madness. We were, after all, elected to take difficult decisions and it is only with courage and pragmatism that we will find a compromise that delivers for us in Kent and across the nation.
The result, when it came, was not a huge surprise and clearly we have some way to go before our future crystallises. No doubt the Prime Minister will tirelessly return to Brussels to seek changes to the Withdrawal Agreement, particularly on the imperfect Backstop. That might be all that is required to swing the support.
Another public vote or a general election will not fix this and to leave without an agreement is potentially very dark and dangerous territory. Furthermore, it is important to remember, that any other deal negotiated with the EU will require a Withdrawal Agreement.
Ultimately, upon her return next week, it will be for MPs to come together and deliver on the result of the 2016 referendum. I will remain steadfast in playing my part, alongside colleagues, to help to find a solution to break the Brexit deadlock. We must rise to this responsibility and that is surely not too much for our constituents to expect.