Fringe Box



Anne Milton Disappointed With Continued Brexit Uncertainty

Published on: 30 Mar, 2019
Updated on: 1 Apr, 2019

Guildford’s MP Anne Milton was in Guildford today (March 30, 2019) after a controversial week in Westminster and she was clearly unhappy with the continued uncertainty on Brexit.

She had cycled into town to meet for a ‘photo call with Conservative candidates for the May ’19 Guildford Borough Council elections and spoke to The Guildford Dragon NEWS.

Mrs Milton, who has consistently voted for the government’s Withdrawal Agreement, said: “I’m a moderate person and I look to compromise.

“I am disappointed that we have no resolution. Business is incredibly adaptable dealing with the ebbs and flows but with all the uncertainty over Brexit, it is damaging for business.”

Anne Milton, Guildford’s MP, in town today after a tough week in Westminster.

Mrs Milton had earlier written to constituents who have written to her on Brexit an update following indicative voting in the House of Commons on March 27.

This is her message in full:

I want to update you on the situation in Parliament.

Many of you will be aware, although the Government had said it would allow indicative votes, yesterday’s business was run by backbench MPs. There was never any expectation that a majority would be found for any one option at this stage. Although 16 options were tabled in total, the Speaker selected 8 for votes.

I and other Ministers and colleagues had pressed the Prime Minister on Tuesday to make sure that these were ‘free votes’, which means that MPs are not told which options to support by their party Whips. The Cabinet did not participate in the votes. The results were as follows:

• Amendment B – No Deal [Ayes: 160 Noes: 400]
• Amendment D – Common market 2.0 [Ayes:188 Noes: 283]
• Amendment H – EFTA and EEA [Ayes: 65 Noes: 377]
• Amendment J – Customs union [Ayes: 264 Noes: 272]
• Amendment K – Labour’s Alternative Arrangements [Ayes: 237 Noes: 307]
• Amendment L – Revocation of Article 50 Revocation [Ayes: 184 Noes: 293]
• Amendment M – Confirmatory public vote on deal [Ayes: 268 Noes: 295]
• Amendment O – Contingent preferential arrangements [Ayes: 139 Noes: 422]

The aim of this first day of indicative votes was to find where a consensus might lie. This was the first step in this process which will continue on Monday. I continue to believe that the Withdrawal Agreement, a consequence of two years of difficult negotiations and compromise, is the best way forward to minimise disruption as we leave the EU. However, last night showed alternative support from MPs for both a customs union arrangement (J), put forward by the Rt Hon Ken Clarke MP, and for a confirmatory vote on an agreed deal (M), put forward by Dame Margaret Beckett MP.

I voted against Amendment K (Labour’s arrangements), Amendment B (No Deal) and Amendment O (a so-called ‘hard Brexit’), as I do not believe that any of these options are the best way forward. The aim was not necessarily to find what MPs favoured, but what they would contemplate, even if it was not their preferred option, in order to find a consensus to resolve the situation. I abstained on some options as I did not want to dismiss them at this stage.

These are unprecedented times in Parliament and I know from reading through the thousands of emails and other pieces of correspondence that I have received that there is a large amount of frustration in Guildford and across the country. Many people have contacted me about their support for a second referendum. However my reservations persist; a second referendum might be the only option if the House does not find a consensus to move forward, because it has been made clear on several occasions that leaving the EU without a deal is not acceptable to the majority of MPs

It is difficult to predict what might happen in the coming days. In my nearly 14 years as MP for Guildford I have never known a period of time like this. The emails I receive contain strongly worded views, and occasionally these are in terms that are personal and offensive. Although it is disappointing, I understand the strength of feeling on Brexit. I take note of everyone’s views and comments and my job is to absorb it all and try to find a solution which will attempt to satisfy the majority, and the needs of my constituency.

My best wishes,

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Responses to Anne Milton Disappointed With Continued Brexit Uncertainty

  1. Stuart Barnes Reply

    March 31, 2019 at 9:50 am

    The only way out to uphold democracy and stop the implosion of the Conservative Party is to accept WTO terms. I trust that Anne Milton will now vote accordingly and not for the betrayal plan of a Customs Union.

  2. Rosie Taylor Reply

    March 31, 2019 at 11:36 am

    Didn’t Guildford vote Remain?

  3. John Armstrong Reply

    March 31, 2019 at 3:24 pm

    It’s a bit rich for Anne Milton to wring her hands over continued Brexit uncertainty having been seen sitting beside Oliver Letwin in the Commons.

    It is Remainers like herself that are responsible for the uncertainty in the first place. All politicians had to do was to leave on WTO then go for article 24 and it would all be over. We could have had a free trade deal done and dusted by now but that was too easy it would appear.

    It is a testament to the underlying resilience of the British economy that more damage has not already been done. Maybe politicians are going to keep doggedly at it until they do actually damage us. Frankly, with politicians like ours who needs enemies.

  4. Liz Critchfield Reply

    March 31, 2019 at 3:33 pm

    It’s all in that little word compromise – an agreement that is reached by each side making concessions. Not always easy, I admit, but can be attempted by listening, debating with maturity and showing a willingness to put self aside. The shambolic House of Commons – with a few honourable exceptions – seems to have a problem with this.

  5. Phil Grainger Reply

    April 1, 2019 at 11:49 am

    Top marks for voting against the extreme option of a hard Brexit to WTO rules which would destroy our economy and divide our country. We live in a parliamentary democracy. It is for MP’s to decide how best to implement the referendum result – and it clear there is no support for this option.

    From my perspective, I would encourage Ms Milton to engage wholeheartedly with parliamentarians from across the house to find a viable compromise. And if the only way to make that happen is a confirmatory vote then so be it.

    If only your party had actively sought the views of others at the start of the process then we would not be in this mess now.

  6. Pearl Catlin Reply

    April 2, 2019 at 3:32 pm

    What was needed in the first place was for the EU to be less dogmatic in their belief that they are so wonderful that no improvements can ever be made, or needed, to their ever-growing, overpaid paradise.

    David Cameron et al at the time never imagined that the peasants might not be happy with their undemocratic and nasty overblown club.

    Someone just asked ‘Didn’t Guildford vote Remain?’ I ask you. Is Guildford not a part of England then? Or part of the UK, like Scotland?

  7. John Perkins Reply

    July 23, 2019 at 11:46 am

    Anne Milton has finally climbed down from her fence pretence and taken her stand for Remain.

    She probably feels secure in that because “Guildford voted to Remain”. Or maybe it’s just that no leader will be inclined to trust a minister who effectively votes against her party by abstaining.

    At least two others intend to jump before they’re pushed. It’s not a position many could regard as principled.

    Competing with the only party consistent in its Remain stance might not prove easy.

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