AS BORIS JOHNSON’S new Brexit deal is voted on tomorrow, the borough’s four MPs are considering how they should vote.
While Dr Phillip Lee and Matt Rodda have previously made clear their desire to remain in Europe and are expected to vote against the deal which Mr Johnson’s team negotiated with the EU this week, Sir John Redwood has yet to confirm if he will vote in favour or against.
There had been no response to a request to Theresa May’s office over how the former Prime Minister will vote, however it is expected she will vote along party lines and back the deal.
The deal is controversial because it leaves Northern Ireland partially in the EU customs zone, with a customs border being placed in the Irish Sea. It also relies on the Stormont Assembly – Northern Ireland’s ruling body – to pass its approval every four years. However, Stormont has been shut for the past two years with no sign of it being revived.
And The DUP – the government’s confidence and supply party – has said it cannot back the deal.
Wokingham MP Sir John Redwood, who wants Brexit, noted in a blog post today:
“[The deal] suggests the future agreement is based on an EU Association Agreement, designed to get countries to converge with the EU prior to joining. This is not a good model. The ECJ remains supreme over issues of EU law in any dispute.
“The reworked Northern Ireland protocol raises the issue of how could Northern Ireland extricate from following EU rules and customs practices?
“This is an important question, as this draft Withdrawal Treaty does not have an Article 50 allowing unilateral exit.”
Asked on whether he felt he could back the deal, he told The Wokingham Paper: “I will decide tomorrow.”
Reading East MP Matt Rodda, whose constituency includes parts of Woodley and Earley, still backs a second referendum.
“I appreciate that constituents in Reading East and elsewhere continue to be extremely concerned and worried about Brexit and in particular Boris Johnson’s latest proposals which are not serious or credible. In many ways, they are worse than Theresa May’s deal,” he said.
“These proposals would lead to a hard border, checks and tariffs in Northern Ireland and would undermine the Good Friday Agreement. This would lead to a race to the bottom on workers’ rights, environmental rights and strip back the protections even Theresa May had agreed to.
“Instead of spending the last few months building consensus in Parliament and across the EU, Boris Johnson has put forward proposals he knows won’t be acceptable and can’t form the basis of a deal.
“These proposals do not even seek to address the very serious flaws in Theresa May’s deal, including the need for a comprehensive customs union, close single market alignment and robust protections for rights and standards.
“My view and the view of the Labour Party is that we should let the people decide. We would put control of Brexit back in the hands of the people in a new referendum with a real choice between a sensible leave deal or remain.
“This is a sensible position as we are a democratic party that trusts the people.
“After three and a half years of Tory Brexit failure and division, the only way we can settle this issue and bring people back together is by taking the decision out of the hands of politicians and letting the people decide.”
Dr Phillip Lee, who is MP for Bracknell, but the Lib Dem candidate for Wokingham in any forthcoming General Election, has not publicly declared which way he would vote but is expected to oppose it.
He also retweeted a post on social media outlining why he has concerns with the deal.
There is also a People’s Vote march taking place in central London as Parliament prepares to sit.
Some people from Wokingham For Europe will be meeting at Wokingham railway station at 9am, and another contingent will leave from Reading’s railway station at 10am.
Vanessa Rogers, the group’s chair, said: “People’s Vote report that 170 coaches from across the country have been commissioned rather than the 130 from the last march in March where around 1 million people turned up so we are expecting more this time.
“And how amazing that Parliament will be sitting unusually this Saturday so they will see the huge groundswell of people who feel strongly about remaining in the EU.
“We have to stop this sham of a Government using our name – the People – in vain.”
Bracknell Brexit Party parliamentary candidate David Winsper has retweeted comments from others within the party outlining why he is against the Johnson deal.
He also tweeted: