Mid Sussex’s MP has told fellow politicians to stop pointless arguing over Brexit and urged them to back the ‘one compromise proposal on the table’.
Tuesday will see the House of Commons given a meaningful vote on Prime Minister Theresa May’s deal with Brussels setting out the process of leaving the European Union.
If this is lost she would have only three working days to come up with a ‘Plan B’.
Speaking on Friday Conservative Sir Nicholas Soames described that despite thinking the country ‘has made an historically bad decision’ he also believed the 2016 referendum result ‘must be honoured’.
However he also said it would be ‘wrong’ to postpone the Article 50 deadline, which is March 29, and was also strongly against a ‘divisive, poisonous and hateful second referendum campaign’.
Sir Nicholas added: “If the House votes against the one compromise proposal on the table, it will with absolute certainty be voting for chaos, with the outcome very likely to be the precise opposite of what it intended.
“I remind the House that this compromise is the only agreement on offer, and to try to reopen it risks losing even that.
“I therefore urge the House to take into account that our exit from the EU will take a long time, and I think we should be clearer and franker with the public. We cannot expect arrangements and institutions that have grown together side by side in the interests of all over 45 years, to be separated at one go without grievous damage to each side.
“It therefore remains my view that the Prime Minister’s plan has carefully and cleverly managed to try to separate Britain from the European Union — 45 years of earnest combined endeavour and legislation — with, miraculously, minimal damage to both sides.”
He described it as a essential that Parliament find a consensus to move forward on a first step to ‘create the architecture and footings for future negotiations’ and went on to say it was incumbent on MPs to ‘recover our sense of proportion, and restore some dignity, reason and calm to this debate, both inside and outside the House’.
He concluded: “Let us agree among ourselves. This country is not an island on its own; it is a proud nation, whose success has always been derived from the wider world. Our history and geography have given us great advantages.
“Our language is the way the world communicates. Our capital is one of the greatest cities in the world, and people in every other international and domestic forum listen to the views of this country because of our great experience and expertise.
“We really should have the confidence to press on, to cease this appalling and pointless arguing, much of it on the head of a pin, and to preserve and enhance the cohesion, unity and stability of our country. We are a humane, liberal-minded, tolerant, moderate nation, so let us now push on with the task at hand and show our electors and the world the kind of spirit and judgment they rightly expect from us.”