Henry has praised the Prime Minister, the Attorney General and the Brexit Secretary for their determination to try and find a compromise on the Backstop which would ensure the Withdrawal Agreement gets through Parliament.
Commenting Henry said: “The overwhelming view of the Conservative Parliamentary Party is that the Withdrawal Agreement itself is fit for purpose, and above all it acts as a “bridge” to the absolutely vital trade negotiations. However, the Backstop as it is currently configured does leave a huge amount to be desired because it is open ended, and it could in theory, tie us into the EU for an indefinite period. I can quite understand why so many of my Parliamentary colleagues find this unacceptable - above all because it could seriously undermine our negotiating position during the future trade talks. This is why it is essential we get in place some legal protocols that either set a definite deadline, or alternatively, give the UK a mechanism for withdrawing from it.”
“Given all the other problems the EU faces, not least the massive financial challenges in Italy, the falling growth in Germany, the refugee crisis in Eastern Europe and the ongoing riots in France it really is in everyone’s interest to get the Brexit deal through. There is no doubt about the fact a no-deal Brexit would cause short term disruption and dislocation both in the UK and across Europe. This is why every effort must be made to try and avoid it. However, I do believe the Government is quite right to not rule it out at this stage because this would undermine our negotiating position.”
“Over the past few weeks I have received numerous representations from local businesses who are incredibly keen to see an end to the uncertainty. All in all, I am very optimistic that there will be the necessary changes made to the Backstop which will in turn be approved by the Attorney General. Hopefully this will then give a great deal of comfort to our DUP partners from Northern Ireland, and if they can support it then it would be my fervent hope every single Conservative MP would get behind it. At the same time I would expect a significant number of Labour MPs from “leave leaning” constituencies to also support it.”
“Finally, I do believe we owe it to the electorate to now deliver on our promise to implement the referendum result.”