Charles Walker backs the Brady Amendment on Brexit Backstop

Charles Walker MP speaking in the House of Commons on Brexit

Speaking in the debate on Brexit, Charles Walker calls for Parliament to support a compromise amendment that will enable the Prime Minister to go back to Brussels with a strong mandate to renegotiate on the backstop and deliver a deal that 80% of people can unite behind.

Mr Charles Walker (Broxbourne) (Con)
I have an admission to make: I am not an intellectual. [Hon. Members: “No!”] No, I am not. I really have tried it for the past few months, but I just cannot get on with it, so I am not going to give a highbrow, intellectual speech. My speech will be more of a three-minute cry of frustration, because I really, really do want to leave the EU; I have campaigned for it for a number of years and I am very keen to go.

We have talked at length about unicorns, and the proudest stallion unicorn of all is the unicorn of perfection—a unicorn that canters across broken fields with unrealisable dreams underfoot. But the unicorn of perfection must sadly be slayed, because perfection does not exist. When I am out in my constituency, meeting people who do not email me and do not write to me, so they are not self-selecting, they say three things to me: “Get on. Get on. Get on.” These people voted leave. These people voted remain. But they want to get on and they want this Parliament to make a decision. They have accepted the result of the referendum.

It will be impossible for this House to come up with a perfect deal—a bowl of porridge that everyone finds to their satisfaction. But we can find something that 80% of our fair-minded constituents can get behind and say, “Do you know what? As a fair-minded citizen of this country, I’d have liked a little more of that and a little less of this, but I can live with it. I can get on and move on, and we can have certainty.” It is impossible for this House to appeal to the implacable 10% who bookend the 80%—the remainers who want to remain at any cost and the leavers who want to leave at any cost. The demands of these people cannot be met by this House.

That is why tonight I will be supporting the amendment tabled by my hon. Friend the Member for Altrincham and Sale West (Sir Graham Brady). I will go through that Division Lobby to hopefully give the Prime Minister further instruction to go back to the EU and deliver a deal that 80% of my country and my constituents can unite behind.