Gainsborough MP says Britain has nothing to gain by delaying Brexit

Making sure roads and transport are working properly for residents is essential in our part of Lincolnshire, writes Sir Edward Leigh MP.

Recently, I visited Torksey with Coun Richard Butroid of the county council and Coun Stuart Finch from the district council to investigate the situation with the speed limits there.

Sir Edward Leigh MP

Sir Edward Leigh MP

The residents of the Little London residential park are rightly concerned that they have to cross a road with a 50 mile per hour speed limit in order to access the nearest bus stop.

There is no pedestrian crossing which means those trying to make use of local bus services have to almost take their lives in their hands to get to the bus stop on the other side of the road.

I hope the district and county councils will work together to find a suitable solution here to make Torksey safer.

Meanwhile, in Westminster, I, and others, am pushing and pushing to make sure Britain leaves the European Union on March 29.

It’s not that far away at all.

As constituents know, I think the proposed Withdrawal Agreement is not ideal that gives too much away without securing a final long-term relationship between the UK and the European Union.

It does, however, deliver on two essentials – Britain having control of its own borders and leaving the EU on time.

Some argue that Article 50 should be extended to give more time to find a better agreement but this would not be wise.

All the problematic issues are known to us already and postponing Brexit won’t solve anything.

We need to look at some of the proposals which have already been suggested and here I think the deadline helps.

As Dr Johnson wrote, ‘nothing straightens the mind like the prospect of a hanging’.

The EU wants a nice tidy little transition and it wants Britain’s money.

It gets neither of them if the UK leaves on World Trade Organisation rules rather than with an agreement.

A ‘no deal’ Brexit is perfectly manageable with side deals to be put in place with other countries, but a good deal is obviously better.

Businesses need certainty in order to make their plans for the future.

It’s too soon and too dramatic to call this a constitutional crisis.

So far it’s a typical British muddle and we will muddle through it just as we have done for centuries when confronted with these awkward situations.

I have tried to be productive and, in consultation with academics, have suggested Britain uses something called a Conditional Interpretative Declaration.

This is an instrument of diplomacy which can be used to clarify the meaning of a treaty in terms of how it is implemented.

Given that both sides recognise any backstop – if implemented at all – would be temporary, it would allow Britain to name a specific end date to make sure that recognition has a more firm legal reality.

But as I remind everyone, the Government’s priority is to ensure Britain leaves the European Union in order that it takes back control of its borders and its laws.