ON a point of order … as I have advised you Mr Speaker … I should be grateful to make a brief personal statement.
I do not feel that I have misled the House … but I do feel I have not been true to myself.
Although doing what I believed to be in the country’s best interest at that moment in time … I quickly realised that I should not have voted with the Government on Friday afternoon.
We had to weigh up the balance of risk and make an almost impossible choice.
It seemed to be either the Prime Minister’s deal … or a long delay, European elections, a softer Brexit and more political uncertainty.
What I should have done … but did not do … was to trust my instincts … and those of the British people.
I made the wrong call on Friday … and let me briefly explain why.
First, I have consistently voted against the withdrawal agreement because it is flawed.
Second, I believe I let down good friends here in the House … and my friends and colleagues in the DUP.
I served on three operational tours in N Ireland … playing a small part in protecting the innocent and combating terrorism.
So I say sorry to the DUP for voting for a deal that could risk the integrity of our country.
For that reason … and for that reason alone …. The withdrawal agreement … as it stands … must never, ever see the light of day again.
Finally, if the Prime Minister cannot commit to taking us out of the EU on the 12th April … she must resign immediately.
This is no longer about LEAVE or REMAIN … that was decided in 2016 … this is about the future of our great country … and faith and trust in our democracy.
Spring is here Mr Speaker … time for a new start for all of us … let’s take our country back in 11 days’ time and fulfil our honourable duty.