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Shropshire MPs set to back Brexit deal

By Mark Andrews | Shrewsbury | Politics | Published:

Shropshire's MPs are expected to back the Brexit deal agreed between Boris Johnson and the EU when it comes before Parliament tomorrow.

Boris Johnson and Jean-Claude Juncker in Brussels

Most MPs in the county indicated they intended to vote for the plan, which was finally agreed yesterday after days of intensive negotiations.

However North Shropshire MP Owen Paterson, one of the so-called 'Spartans' who repeatedly voted against Theresa May's withdrawal agreement, said he would not decide until tomorrow morning how he would be voting.

Earlier this week the former Northern Ireland secretary warned that any attempt to 'trap' the province into a permanent customs union with the EU would be unacceptable.

He said he would now be studying the contents of the Government's new agreement to see whether he would be able to vote for it.

"I'm going to read the detail, and will be talking to my other colleagues," said Mr Paterson.

"I will wait until early Saturday morning before making a decision."

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Reports circulating around Westminster suggest that the deal has been positively received among the eurosceptic European Research Group, which Mr Paterson belongs to. However, the Democratic Unionist Party in Northern Ireland, which the Government had been dependent on for a majority, has said it will not support the deal.

Philip Dunne, MP for Ludlow, said he was delighted an agreement had finally been reached. He said he would want to read the detail first, but expected to be voting for it tomorrow.

“This is really welcome news," he said.

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"There was doubt expressed by political opponents that there were no serious attempts to negotiate a deal, but in just 85 days as Prime Minister, Boris Johnson has proved this demonstrably false.

"We now have a deal, and those who claimed to want to deliver Brexit but wanted to remove the prospect of No Deal, including many Labour MPs, will now have the opportunity to keep their word, and vote for this deal when it comes before the House of Commons at a special sitting this Saturday.

"I shall be reading the detail carefully, but expect to support this deal, in accordance with the clear majority of those from south Shropshire responding to my recent survey, who want to get Brexit done.

"I shall be voting to support the Prime Minister in taking the deal forward into legislation, so the House of Commons can scrutinise the detail.”

Daniel Kawczynski, MP for Shrewsbury and Atcham, said he was pleased that Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission, had ruled out a further extension to the Brexit process.

"All Members of Parliament should now show the British people a degree of respect in voting for this deal," said Mr Kawczynski.

"The overwhelming message among my constituents, and I would imagine the whole of the country, is that they want this ongoing nightmare to be put to bed for once and all, for the deal to be ratified, and to start working towards a close and sensible trading partnership with our European friends."

Mr Kawczynski said he was concerned about reported moves by the Liberal Democrats to table an amendment which would require a second referendum.

"That is the height of irresponsibility," he said.

Telford MP Lucy Allan signalled her support for the deal in a tweet which said: "Got to hand it to @BorisJohnson he did it - against the odds, in the face of extraordinary adversity. “Nothing great is easy,” as we say in #Telford in the words of #Dawley hero Captain Matthew Webb."

Mark Pritchard, MP for The Wrekin, also welcomed the news.

"A deal has finally been done, and Brexit needs to be delivered," he said.

"I will be supporting this deal. Labour are flip-flopping on Brexit, and in doing so are in danger of bringing democracy into disrepute.

"However MPs might have voted in the 2016 referendum, it is now time to finally honour that result."

Mark Andrews

By Mark Andrews
@MAndrews_Star

Senior news writer for the Shropshire Star specialising in in-depth features and commentary, investigative reporting and political matters.

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