Northampton people would be appalled if Brexit was blocked, says town MP

Parliament will outrage Northamptonians if it fails to honour the result of the EU referendum, one of the town's MPs has said.

Friday, 22nd March 2019, 4:32 pm
Updated Friday, 22nd March 2019, 5:21 pm
Michael Ellis, MP for Northampton North, described himself as a "reluctant remainer" before the EU referendum

Northampton North MP Michael Ellis, who described himself as a "reluctant remainer" before the 2016 vote, said he feared Brexit was "in jeopardy" and that Parliament may well reverse the referendum result.

If that happened he said that thousands living in Northampton, which backed Leave by 61,454 votes to 43,805, would not stand for it.

"I think they would be appalled and they would be right to be appalled," he said.

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"I don't think Theresa May's deal is perfect but we need to understand that compromise is essential to make progress and deliver Brexit.

"If we hold out for 100 per cent perfection there's a risk of those who want to block Brexit, and there are many of them in Parliament, being able to do so."

Although Mr Ellis wants Theresa May's deal to be passed next week - and he intends to vote in favour for a third time - he said he isn't afraid of a No Deal scenario.

He said: "I think No Deal would not be an optimum result.

"I think there would be difficulties and I don't want No Deal but I have great faith and confidence in the British people.

"My preference would be a deal but it would be wrong to take No Deal off the table."

Mr Ellis said the overwhelming feeling on the doorstep in Northampton was that people were completely fed up of MPs being unable to agree.

He said: "I think the people of Northampton believe Parliament has not handled the process well and I think they would be right.

"It has been a failure of Parliament to agree a deal. The sad reality is that Parliament has said what it doesn't want and not actually said anything about what it does want.

"I think they want us to get on with it. They have certainly had enough."

Mr Ellis said he believed the town had voted to exit the EU for greater control of our borders and laws, and that he agreed with them. The MP said he instinctively wanted the UK to remain but, after the results were in, felt it was his duty to enact the will of his constituents.

He said: "They will have been concerned about immigration and issues of sovereignty and I shared those concerns.

"On balance I took the view that for economic reasons it was in the UK's best interests to remain, however the people voted to leave and since that day in 2016, I have understood it to be my clear instruction from the people of Northampton and the British people to leave."