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Westminster Blog: Making the most of Brexit

Views from Newbury MP Richard Benyon

Andy Murrill

Richard Benyon


01635 886625

The question for MPs like me who campaigned hard for Britain to remain in the EU is a simple one.

Do I seek to undermine the decision taken in the referendum by being a sort of Parliamentary insurgent opposing Brexit at every stage, or do I engage with the process to help to ensure we get the best deal possible?

The risk from just being one of the “noises off” is that you are just that: off.

I want to be on the pitch, holding up a liberal conservative view that believes in free trade and wants a deep and dynamic relationship with our European friends and allies in the future.

We live in a world that is fast changing.

Many jobs in which people currently feel secure, won’t exist in a few years’ time because of the advancement of automation and robotics.

The ability of companies in West Berkshire to trade successfully will depend on being part of supply chains or grouping of businesses, some of which may be based both inside and outside the EU.

The future, while full of opportunity, is complex and for many, scary.

So clarity is everything.

I now accept that seeking an arrangement like Norway’s won’t work.

This is where we would still pay into the EU, would still be subject to free movement of labour and all the other conditions of membership of the single market.

The Eurosceptic ultras have a malign view of Europe, its cultures and traditions.

They must not be allowed to become the established UK view.

The Europhile ultras seem to want to ignore a democratic process and just whine and whinge from the side-lines.

I will recognise the referendum result by supporting the triggering of Article 50 and will engage with leavers and remainers who share my dislike of the ultras on both sides.

I will push for a deal that serves the needs of West Berkshire businesses and those who work for them.

This will need understanding and support from the vast majority of my constituents who occupy the centre ground view that what we need is neither a hard or soft Brexit, but a clever one.

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Article comments

  • NWNThatcham

    24/01/2017 - 13:01

    Extraordinary. This is the same person that: 1) Last July stated, "we need to have a clear view about how we are going to engage with our nearest neighbours .. when that's settled then of course, we need to put this to the public .. we will need a general election" 2) To Newbury Businesses "the best thing would be to remain part of the Single Market, or at least the Customs Union' 3) Last week stated that "I want to see how it all pans out .. being part of the Customs Union is not a big deal" So what is it Richard, what has changed such that you now view that exiting both the Single Market and the Customs Union is a good thing for Newbury Business? As an MP I hope you are going to do rather more than 'wait and see'. Get a grip, have some balls and a conscience. Are you satisfied that the PM can avoid setting out a plan by making a press statement in Lancaster House, and bypassing Parliament? Are you satisfied that there is no meaningful vote on the outcome?


  • EugeneStryker

    24/01/2017 - 11:11

    The UK public elects Members of Parliament (MPs) to represent their interests and concerns in the House of Commons. It is not Richard Benyon's job to take into consideration the rest of the country, but the will of his own constituents - the people who voted him into his position. Given that West Berkshire voted to 'remain', he should do his job and vote against triggering Article 50. That may damage his political career however and I suspect that is the 'pitch' that he wants to stay on.


  • stuartmc

    23/01/2017 - 12:12

    It is good to see you at least attempting to represent the views of the majority of your constituents. Very unlike John Redwood who despite his constituency voting remain is one of the most extreme Brexiteers. Such a pity constituents to the east of the region are about to be moved into his non-representative constituency without any choice.