Leader of the House Andrea Leadsom has urged MPs to support Theresa May’s deal so that they “can actually leave the EU and move forward with our lives”.
She told talkRADIO’s Julia Hartley-Brewer: “I don’t think anybody wants to have a general election. We want to get on and leave the European Union.
“What I do think that the polls show is that people do appreciate the prime minister’s determination to deliver on the referendum in 2016 and to make sure we actually commit to it.
“The problem that we have had in recent months is that there are a number of parliamentarians who, despite having voted to trigger Article 50 and despite standing on a manifesto to leave the EU, are now trying to reverse that.
“I do urge all colleagues to look seriously at the prime minister’s deal and when it comes back for a meaningful vote to support it so that we can actually leave the EU and move forward with our lives.”
'The final stage'
The MP for South Northamptonshire described the Brexit negotiations of being in “the final stage”.
“It has been a very complicated two and a half years of negotiations behind closed doors. We are absolutely at the final stage,” she said.
“What the prime minister is seeking to do is deliver on what Parliament has said a couple of weeks ago, which is that we need to get legally binding commitments that the UK cannot be trapped in a backstop against our will.”
Ms Leadsom said that there was “no doubt” that uncertainty around the Brexit negotiations had not helped the UK’s economy.
But, she added: “The UK economy remains robust – we have superb employment numbers – last year we were the biggest target for foreign direct investment outside of China.
“I remain very optimistic about the UK economy.”