Owen Paterson MP: Prime Minister 'quite right' to delay Brexit vote

Owen and Julia

Monday, February 25, 2019

The former environment secretary has said Theresa May is "quite right" to delay a meaningful vote on the final Brexit deal.

Appearing on the breakfast show, Owen Paterson revealed he supported the controversial decision to push back the vote, amid speculation that it was an attempt by Ms May to force MPs into choosing a substandard deal at the eleventh hour - rather than leaving without one.

However, Mr Paterson dismissed the rumours, insisting that there had been "very positive progress" on the deal behind the scenes.



"The Malthouse compromise is actually the only show in town, and if we can make that a legally binding party of the treaty, with a clear implementation date, that just changes everything," he said.

"The Prime Minister is quite right to go for another week to get this through."


'The end of the backstop'

European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker and Theresa May. Image: Getty

The meaningful vote has been delayed by just over a week, with the vote expected to happen shortly before March 12.

"Steve Barclay has been talking to the Commission, and the proposal is to set up a task force of EU officials and UK officials to work this [Malthouse compromise] up into a practical procedure," Mr Paterson explained.

"If we can make this legally binding with a clear implementation date, that is the end of the backstop."

He added: "It would have huge support across the Commons."