On Tuesday 29th January, we visited London on behalf of the NBCC to attend the Palace of Westminster exactly two months before Brexit Day. We witnessed the phenomenally interesting parliamentary debate, the vote on amendments and conversations in the lobby, all in an atmosphere steeped in history.
Brexit Minister Robin Walker touched base with us and made some very interesting remarks, explaining the UK government’s position minutes before the votes:
- UK Government dedicated to securing a ratified dealbefore 29 March 2019
- Minister Walker convinced of importance of Anglo-Dutch business and keeping things as close to the status quo as possible;
- Widespread support for the rest of the agreement in particular the implementation period and the citizen’s rights agreement;
- Brady amendment is good because it creates common ground with the hard-Brexiteers and therefore paves the way to a majority;
- Best way to avoid a no deal is to ensure a good deal (therefore the UK Government did not support Cooper amendment on this day).
It is reassuring to know that the majority of MPs, regardless of what side of the argument they stand, see the need to reach out to The Netherlands and maintain good working relations.