No amount of tinkering will yield a majority in parliament for this deal. The government needs to consider more boldly the possible alternatives which might command that support. President Tusk offered just such an alternative in March: a wide-ranging, zero-tariff free trade agreement.
That deal foundered on the question of the Northern Ireland border, but existing techniques and processes can resolve this. From my October meeting with Michel Barnier, I know that a willingness exists on the EU side to explore these possibilities more fully. The meeting also confirmed that Tusk’s offer is still on the table.
Throughout this process, I have sought to support the government. The conclusion is now inescapable that the prime minister is the blockage to the wide-ranging free trade agreement offered by Tusk which would be in the best interests of the country and command the support of Parliament.
I, therefore, have no confidence in Theresa May as prime minister and leader of the Conservative party and ask that you hold a vote of no confidence.