Tonight the Government Whips asked me to vote against the motion, as amended, to reject ‘No Deal’.
I could not do this as I regard ‘No Deal’ as a disaster. Therefore I abstained, despite being a Government Minister.
I would have voted for the Government’s motion which ruled out ‘No Deal’, if the House had this opportunity.
However, to avoid ‘No Deal’ something must be agreed to replace it. That is why I will vote to extend Article 50 tomorrow, it is why I voted for the Prime Minister’s deal, and is why I do not rule out any options to avoid ‘No Deal’ or a ‘Hard Brexit’.
I will put out a more comprehensive statement in due course reflecting this week’s events.