Last night just 133 Conservative MPs supported a motion to delay our exit beyond this week. 98 of us voted against and another 77 abstained. Those unwilling to vote for the delay included 4 Cabinet Ministers and senior whips! They were given permission to miss the vote, presumably because they had no wish to vote for it. Many of those abstaining were clearly in and around the Commons chamber, so they could have voted if they wished. When we had a free vote on delay 188 Conservative MPs voted against and 12 abstained, despite the Prime Minister leading the forces for delay in the division lobbies. In the country opposition to delay within the party is even greater.
The Prime Minister has not made a good case for delay. She has enjoyed almost three years in office to reach an Agreement with the EU that the Conservative party with its allies the DUP can support, or to leave without a Withdrawal Agreement. She always promised us No deal was better than a bad deal. The only sensible answer now is for her to lead us out with no Withdrawal Agreement this week. Why should the EU believe she can get agreement to their Withdrawal Agreement in the next few weeks when she has failed to do so ever since the Chequers policy? That policy about turn led to so much anger and so many resignations from the government and Conservative party senior posts and should lead her to drop it and get on with leaving.