This is what Harrogate MP said to Boris Johnson about Brexit
Harrogate and Knaresborough’s MP says he asked Prime Minister Boris Johnson to his face if he wanted to achieve a Brexit deal.
Talking to the Harrogate Advertiser yesterday, Wednesday, from heated scenes in the House of Commons after dashing out of the chamber during the Government’s £13.8 billion spending review, Andrew Jones MP said he had put the question straight to his face.
Mr Jones said: “I asked Boris directly if he wanted a deal or not and he told me ‘yes’.
“It’s the answer I got and I have to take him at his word.”
The former rail minister, who voted against the motion to take control of House of Commons business on Tuesday night, said he was not supporting a general election and that it was time to get on with Brexit.
Mr Jones's views have been attacked by both Harrogate Lib Dems and Harrogate Labour Party. (see below in this story)
Although he had always backed having a deal on Brexit to maintain stability and support the economy, the key thing was to achieve Brexit.
He said: “The public is fed up voting and it’s fed up with Parliament talking.
"The talking has been going on for three years and it has gone nowhere.
“I want us to leave with a deal but the main feedback I get from people is just to get on with it.
"To negotiate with the EU we need to keep ‘no deal’ on the table.
“We are in an impasse. I struggle to see what it is that Opposition MPS and some Tory MP actually want to happen.
"Do we really think delaying it another three months will change the situation?"
He said he had been saddened by the behaviour of some fellow MPs in the House of Commons in these “extraordinary times” over a "wholly divisive issue" which had become “bad tempered” and “unpleasant.”
And, as a self-professed “moderate, one nation Tory” he was sorry to see 21 Tory MPs have the whip suspended for voting ‘yes’ to take control of the Commons.
He said he has always backed a Brexit deal but he recognised the result of the 2016 Referendum.
"I voted to Remain but I am a democrat. But I do not like the way much of this has happened.
"Too many people are playing games with the country."
Mr Jones’s comments last week supporting the suspension of Parliament by the Prime Minister, partly because it would fall during the time of party conferences, led to anger in some quarters.
He said the never-ending Brexit debates had meant the Government had had no time to concentrate on other important matters to constituents.
Mr Jones said: "There are concerns that debate is being stifled but we have had weeks, months, years of debate over Brexit.
"We have been sitting in the longest spell of Parliament for 400 years."
"We haven't been able to pass major legislation this country needs for months now.
"What I hear from businesses is that they need certainty. It's the uncertainty which is the killer for our economy."
What Harrogate Lib Dems say
The Harrogate and Knaresborough MP's view that it would have little real impact on the Brexit debate has been challenged by the main opposition party in Harrogate.
Judith Rogerson, the Lib Dem Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Harrogate and Knaresborough, said Mr Jones’ comments had provoked “anger” locally. She said: “I have heard from many of his constituents who are appalled by this decision.
“I share their anger.”
The Lib Dem candidate argued suspending Parliament would set a “dangerous precedent” and all MPs should be putting their constituents first.
She said: “Silencing our elected representatives is no way to break any sort of impasse.
“I have a lot of respect for Conservative MPs who have spoken out against the prorogation of Parliament.
“They are putting their constituents ahead of their careers.
“I wish our MP would do the same.”
Leeds for Europe event on Saturday, September 6
The Harrogate Lib Dem PPC will be among the speakers taking part in a Brexit conference on Saturday organised by Leeds for Europe.
The names on the list also include Michael Hestletine who will make the keynote speech.
Judith Rogerson is scheduled to speak at a session called 'The Good Society – how great could Britain be without Brexit?' alongside Gavin Esler and Magid Magid.
What Harrogate Labour Party says
The chair of Harrogate & Knaresborough Constituency Labour Party, Margaret Smith said it was time the Harrogate MP put his own constituents first.
She said: "We read with interest your interview with our MP Andrew Jones published online at the Harrogate Advertiser on August 30 and were disappointed but not surprised that he continues to look after his own best career interests rather than those of his constituents.
"As chair of Harrogate and Knaresborough Constituency Labour Party, I can confirm that we are appalled at the attempt by Mr Johnson, supported by our MP, to undermine our democratic Houses of Parliament in order to pursue a No Deal Brexit for which the country and this Constituency did not vote.
"Fortunately due to the Opposition in Parliament, led by the Labour Party, and MPs of his own Party who put country before personal interests, unlike Mr Jones, although prorogation will take place, there will be new legislation hopefully in place before the end of the week to prevent a No-Deal Brexit on 31 October 31."