MPs must bite the bullet and get behind the Prime Minister’s Brexit deal, because a second referendum would undermine any remaining trust voters still have in politicians, says North East Scotland MSP Peter Chapman.
Chaos reigns in Westminster.
However, despite all the noise and fervent media coverage, the fundamentals have not changed.
We are leaving the EU on March 29, 2019, and we have a deal on the table – albeit one that is far from perfect.
This negotiated Withdrawal Agreement has the backing of the National Farmers Union – not just here in Scotland, but in all four corners of the UK.
It also has the backing of major industries in Scotland, including whisky and fishing.
However, it clearly does not yet have the support of a majority of MPs. We are in a stalemate, and the public are simply looking on aghast.
What our MPs must focus on is the fact that this is the only deal, and the EU has been clear it is not prepared to reopen negotiations in any meaningful way.
The clock is ticking and as time moves on the prospect of no deal, or more correctly a deal under World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules, becomes more likely.
MPs of all colours must now put party differences aside and act in the national interest by getting this deal through the Commons.
This is not a time for political game-playing. There is simply too much at stake. I have to say I believe another referendum would be an absolute disaster.
There are so many problems with this proposal, not least what the question or questions on the ballot paper would be.
Would remain be an option? Would no deal be an option? Would any of the other untested options be on the ballot paper?
Further, what happens if the UK votes narrowly to remain? Another vote? The best of three? I just do not believe it would solve anything.
A re-run could seriously undermine trust in politicians for a very long time to come.
Let us not forget that in 2015, the UK parliament voted overwhelmingly, by 544 votes to 53, to put the question to the British people.
As we all know, the UK voted 52-48 per cent to leave.
It is now up to parliament to follow through on that democratic decision. If MPs fail to do so, then why should voters have any confidence in politics or politicians in future?
Meanwhile in the real world, farmers in Scotland are worried about the prospect of a 20 per cent cut to Less Favoured Area payment rates next year and an 80 per cent cut in 2020.
This when straw and silage costs are through the roof and the very survival of our farms in our more remote and difficult farming areas are already under threat.
Is it any wonder that our farmers are worried what the future holds?
Let us hope that at this time of year, at least, they all get some quality time at home and can enjoy Christmas with family and friends.
Peter can be found tweeting at @PeterChapmanMSP