It's time to leave - Crabb

We are now less than 4 weeks away from October 31st, Brexit Day.

This is the date that the EU agreed to when it extended the previous Brexit deadline from 31st March.

A lot of the argument in Parliament since the summer has been about whether to move this date yet again in order to buy even more time for another round of talks with the EU and so avoid a No Deal Brexit.

Meanwhile the mood of the public has become ever more fed up and frustrated with a Parliament that has been going around in circles for the last three years unwilling to agree on anything.

People now understand that those MPs who keep calling for further delays in the name of stopping a No Deal Brexit are really intent on stopping Brexit altogether. Many of these same MPs had been calling for a second referendum for exactly the same reason.

And the public have also rumbled those MPs who have been telling their Leave voters at weekends that they respect the referendum result before heading back to Westminster on a Monday and using every trick in the book to block Brexit. These MPs have played a key part in the political quagmire that we find ourselves in. 

Boris Johnson is reading the public mood very well. When he talks about his determination to ‘Get Brexit Done’, it is because that is what people are saying up and down the country. Most people – whether they voted Leave or Remain – now just want to see positive progress on Brexit so Britain can move forward.

Boris understands this. That’s why he has been trying to force a moment of decision so that Parliament cannot keep ducking the issue and seeking further delay.

Plan A is to get a better Brexit deal agreed with the EU this autumn but if that does not happen then Plan B is to leave without a deal being in place. I have always preferred Plan A. So does Boris.

But if the choice is between going around in circles, with yet more confusion and uncertainty for British business, or leaving on October 31st without a deal, then leave we must. This is now about valuing and upholding democracy.

And while questions remain over certain specifics if we were to leave without a deal, petroleum export tariffs for example, the truth is that a huge amount of work has already been done to prepare for this outcome.

Over the last three years I have stayed in close touch with those Pembrokeshire businesses likely to be directly affected by Brexit and have been able to raise their questions and concerns with Ministers week by week. Most of this work never get mentioned when I speak to the media because it is rightly confidential to those companies concerned.

But over the last six months there has been a noticeable acceleration in the way Government is preparing for Brexit. All businesses should now be getting clear advice on what, if anything, they need to do extra to get ready for Brexit. For the vast majority of firms, there will be no extra work at all.

Earlier this week Boris Johnson set out his future plans for the country such as 20,000 new police officers and superfast broadband for everyone. There are so many important things that need to be done. 

But we first must smash through the Brexit roadblock that has brought Parliament to a standstill.

It’s time to unblock Brexit and uphold democracy.

It’s time to leave.