Anne-Marie's statement on the No Confidence vote

"The no confidence vote in the Prime Minister will be held this evening in Westminster.  The Prime Minister needs the support of 158 MPs, and if she succeeds with that, she cannot be challenged for another 12 months.  I will take some time today to think about how to vote.  I will respect the secret ballot process and I  will therefore not be discussing which way I will vote once I have reached my decision.

"On how we proceed with ensuring we deliver Brexit, despite many voices in Parliament determined to ignore the result of the referendum, as I have said since the Prime Minister unveiled her deal with the EU – there is much in the deal to be celebrated and which would honour the result of the referendum.  However, the Northern Ireland Protocol – the “backstop” – if triggered would force us into a perpetual customs union that we could never leave, which is unacceptable. If a unilateral exit mechanism or a genuine, legally-ratified time limit could be agreed, I am sure the deal would win the support of the Commons, and we could focus on shaping our future relationship with the EU.  If there are no changes to the Protocol, the UK would leave without agreeing a deal immediately, and we would work towards individual agreements on citizens’ rights, travel, pharmaceuticals and security and many other areas on which we are already agreed with the EU, so that once we leave, our European neighbours can continue to benefit from our expertise, and we can ensure as smooth as possible a transition for citizens and for those UK businesses who trade with the EU.

"Whichever option we end up with, I will continue to call for and support all efforts to ensure this country is ready to manage the transition in a way which limits disruption and enables us to reap the many benefits that will be available to us once we have left the EU."