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Back to Westminister for MPs - but has anything changed on Brexit?

PUBLISHED: 19:00 23 April 2019

MPs have returned to Westminster. Picture: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

MPs have returned to Westminster. Picture: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

MPs have returned to Westminster after the shortened Easter break hoping that a way is found out of the Brexit morass - but fearing the deadlock is set to continue.

Suffolk's MPs have spent much of the time meeting constituents, particularly their party members, and have found a weariness with the Brexit saga – but not a wish to get it over at any cost.

South Suffolk MP James Cartlidge said: “There is no doubt that many people have clear views – on both sides – and while they say they want it to be sorted out, they want it sorted in the way they favour.

“Within the party membership there is more support for the idea of a hard Brexit, but among constituents views are more mixed.”

Central Suffolk and North Ipswich MP Dr Dan Poulter spent some time campaigning with local election candidates. He said: “There was some talk of Brexit on doorsteps, especially when they saw their MP. But when you talked to voters it was local issues that were often most important to them.

“I think it will be local issues that dominate these local elections – but when we get to the European elections things will be different and I really don't know how to find anything to unite the voters.”

Bury St Edmunds MP Jo Churchill is a government whip and had been glad to get a break from Westminster: “It was a lot more sensible in Suffolk. I was speaking with constituents on the doorsteps and many cannot understand why we cannot come to an agreement.

“Of course there is an agreement on the table. If that can get through then we can leave the EU and the Prime Minister has said she will then stand down.”

Labour's only MP in Suffolk, Ipswich's Sandy Martin, doubted whether many people would return to Westminster feeling refreshed. He said: “We had the recess reduced in time by a week so people had to telescope their engagements into the week that was left. It's not as if we were all on holiday when we're away from Westminster.”

And while it was good that talks between the government and opposition over Brexit were continuing, he did not have any clear idea of how successful they were likely to be.

Waveney MP Peter Aldous summed up many MPs' feelings: “I'd love Brexit to be sorted soon, but I'm not sure it will be!”

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