Brexit Minister Chris Heaton-Harris should be very surprised. Today he told me he would be shocked if Bristol businesses were not “beating a path to my door” to beg me to back the government’s Brexit deal.

I can tell him categorically: they are not. I have spoken to many Bristol businesspeople about Brexit. They have a wide range of views, from leave to remain and every shade in between. But almost all agree that the government’s so-called ‘deal’ does not give them the certainty they need.

The deal has been rejected by an unprecedented number of MPs. It is dead. Yet the government persists in desperately trying to force MPs to support it, by holding the gun of ‘no deal’ against our heads.

This is not good enough. The Prime Minister and her government must take no deal off the table. Progress will only be possible if they drop some of their ‘red lines’ and genuinely listen to arguments from all sides of the debate, including from remain supporters.

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