AS I WRITE this we will have come to the end of a week of Brexit votes in Westminster.

Just so you know where I have stood on this, this is how I voted this past week:

* I voted to leave the EU with PM'd deal.

* I voted against having no deal removed completely.

* I voted against a second referendum.

* I voted for limited time extension to June so we can try and leave with deal.

As well as knowing how I voted, it’s important you know why I voted that way too.

I supported the prime minister’s deal as it delivers on the UK-wide referendum result, while keeping as close as possible economic relationship to protect our prosperity.

However, when speaking to constituents and businesses, all the feedback I get is for us, the politicians, to get on with Brexit and to provide long-term certainty about what our future relationship will look like with the EU. That is why I voted to keep ‘No Deal’ on the table, but for a limited period of time. While ‘No Deal’ is not the outcome I want to see for the UK, Scotland or Ochil and South Perthshire, it does provide that clarity and certainty of what our future relationship will look like, while ensuring we still have a bargaining tool on the table for any further negotiations with the EU.

Equally, we cannot allow Brexit to drag on forever, either through a second referendum, or by extending Article 50 indefinitely. We had a ‘people’s vote’ in 2016 and while I campaigned and voted for us to remain in the EU, I accept that I lost that argument and have to respect the result of the referendum. We have seen the damage and division caused in Scotland by having a second independence referendum hanging over us, and I don’t want to see that situation being amplified here in Scotland, or being repeated across the United Kingdom.

Now that we know how Parliament and the government intend to proceed, I will continue to work on a cross-party basis to seek alternative solutions to find the best possible outcome for Ochil and South Perthshire.

Finally, I want to say a quick word about the incident this week in which one of my staff members was threatened and abused. While I am happy to have a robust debate with anyone about politics, and constituents are always welcome in my offices to discuss any issue they like, this sort of behaviour will never be acceptable in political discourse.

The incident has been reported to the police, but it will never be acceptable to behave like that towards anyone, least of all my staff who are not political appointments, but are public servants who work incredibly hard to help anyone who needs it.

As always, if you have any issues/concerns please contact me at my office on 38 Primrose Street, Alloa, by phone on 01259 764407, or by email –