North West Cambridgeshire MP Shailesh Vara says the European Union is laughing at the UK over its Brexit impasse and says the prime minister was not robust enough in negotiations over the withdrawal deal. Mr Vara, who has been the member for North West Cambridgeshire since 2005, has served previous governments as a minister for justice, as a minister in the Department for Work and Pensions, and as a government whip. However, he resigned from his post as a minister in the Northern Ireland office over his opposition to the Brexit withdrawal deal agreed by Prime Minister Theresa May, something he says is not right for the country. He also said the country was not in a better place following Mrs Mays victory in the confidence vote because the terms of the deal with the EU remained the same. Mr Vara said: It was indeed a momentous vote in parliament last week, and the prime minister won her vote of confidence; but Im not sure that we are in a better place now than we were before, because ultimately the vote was based upon the withdrawal agreement that Theresa May has brought back from Brussels, and is still the same deal on the table that I resigned over. What we have now is a prime minister who, having won her confidence vote, will probably have an unassailable position at least for the next twelve months in parliament. But for my part, I want to say that it has always been about the deal on the table, and not the individual in question. The problem is that shes left with the same agreement that has caused her all the problems shes had to face, up to now. And the EU have made it abundantly clear that theyre not going to change their minds on this deal. So, given the strong opposition to the deal as it stands and I have to emphasise here that there are a lot of politicians who you would not normally regard as the usual suspects in terms of rebelling against the party line I think that the prime minister is still going to struggle. Ive been a member of parliament for nearly 14 years now. I have won four general elections in this constituency that I am privileged to represent, and Ive been loyal to my party throughout. Ive spent nearly 10 of those 14 years on the front bench, both in opposition and in government. So, it has taken a lot for me to take the stance that I have but I genuinely believe, having read the 585 pages and the 26 pages of the political declaration, that this is a really bad deal for the country, and my constituents. Therefore, Im not sure that we are in a better place now than we were a few days ago, unless the European Union is prepared to actually renegotiate the agreement. And its all very well the EU saying that were not going to do it, but when they do, we, as a nation, need to stand up and say well, in that case we (the UK), will have to consider alternatives. The difficulty I have is that I dont believe that the Government has been as robust in all of these negotiations as it shouldve been. In an ideal world, what we shouldve done two years ago is that the prime minister should have said very publicly that she was instructing her civil servants to prepare for a no deal scenario. But in the meantime, of course she would negotiate with the European Union, because we would like to have an agreement with them, and its in everyones interests that we have that agreement. She couldve said but, in the event that we dont achieve an agreement, I dont want my country to be unprepared. Now that wouldve added sufficient tension to the deal with the EU for them to think we need to get a deal with the UK, because these people are serious, and theyre making preparations. But Im sorry to say, that it doesnt appear that weve done that. Therefore, we find ourselves today with the European Union looking at us laughing at us saying that they have the UK backed into a corner, and now were going to have to take the deal that they are going to give to us, rather than the other way around. To the EU it seems as if were not properly prepared and were not. Since 2016, the chancellor has committed more than £4billionn to the preparation process for a no deal Brexit so I acknowledge that there is a whole lot of preparation being done. But I think that its also important to remember that in any negotiation you shouldnt buckle under during the negotiations simply because the other side shouts a little bit louder than we do. The fact that the government made it abundantly clear to the EU that we wouldnt entertain a no deal, means that we can now position ourselves immediately. And to those people who say what about all those lorries thatll be queuing from Dover right up to the M25, and that we wont be able to have fresh fruit and vegetables from France?, to those people, I say, there will be lorries lined up from deep inside France all the way to Calais, full of fresh fruit and vegetables which will be rotting. Look at the way the French do business. Weve just seen President Macron make two huge tax concessions, reversals of his policy, because the people of France were protesting the price of fuel on the streets of Paris. They protested, so he made changes. Those protestors were lorry drivers, hauliers, farmers, fresh fruit and veg producers who wouldve been very upset with their president if he hadnt done as they told him to. President Macron, I am minded to say, would, I am sure, say that it would be in his countrys interests to do a deal with the UK, because it absolutely is in his countrys interest to do a deal with us. And what about Portugal? They wouldnt be able to export their avocados to us, or Spain, their fresh fruit as well? The Italians, their washing machines, their dryers, their cars? The Germans, their cars? And across the continent their wine? And so on. All of the leaders of these countries have to look after their own people and the crucial thing here is that in May 2019, we have European Union elections coming up. And when youve got elections coming up, no political leader wants to have unrest in her or his country. Therefore now is the perfect opportunity for Britain to stand up and say we will not put up with this agreement, and leave it at that because if we had the guts to say that, then the EU would have to say with the elections coming up in the near future, and with the potential for riot and upset in their own country that they would come to the table and say we are sure we can do a deal thats agreeable to both sides. We could try to get a three-month extension, because its in both parties interests to do that. The EU are not prepared for a no deal scenario, and so it isnt to anybodys benefit to have a no deal scenario. If only we had the courage to stand up to the EU and say no, then they might look at the UK and think well, these guys are serious, because its not in their interest to not have a no deal either. The problem is that the UK has simply shied away every time the other side said no. We shouldve had the guts to stand up to them and its still not too late because we could still stand up to them and say were not going to settle for this agreement, and if that means no deal, then its no deal.