THE defeat of Prime Minister May’s Brexit deal was widely expected.

The massive majority against it was not. Leavers and Remainers joined forces ­— Chris Green, Yasmin Quereshi and David Crausby going through the same voting lobby was, to say the least unusual.

Parliament showed clearly what it did not want. It seems incapable to be able to decide what it does want.

It is very unlikely that Jeremy Corbyn will get the General Election he wants. Even if he does, it would not solve Britain’s major problem of what to do about Brexit.

Options now seem very limited:

• Leaving the EU with no deal. Although favoured by the avid Brexiters like Jacob Rees-Mogg, most accept that would be catastrophic for Britain.

• Trying to re-negotiate with the EU. There is unlikely to be much room for improvement that could get a majority in Parliament

• Try to get a deal similar to Norway. We would have to keep free movement and follow EU rules, but without having any input to them. Economically, that would be better than No Deal, but would not satisfy most Brexiters.

• Revoke Article 50 and stay in the EU. That would infuriate many who voted Leave in 2016 and would only add to the division in our country

Any course would be divisive.

I believe the least divisive and most sensible way forward is to accept that in 2016 the nation voted in principle to leave the EU (or 37 per cent of those eligible to vote did), but that the people should be given another vote now we know the possible terms and consequences with a clear choice of leaving or staying.

Hopefully we could have better, positive and more honest campaigns than we did in 2016, and everybody would be expected to accept the result.

Choppy waters whichever way we go, but I believe there is only one sensible route out of this.

Cllr Roger Hayes

Liberal Democrat Group leader