Brexit Update – 03/02/2019

Following an application from Sir Oliver Letwin and other cross party colleagues, on Tuesday the 3rd of September, MPs were granted an SO24 emergency debate allowing them to then go on and debate his European Union (Withdrawal) motion, which I supported. The motion if passed, would allow MPs to take control of the order paper on Wednesday 4 September (today) and put forward their own agenda.

Last night I, alongside 327 MPs, voted for the motion defeating the government by 328 to 301. This passed by a larger majority than expected as 21 Conservative MPs voted against the government and have consequently had the whip removed:

  • Kenneth Clarke, Father of the House and former Chancellor, Home secretary, Justice secretary, Health secretary and Education secretary
  • Phillip Hammond, former Chancellor, Foreign secretary, Defence secretary and Transport Secretary
  • Sir Nicholas Soames, Grandson of Winston Churchill, former Defence       minister
  • David Gauke, former Justice secretary, Work and Pensions secretary and Treasury chief secretary
  • Greg Clark, former Communities secretary and Business secretary
  • Sir Oliver Letwin, former Cabinet office minister and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
  • Justine Greening, former Education secretary, International development secretary and Transport secretary
  • Dominic Grieve, former Attorney General
  • Rory Stewart, former International Development secretary
  • Alistair Burt, former Foreign Office minister
  • Sam Gyimah, former Education minister
  • Stephen Hammond, former Health minister
  • Guto Bebb, former Defence minister
  • Richard Benyon, former DEFRA minister
  • Steve Brine, former junior Health minister
  • Richard Harrington, former junior Business minister
  • Margot James, former Digital Policy minister
  • Anne Milton, former minister for Women and Education minister
  • Caroline Nokes, former Immigration minister
  • Antoinette Sandbach
  • Edward Vaizey, former Culture minister

Some of the most senior and well represented parliamentarians in this country have now been thrown out of the Conservative party. I am incredibly proud of them and grateful to them for the sacrifice they have made. This fundamental change in the party and its unstoppable shift towards the right of British politics was precisely the reason I myself resigned back in February. Last night was a dark day for democracy.

Following last night’s success, MPs will today bring forward The European (Withdrawal) (no 6) Bill in a bid to prevent a no-deal exit on the 31st of October and seek an extension. Clause 1 of the Bill gives the government until Saturday 19 October to do either of two things: seek and secure the approval of MPs for either:

  • A withdrawal agreement, or
  • Leaving without a withdrawal agreement in place

If the House has approved neither of these by the 19th of October, the Prime Minister must seek an extension to Article 50 until the 31st of January 2020. This request can be modified if a withdrawal agreement is approved by the commons, or the commons decide we should leave without a deal after the 19th of October.

Further information on all clauses of the bill can be read following this link.

If the Bill completes all stages in the House of Commons today, it can then be introduced to the House of Lords on Thursday 5th September. As mentioned in an article published on Monday, the Bill will have my full support.

A no deal Brexit will be utterly catastrophic for our country. Our economy, security, the Union and peace in Ireland will be at risk and I will never, ever support that.

While I am hopeful that the House of Commons will be successful again today – the Prime Minister has stated that if he loses the vote, he will try and force an early General Election. Although I cannot yet say for certain, I believe that the majority of MPs will try and block this, recognising that if the Government win this, they will be able to control the date of such an election. Boris Johnson has repeatedly shown himself to be totally untrustworthy and we are under no illusion, that with him controlling the timetable, he would seek to rip us out of the EU without a deal, using the date to his advantage. We must totally eradicate the risk of No Deal before there is any talk of a General Election.

I will update my website again as soon as I know more – but please rest assured I remain unswerving in my commitment to protecting my constituents and country and will do everything in my power to stop No Deal.