Further Brexit Update for Constituents, March 2019

Yesterday evening, I am pleased to report that MPs, including myself and all members of The Independent Group,  rejected leaving the EU without a deal by 321 to 278 votes.

Today there will be a vote on a government motion which could see a delay to the UK’s departure from the EU. The motion can be viewed here.

As expected, multiple amendments to the motion have been tabled by MPs across the House. The precise wording of all the selected amendments can be viewed on the order paper here.

Here follows an explanation of the amendments to which I have added my name in support and have been selected by The Speaker.

Amendment H – Sarah Wollaston

This amendment instructs the Prime Minister to request an extension of Article 50 at European Council for the purpose of legislating for and conducting a public vote. It requests that the public vote enables the “people of the United Kingdom [to] give their consent for either leaving the European Union on terms to be determined by Parliament or retaining the United Kingdom’s membership of the European Union.”. 

Amendment I – Hilary Benn

This amendment gives Parliament the ability to take control of the order paper next Wednesday for a series of indicative votes. The indicative votes would allow MPs to debate and vote on multiple options and establish what holds a majority in the House. Parliament will be able to voice their support, or oppose matters such as alternative trade deals and a second referendum.  

I strongly believe that the reason we are just 15 days away from leaving the EU without a deal, is because the Government has failed to reach out across the House to find consensus. Such an approach was vital, given the narrow referendum result and the disastrous result of the Conservative 2017 General Election which revealed no majority for the hard Brexit strategy being posed. In all this time, backbench MPs have not been allowed to express their opinion nor vote on the different options, preventing a general consensus being determined.

The only way we as a country can move forward, is if MPs are allowed to try and find which option holds a majority in the House of Commons. Aware that even when given the opportunity, we still may not be able to reach consensus, I believe we should also begin preparations for a second referendum.

This is why I will vote in favour of both these amendments tonight.