It’s been another Brexit dominated week in Parliament, but we are still really no clearer on where we will end up.
On Saturday I joined around a million people on the Put it to the People march in London calling for a public vote on any Brexit Deal with the option to keep the deal we have and stay in the EU. I also signed the Revoke Article 50 which has almost reached 6 million signatures. You can sign it here.
On Monday, the so called Letwin amendment was passed by the Commons with a thumping majority – the Government lost 329-302, and also lost 3 Ministers in the process – who resigned to vote against the Government. This amendment allowed MPs to take control of the agenda in the House of Commons on Wednesday and next Monday for a series of indicative votes on possible options to resolve the impasse.
On Wednesday, we were given a choice of 8 different options on the first round of indicative votes. The idea was to sift through those options and vote in an attempt to narrow down the differences. We would then vote on the ones that had the most support next Monday. There was the possibility that on Wednesday that one option might have the support of the majority of MPs.
At the end of the votes on Wednesday, none of those 8 options received a majority of votes amongst MPs. In those votes, I supported revoking Article 50 to avoid a no deal Brexit and I supported a confirmatory referendum (public vote). Whilst neither of these options received a majority of votes, the option of a confirmatory referendum received the most support of any of the options amongst MPs which was positive.
Parliament also voted to extend the leaving date to either the 12th April or 22nd May, depending on progress. You can see my reaction to Wednesday’s events in the New European here.
On Wednesday the Prime Minister announced to her MPs that she would stand aside and let a new Tory Party leader take over future negotiations once the exit date had passed. We don’t know when that will be, but leadership hopefuls have already started jockeying for position.
Yesterday it was decided that Parliament would sit today (Friday) and so I am sorry that I was not able to be at my advertised advice surgery in Adamsdown this morning. My team attended for me and were able to provide help to all the constituents who dropped in. I’m afraid that this may happen again over the next few weeks so please keep an eye out on my website for surgery dates and any changes.
Today, the Prime Minister tried to manipulate her way around the rules again bringing back her Withdrawal deal for a third time but this time arguing that we would be voting just on the deal and not on the future relationship outside the EU (the other half of her deal – the political declaration). This was despite the two being inextricably linked. The result (predictably) was no different. The deal was rejected by a majority of 58 votes. I, along with the vast majority of Labour MPs, again voted against the PM’s deal.
The Government is in chaos, the country is without leadership and this week proved yet again, that it’s the interests of the Tory Party that are prioritised at every step, rather than the national interest.
On Monday we will again have indicative votes and see whether there is an option that commands the support of the majority of the House of Commons.
I will continue to push for a public vote on whatever we decide to do next so that you have the final say.
As always, if you have any questions or concerns to raise with me, please do get in touch by calling my office on 02921 329736 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I hope you all have a fantastic weekend.