How did our MPs vote on Brexit amendments?
PUBLISHED: 16:01 30 January 2019
Parliament backed amendments to renegotiate a Brexit deal and blocking a no-deal Brexit on Tuesday night, but how did our MPs vote?
Prime Minister Theresa May will return to Brussels to try to negotiate a deal that could be passed through the Commons, after MPs voted by 317 to 301 in favour of a proposal from Conservative grandee Sir Graham Brady.
The proposal will see her try to replace the backstop with “alternative arrangements” to keep the Irish border open after Brexit.
North East Herts MP Sir Oliver Heald supported the amendment, while South Cambs MP Heidi Allen voted against it.
But one of the PM’s most important negotiating weapons was ripped from her hands on Tuesday night, as the House of Commons also voted to block a no-deal Brexit in a non-binding decision. Sir Oliver voted against the amendment, while Mrs Allen supported it.
In a statement ahead of Tuesday’s voting, Sir Oliver told the Crow: “I continue to believe that the withdrawal agreement negotiated by the government is a good basis for Brexit and has many good features.
“It is the most likely option to ultimately gain parliamentary approval. However, I agree that the backstop causes concern and that there could be a clearer mechanism for ending it or a better guarantee of the open border in Northern Ireland.
“I have therefore supported the government and the Brady amendment aimed to improve or replace the backstop.”
And Mrs Allen said: “For me the biggest concern is not over the backstop, but rather the political declaration which crucially is not legally binding. I remain concerned that any aspirations for the future trade deal, as outlined in the political declaration could literally be ripped up, should Theresa May be replaced by a Conservative leader desiring a hard, no-deal Brexit. This is entirely feasible and so for me, far too risky.
“We need to get on with thrashing out a solution without the threat of no deal hanging over our heads. These amendments would enable MPs to do just that and so have my support.
“However, any amendments which seek to remove or tamper with the backstop will not have my support, for the reasons I state above.”
Sir Oliver voted against all the amendments barring Sir Graham’s, while Mrs Allen’s full voting record on the night was as follows:
Against – Labour’s amendment for Parliament to vote on options which prevent the UK leaving the EU without a deal, including a permanent customs union and a referendum
Against – The SNP’s amendment to delay Brexit, rule out leaving the EU without a deal and emphasise the role of the UK nations in the Brexit process
For – Tory MP Dominic Grieve’s amendment to force the government to make time for six days of debate on Brexit alternatives before 26 March
For – Labour MP Yvette Cooper’s amendment to give Parliament time to pass a bill that would postpone Brexit until 31 December if the prime minister’s deal is not approved by 26 February
Did not vote – Labour MP Rachel Reeves’ amendment for the government to ask the EU to postpone Brexit for an indefinite period
For – Tory MP Dame Caroline Spelman’s amendment to reject leaving the EU without a deal
Against – Tory MP Sir Graham Brady’s amendment to call for Parliament to require the backstop is replaced with “alternative arrangements to avoid a hard border” with Ireland
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