How did our MPs vote in second Brexit deal defeat?

Our Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire MPs - Stephen McPartland, Nadine Dorries, Bim Afolami, Alistair B

Our Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire MPs - Stephen McPartland, Nadine Dorries, Bim Afolami, Alistair Burt and Sir Oliver Heald - all voted in favour of PM Theresa May's second Brexit deal. Picture: Archant - Credit: Archant

Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal was rejected for a second time in the House of Commons last night, but how did our Conservative MPs vote?

The deal, which set out the terms of how the UK would leave the EU on March 29, was rejected by 149 votes – a smaller margin than when it was rejected in January.

There were 391 votes against the deal, but this time all of our MPs supported the PM.

Stevenage MP Stephen McPartland – who in the first meaningful vote rebelled against the government – explained his decision on his website, saying: “I backed the Prime Minister to deliver Brexit in the meaningful vote after the legally binding changes she secured.

“The Prime Minister listened to Parliament and went back to Europe to secure those legally binding changes to stop us from being trapped in the backstop indefinitely.

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“She has secured legally binding changes, with comparable legal weight to the withdrawal agreement, to reduce the risk that the EU could deliberately keep the UK in the backstop indefinitely and to work to replace the backstop with alternative arrangements by December 2020.

“It is not a perfect deal and there are still a number of issues that I do not like, but any negotiation requires compromise. The Prime Minister listened to the concerns I raised on behalf of my constituents and acted upon them.”

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In a tweet this morning, Mr McPartland also said that the Labour Party had “stolen Brexit”, writing: “Last night the Labour Party voted to steal Brexit. I will continue to fight them and try to deliver on the democratic decision of the British people.”

Hitchin & Harpenden MP Bim Afolami – who made history by becoming the first father in British Parliamentary history to vote by proxy while on maternity leave – was disappointed to see the PM’s deal rejected, and confirmed he would be voting to stop a ‘no-deal Brexit’ today.

He said: “I am disappointed that Parliament has rejected the Prime Minister’s renegotiated deal. This new deal delivered on the result of the referendum, and provided new legal reassurances to those concerned about being trapped in the backstop.

“I will be voting against a ‘no deal’ outcome today, as I believe it would cause irreparable damage to the UK economy and would not be in the national interest or the in the interest of my constituents in Hitchin and Harpenden.

“I have been clear that extending Article 50 without a purpose is not a good outcome, however if it means preventing a ‘no-deal’ Brexit then I will do so on Thursday.

“I continue to believe that the best outcome to Brexit is a cross-party approach that delivers on the result of the referendum. That’s what I’m working towards and will continue to work with colleagues to achieve.”

North East Beds MP Alistair Burt echoed the beliefs of Mr McPartland, posting on his website: “Many constituents have contacted me in support of the Prime Minister’s efforts over the months.

“The changes made seem to me to offer a legal guarantee that, for those who believed the EU might act malevolently to ‘trap’ the UK, such an outcome cannot occur.

“Constituents have been intensely interested in Brexit and the consequences of the referendum, since that vote, but even more so over the last few months.

“I appreciate their comments and advice, and hope that even those who must disagree with me and what I have voted for and why, as the months have gone on, at least understand my position.”

In a short tweet, Mid Bedfordshire MP Nadine Dorries explained her decision to vote with the government – having rebelled previously – writing: “I voted for the deal tonight because I felt the danger of a no-deal motion being tabled and then lost, was too high to risk.”

North East Herts MP Sir Oliver Heald also voted for the Prime Minister’s deal.

The Comet is yet to receive a response following last night’s vote but, speaking after the first meaningful vote in January – in which he also voted in favour of Theresa May’s deal – he said: “I voted with the government. It’s very important to our area to have an agreed Brexit process, and big local employers are contacting me saying ‘we must have a deal’.”

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