How did our MPs vote in historic Brexit deal defeat?

PUBLISHED: 10:03 16 January 2019 | UPDATED: 13:42 16 January 2019

MPs Stephen McPartland, Nadine Dorries, Bim Afolami, Alistair Burt and Sir Oliver Heald. Picture: Archant

MPs Stephen McPartland, Nadine Dorries, Bim Afolami, Alistair Burt and Sir Oliver Heald. Picture: Archant


Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal was rejected in a historic defeat at 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 230 votes – the largest defeat for a sitting government in history.

There were 432 votes against the PM’s deal, and one of those was from Stevenage’s MP Stephen McPartland.

In a post on his website back in December, Mr McPartland outlined why he would vote against such a deal, saying: “I cannot support the withdrawal agreement in its current form.

“There is much to dislike, but I accept the need for compromise in any negotiation.

“However, I cannot compromise on an ‘indefinite backstop’ that prevents us from ever leaving the European Union and delivering on the result of the referendum.”

Mid-Bedfordshire MP Nadine Dorries also rebelled against her own Conservative government, voting down Mrs May’s withdrawal agreement.

“The withdrawal agreement as it stands leaves us subject to Brussels’ laws but with no voice and no say in making them,” said Ms Dorries on her website. “That is the worst of all possible worlds.

“My fear is that we will end up locked into alignment with the EU, at the mercy of 27 member states whose interests clash with our own.”

Hitchin and Harpenden MP Bim Afolami was one of 202 who voted in support of the deal, and has expressed his disappointment in the result.

He told the Comet: “I am disappointed that the Prime Minister’s deal has been voted down. However we now have to address the reality that in only 72 days we will crash out of the EU without a deal.

“No deal would mean massive disruption for the City of London, immediate limitations on our trade capabilities and most importantly would threaten the integrity of our United Kingdom.

“I will now be working hard with colleagues across political parties to come to a balanced solution that will protect business, provide certainty and deliver on the result of the referendum.”

North East Beds MP Alistair Burt also voted in favour of the PM’s deal saying: “The government and Parliament must now try to find a path to something which it will endorse, and which will be agreed by the EU, if we are to leave with an agreement, which remains in my view the best option of all others.

“I hope the PM will be talking widely and urgently to colleagues in her own party and across the Commons to get from them their own and constituents views about where next.

“I doubt that an agreement on exactly the same terms as the one rejected will be acceptable in the future, so there must be some flexibility demonstrated.”

North East Hertfordshire MP Sir Oliver Heald voted in favour.

Sir Oliver told the Comet: “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’.

“I was disappointed that the uncertainty is going to continue for workers, particularly in the manufacturing companies.

“However, I’m confident that matters will be resolved.”

Following the vote, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn tabled a motion of no confidence in the government which will be debated for about six hours from 1pm, with a vote expected at 7pm.

Mr McPartland has tweeted to say he has “full confidence” in the government and will support it in the no-confidence motion, which isn’t expected to be successful in forcing a General Election.

If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Comet. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the The Comet