MPs speak out over Brexit confusion after Boris Johnson loses vote

MPs from across the Black Country and Staffordshire have expressed mixed reactions to the Brexit amendment vote which has forced Prime Minister Boris Johnson to ask the EU for a delay.

Boris Johnson
Boris Johnson

Mr Johnson's hopes of getting Commons backing for his deal has hit the buffers for now after MPs voted for the amendment proposed by Sir Oliver Letwin.

The house voted 322 to 306 in favour of the amendment, which means withholding approval of the deal until legislation to implement it is in place.

Tom Watson

Tom Watson, Labour's deputy leader for Labour and MP for West Bromwich: "Johnson must comply with the law. His deal will make us poorer and degrade environmental and workers’ rights.

"He cannot force this through by threatening a disastrous No Deal. The only way to finally and fairly resolve this and bring the country together is through a People's Vote.

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"The last few years of politics have been hard but we will have to live with the consequences of this deal for years, maybe decades to come. Wanting the difficult topic of Brexit to be 'over' is not a reason to vote for a hard Brexit deal that will damage our country."

Wolverhampton South East Labour MP Pat McFadden: "There is a philosophical problem at the core of the Prime Minister's argument. He is promising his colleagues, particularly his most ardent Brexit supporting colleagues, that the proposals before us offer a pathway to the de-regulated future of which they have always dreamed.

"And at the same time, he is saying to Labour colleagues, that he now has a new found love for all the European workers rights that he built a journalistic career slagging off. Both of these things cannot be true, so which one is?"

Margot James

Margot James, independent MP for Stourbridge said she felt "frustrated" and "disappointed" with the vote.

She said: "It was a huge let down and we came away with nothing. I find it hard to understand why the government could not just live with the amendment and put the deal to a vote. Although it was a close call we had every chance of passing, then we could have got on next week with the legislation.

"I voted against the amendment because I feel Boris Johnson deserves the benefit of the doubt. He negotiated a deal which people thought would be impossible. I think he should have been left to get on and do it. I think it's a very worrying time really."


Michael Fabricant

Michael Fabricant, the Conservative MP for Lichfield, is calling for a general election without delay and said: "Once again a Remainer Parliament has voted to delay or thwart the will of the British people as expressed in the referendum back in 2016.

“To those who are calling for another referendum, I say we had a ‘People’s Referendum’ three years ago. With Labour now offering only a partial Brexit with the UK still being subject to control from Brussels, and the Liberal Democrats who would remain in the EU, the only effective ‘People’s Vote’, which is long overdue, is a general election.

“Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party are vetoing an election under the Fixed Term Parliament Act. He knows, if the polls are correct, that both his party - and he personally - are deeply unpopular and so would be likely to lose.

“So we are trapped with a government that does not enjoy a parliamentary majority and a Parliament which is made up predominantly of Remain MPs determined to stop Brexit. This cannot go on. It is paralysing our country.

“So I say: Let’s have a ‘People’s Vote’ without delay: namely general election. Then the People can make a real choice between the alternatives for our country.”

Ian Austin

Ian Austin, Independent MP for Dudley North said: "When are MPs going to face up to their responsibilities and get this sorted out, instead of voting for more dither, delay and confusion? Parliament has had three-and-a-half years to sort this out and people in the Black Country are sick of politicians bickering about party politics or trying to block Brexit altogether.

"This might not be a perfect deal, but that’s because too many MPs have been using every trick in the book to frustrate the process, instead of working together to find a compromise and sort Brexit out.

"Like the vast majority of MPs, the manifesto I stood on in 2017 promised to uphold the result of the referendum. I repeated that promise to people in Dudley, I respect the people I represent and I keep my promises. That is why I voted to get Brexit done today and then move on to other issues like education, the NHS and getting more police on the streets to tackle crime."

Emma Reynolds

Wolverhampton North East Labour MP Emma Reynolds said: “Nobody trusts Boris Johnson and that’s why today he lost in Parliament. I voted for the amendment put down by Conservative MP Oliver Letwin which is an insurance policy against a no deal Brexit. The highest court in the country recently found that Boris Johnson had misled the Queen. We can’t trust him to obey the law and he can’t be trusted to act in the national interest.

"When the vote comes next week, I will not be voting for Boris Johnson’s Tory Brexit deal.

"I understand the strong views that people have on Brexit, and I understand why people want badly to move on from the Brexit mess the Tories have created.

"As an MP, I believe it is my duty to consider carefully the long term implications of big decisions. My priority has always been, and will continue to be, the prosperity and security of my constituents.

"I believe that this Tory Brexit deal will harm jobs, businesses, and living standards in Wolverhampton. We now know that some of the Midlands’ biggest industries – like car manufacturing and aerospace – will suffer real damage from this latest reckless Tory Brexit deal. I have real concerns about the implications for jobs and local employers, like Jaguar Land Rover, Collins Aerospace and Tata Steel.

"On top of that, the Tories want to scrap workers’ rights and consumer protections built up over years to protect us all. The deal would also put our security at risk by weakening our cooperation with our neighbours at a time when the world is becoming more dangerous."

Eddie Hughes

Eddie Hughes, Conservative MP for Walsall North, said: "The remain Parliament, led by Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn, has once again voted to delay Britain’s exit from the European Union. I voted to get Brexit done and to leave on October 31.

"Delay is costing millions of pounds a week and people want a decision making. I will continue to fight in Westminster to deliver for the people of Walsall North."

MP for Walsall North Eddie Hughes said: "The remain Parliament, led by Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn, has once again voted to delay Britain’s exit from the European Union.

"I voted to get Brexit done and to leave on October 31.

"Delay is costing millions of pounds a week and people want a decision making. I will continue to fight in Westminster to deliver for the people of Walsall North."

Wendy Morton

Wendy Morton, Conservative MP for Aldridge and Brownhills, said: "I'm very disappointed that parliament failed to see the opportunity to get on and get Brexit done.

"I've always been very clear that that I will respect the outcome of the referendum. I voted remain but I will continue to do what I can to make sure we leave the EU by October 31. I want a deal but the main thing is let's get on and let's get Brexit done.

"That's the feeling now I'm getting. Now it's time for people in parliament to say that's what we want. Is it that they don't like the deal of just don't want Brexit to happen?"

John Spellar

John Spellar, Labour MP for Warley, added: "If Boris Johnson had been straightforward he would have got a better reception in Parliament.

"There was a real concern on the Labour side about the way he was aiming to cut any protection for workers' rights and consumer rights and the environment. I think he has to come up with answers for that next week."

Sir Bill Cash

Sir Bill Cash, Conservative MP for Stone, added: "We were sabotaged by Oliver Letwin. I take an extremely hostile approach to what he has done.

"I don't believe for one minute that he should have done what he did. I was watching him on television saying he was going to back the deal but if he was backing the extension of time then he was sabotaging the deal. Because what they want in Labour is to bring in a referendum and reverse Brexit. It's simple. That's all it boils down to."

Gavin Williamson

Gavin Williamson has said the focus of all Black Country and Staffordshire MPs should be to "get Brexit done".

The Conservative MP for South Staffordshire and Secretary of State for Education said it was "really disappointing" to see some politicians trying to stop Brexit from happening.

He said: "It's really disappointing to see the Labour party, Lib Dems and SNP all working together to try and stop Brexit.

"Now they are being offered three choices and they've said they want to do a deal and and want to have an election.

"What on earth do they actually want?

"It's about time these MPs who represent leave seats actually listen to their constituents and deliver for them the right thing – and stop trying to stop Brexit.

"Everyone wants to just get Brexit done. That's what the Prime Minister put on the table. Now it's time for everyone to rally behind him and deliver Brexit, as is the overwhelming wish of people across the Black Country and Staffordshire.

"This has got to be the focus. Let's get Brexit done."

Mike Wood

Mike Wood, Conservative MP for Dudley South said: "This agreement delivers substantially everything that we campaigned for in the referendum and would mean leaving the EU in less than two weeks time. It’s a disgrace that this was blocked yesterday by MPs who were elected on a promise to respect the referendum result, but most of them have never had any intention of keeping that promise.

"Parliament has a last chance this week to pass this deal, deliver Brexit and show that we meant it when we promised we would do what voters decided."

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