WARRINGTON’S two Laabour MPs have spoken out to explain how they voted in the various Brexit proposals put to the House of Parliament this week – and why.
Warrington North MP Helen Jones and Warrington South MP Faisal Rashid both voted against having a second referendum – and also against accepting the deal negotiated by the Prime Minister with the European Union.
Ms Jones said: “ I stood for re-election on a manifesto which promised to respect the result of the referendum. In my view, this does not mean accepting any deal Theresa May brings back. It does mean trying to get a deal which is good for my constituency and the country.
“That is why I voted against the Tory government’s deal this week. No deal would also be disastrous for Warrington’s economy and for the country.
“I also voted to limit any extension of article 50 to June 30. Unfortunately this was defeated. I then voted for the amendment proposed by Hilary Benn which would have given parliament the chance to vote on various options for Brexit. This was lost by two votes.
“It is not good enough for ministers to call for parliament to say what it wants as well as what it doesn’t want and then vote against giving us time to do that. The government, of course, controls the parliamentary timetable.
“I voted against a second referendum for two reasons. The first is that I stood on a pledge to respect the 2016 referendum result. The second is that in a representative democracy, I believe strongly that it is parliament’s job to see that we get a good deal, one that protects people’s jobs and living standards. That is what I shall continue to work for. Unfortunately, the campaign for a second referendum has been a diversion which has taken away valuable time from securing a good deal.”
Mr Rashid said: “From the beginning of the Brexit process, I have always been clear in my desire to respect the result of the 2016 referendum while protecting existing jobs, living standards and rights from the danger of a no deal Brexit.
“In 2017, I was elected on a Labour Party manifesto pledge to accept the referendum result and put the national interest first. This means supporting an outcome that seeks to unite the country around a Brexit deal that works for every community in Britain. By this measure, the Prime Minister’s botched Brexit deal has failed miserably.
“On Tuesday, she suffered a second crushing defeat in parliament as her deal failed to secure anywhere near enough support from within her own party. A day later, the government was handed another humiliating defeat as MPs worked across the house to act in the national interest and try to take no deal off the table. On each occasion, I voted against the Prime Minister’s bad deal and against a disastrous no deal.
Finally, I voted to extend Article 50 on Thursday night. I recognise the need to apply for an extension of Article 50 in order to prevent no deal and allow time to find majority support in parliament for a different approach. But for the Prime Minister, extending Article 50 without a clear change of direction is not a solution. The government needs to find a compromise solution which can command support in parliament. In the coming days, I will be working to support such an outcome: one which puts Warrington’s jobs and living standards first”.