Brexit LIVE: Labour MPs attacked for refusing to back Hard Brexit block – 'Reprehensible!'

Posted on Jun 13 2019 - 6:16pm by admin

The division from last night’s Commons vote, which lost by 309 to 298, named the rebels who backed the motion which would have enabled Parliament to seize control of the agenda from the Government. The Tories who supported the motion were: Guto Bebb (Aberconwy), Kenneth Clarke (Rushcliffe), Jonathan Djanogly (Huntingdon), Justine Greening (Putney), Dominic Grieve (Beaconsfield), Sam Gyimah (East Surrey), Phillip Lee (Bracknell), Oliver Letwin (West Dorset), Antoinette Sandbach (Eddisbury), Caroline Spelman (Meriden).

The rebels were led by Sir Oliver Letwin who urged colleagues to back the motion, warning it was the only opportunity they would have to stop a no deal Brexit as there was potentially only four weeks in September and October in which Parliament will be sitting.

He said of those hoping to succeed Mrs May: “They know they only have to occupy four weeks of doing nothing and we’re out.

“Although it isn’t a fast burning fuse, it is a bomb the fuse of which is already burning.

“If we don’t put the fuse out now, we won’t be able to dissemble the bomb in September or October, and that’s why it is wrong to say this is premature.”

House of Commons

Ten Tory rebels voted in support of a Labour-led motion to block a no deal Brexit (Image: PA)

In another day of high drama in the Commons, eight Labour MPs defied Jeremy Cobyn to oppose the motion.

The Labour MPs who voted against were: Kevin Barron (Rother Valley), Ronnie Campbell (Blyth Valley), Jim Fitzpatrick (Poplar and Limehouse), Caroline Flint (Don Valley), Stephen Hepburn (Jarrow), Kate Hoey (Vauxhall), John Mann (Bassetlaw), Graham Stringer (Blackley and Broughton).

Shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer had earlier urged MPs to support the measures in order to introduce a “safety valve” into the Brexit process given some of the promises being made by Tory leadership candidates.

Tory MPs cheered as the motion was defeated last night, after which Mr Corbyn was heard to say: “You won’t be cheering in September.”


Rory Stewart

Rory Stewart with his wife Shoshana (Image: PA)

11.53am update: Rory Stewart issues Brexit “zombieland” warning

Britain risks being stuck in a political “zombieland” where no decisions are taken if Parliament fails to pass a Brexit deal, according to Tory leadership contender Rory Stewart.

The Conservative MP said rival candidates who are promising to deliver on Brexit by the end of October are “misleading themselves and others”.

Several of the contenders vying to succeed Theresa May as Conservative leader and prime minister have pledged Britain will be out of the European Union by then – without a deal if necessary

Boris Johnson, one of the favourites to win the race, has already warned MPs will face “mortal retribution” from the electorate if they try to stop Brexit.

But Mr Stewart, the International Development Secretary, said it would be “very, very tough” for the UK to be out of the EU by the October 31 deadline.

The possibility of a second European referendum or even a General Election could delay Brexit further, he added, saying the UK could be “stuck in a zombieland where no decisions are being made”.

11.12am update: Labour MPs under attack for refusing to back hard Brexit block

Labour MPs are facing a furious backlash from Remainers after voting against Jeremy Corbyn’s bid to block a hard Brexit.

Poplar and Limehouse MP Jim Kitzpatrick was one of eight who went against the motion last night.

One person tweeted to the Labour politician: “Jim, if you have voted against the plan to stop a No Deal or simply abstained, history will not be kind on you and personally I am absolutely disgusted since you have NEVER explained your reasons for wanting to impose hardship on your constituents. Disgusted and gutted.”

Another simply wrote: “Reprehensible.”

Another said: “My own member of Parliament, @FitzMP completely disregards his constituents and the economic impact on his constituency and beyond. Then again he’s not standing for re-election so he can’t be held accountable. Sad.”

Mr Fitzpatrick retweeted a selection of quotes before writing: “Really?”

Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson’s leadership ambitions were given a boost by the Commons result (Image: PA)

10.22am update: European press has field day after Johnson campaign launch

European newspapers have launched a series of scathing attack on Boris Johnson after he launched his Tory leadership campaign.

France’s Le Monde said Mr Johnson was “a stranger to logic and convictions” in a career rich in “deceits, blunders and failures”.

It said his “jingoistic rhetoric” promised Britons an unrealistic “glorious global future”.

Dutch daily de Volkskrant said branded the former foreign secretary “a 21st-century buccaneer, a pirate who surfs the oceans in search of wealth, unconstrained by rules or conventions”.

Germany’s Handelsblatt warned Mr Johnson would be “fatal for Britain”.

It said: “The UK and the international partners of the fifth largest economy in the world are likely to encounter chaos if he succeeds Theresa May at the end of July.

“It is to be hoped that he will be beaten in the race for the premiership. Unfortunately, given Britain’s current pro-Brexit mood, he may not be.”


9.51pm update: Top diplomat warns of Brexit chaos damage

Britain’s reputation in Singapore has been badly damaged by its handling of Brexit, according to a senior diplomat.

The UK’s outgoing high commissioner, Scott Wightman, said the Asian city-state’s leaders are “baffled by the UK’s chaotic politics”.

Mr Wightman, who left the role on Tuesday, issued the warning in a confidential Foreign Office telegram seen by the Politico news website.

He said: “The nation they admired for stability, common sense, tolerance and realism grounded in fact, they see beset by division, obsessed with ideology, careless of the truth, its leaders apparently determined to keep on digging.

“I fear many around the world share their view.”

A Foreign Office spokesman said the department is at the “forefront” of the Government’s effort “to deliver a successful” Brexit.


Singapore’s leaders are mystified by the Brexit chaos in Britain (Image: GETTY)

9.27am update: Johnson pulls away in Tory leadership contest

Boris Johnson is pulling away from the rest of the field in the Tory leadership race with more than half of members saying they want him as party leader, according to a new poll.

Rory Stewart who has come from almost nowhere to leap into second place, the latest survey on the ConservativeHome website reveals.

ConservativeHome editor Paul Goodman said: “Boris Johnson’s most recent scores in our Next Tory Leader surveys have been 33 per cent, 43 per cent – and now 54 per cent.

“That 43 per cent score was already a record for the survey in this question, as far as we can tell, and Johnson’s eve-of-poll rating sees him taking more than half the vote.

“Rory Stewart’s brilliant campaign has taken him to second, but he is more than 40 points behind the front-runner.

“Dominic Raab, who was on 15 per cent at the end of May, has seen his rating almost halve since then. Johnson has clearly eaten into his support.

“Michael Gove’s turbulent week sees four points knocked off his total – not all that much, but he had a small rating to begin with: 12 per cent.

“That none the less saw him second in our last survey: he is now fourth. Jeremy Hunt rises slightly from five per cent to eight per cent, and Sajid Javid does likewise from three per cent to five per cent.”

9.11am update: Tory defector says no deal “a racing certainty”

Former Conservative MP Nick Boles, who flew back to the UK to vote with Labour last night, said opponents of a no deal Brexit were running out of options – apart from a confidence vote to bring down the government.

Mr Boles, who quit the Tories earlier this year and now sits as an Independent Progressive Conservative, said: “No deal Brexit on 31 October is back to being a racing certainty.

“It is very hard to see where any further legislative opportunities will come from. So it’s now a question of politics – specifically whether a PM pursuing a no-deal Brexit can command and sustain the confidence of the House of Commons.”

House of Commons

The Labour-led motion was defeated by 11 votes (Image: PA)

8.33am update: UK investment boom continues despite Brexit fears

Britain has maintained its position as Europe’s foremost investment hub by attracting more business than Germany and France combined, new United Nations Conference on Trade and Develop figures reveal.

As global confidence grows in the UK, it retained its position as the top destination in Europe for foreign direct investment despite the uncertainty surrounding Brexit.

The country managed to attract £1.48 trillion of inwards investment stocks in 2018, which is more than Europe’s next biggest economies – Germany and France.

This leaves Britain the third-largest investment hub in the world, behind the United States and China.

Nigel Farage Jo Brand

Nigel Farage has accused Jo Brand of inciting violence (Image: PA)

8.15am update: Jo Brand under fire for acid attack “joke”

BBC bosses have defended Jo Brand after the comedian made a joke about throwing battery acid at “unpleasant characters” during a Radio 4 broadcast.

Brand, appearing on Victoria Coren Mitchell’s Heresy talk show on Tuesday, questioned why protesters were using milkshakes when they could use battery acid.

She made the comments in the wake of a series of milkshake attacks against individuals including Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage.

The 61-year-old went on to say the idea was “purely a fantasy” and had no intention of carrying it out.

In reply to a question about the current state of politics, she said: “Well, yes I would say that but that’s because certain unpleasant characters are being thrown to the fore.”

Mr Farage has accused Jo Brand of inciting violence.

Sir Oliver Letwin

Sir Oliver Letwin led the Tory rebels and warns there are no more options to block no deal (Image: GETTY)

7.30am update: Letwin warns no more options for blocking no deal 

Tory rebel Sir Oliver Letwin has warned Parliament may have run out of options to block a no-deal Brexit by the next prime minister.

The former minister, who was behind a series of cross-party attempts to block a no deal and was one of 10 Tories to back a Labour-led motion in the commons last night, said there may be no more opportunities for Parliament to intervene.

He told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme: “Under the Article 50 process, on October 31 the UK leaves the EU regardless of whether we do or don’t have a deal in place unless somebody does something to alter that.

“If the Government doesn’t bring something before Parliament, Parliament won’t have a chance to take a view on that as things currently stand because we have run out of all the possibilities any of us can, at the moment anyway, think of for Parliament to be able to insist on having a view.

“I have really struggled very hard to think of every available opportunity and I can’t currently think of any more.”

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