It has been reported a total of 15 rebels are plotting to block measures which would commit Britain to leaving the EU at 11pm on 29 March 2019, bringing the date into law.
And half of these rebels serve as MPs for constituencies which voted Leave during the historic referendum in June last year, according to a comprehensive analysis of the Brexit vote.
The ‘mutineers’ include former Education Secretary Nicky Morgan and outspoken remainer Anna Soubry.
The Brexit referendum was run differently to a General Election, and instead of people casting their ballot based on Westminster constituencies, votes were counted over 382 local authority areas.
Brexit mutineers who represent Leave constituencies: Nicky Morgan, Anna Soubry and Jeremy Lefroy
I am not voting voting for there to be an end date as proposed… to this Bill
But analysis on how the counting areas transferred over to parliamentary constituencies shows seven of the 15 Tory rebels represent areas which backed Leave.
The research was conducted by Professor Chris Hanretty, Professor of Politics at Royal Holloway, University of London.
He told Express.co.uk his research “probably” showed how each constituency voted in the referendum, though exact figures were impossible to determine because of the way the vote was conducted.
Commons Speaker John Bercow yesterday condemned reports of threats against some of the ‘mutineer’ MPs as “repugnant”.
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He praised Britain’s free press, which he described as “imperfect, deeply flawed, like all of us”, but also defended the rights of MPs to speak their mind without fear of intimidation.
He said: “Members of this House are free and duty-bound to do what they think is right.
“Members will not be intimidated and they never should be.”
This is the list of MPs who, according to Professor Hanretty’s research, represent constituencies in which a majority of voters backed Leave:
Jonathan Djanogly and Vicky Ford
- Nicky Morgan (MP for Charnwood) – estimated 57.87 per cent voted Leave.
- Jonathan Djanogly (MP for Huntingdon) – estimated 53.48 per cent voted Leave.
- Vicky Ford (MP for Chelmsford) – estimated 50.68 per cent vote Leave.
- Antoinette Sandbach (MP for Eddisbury) – estimated 52.16 per cent voted Leave.
- Jeremy Lefroy (MP for Stafford) – estimated 57.46 per cent voted Leave.
- Tom Tugendhat (MP for Tonbridge and Malling) – estimated 52.85 per cent voted Leave.
- Anna Soubry (MP for Broxtowe) – estimated 52.51 per cent voted Leave.
Professor Chris Hanretty’s research shows in Nicky Morgan’s constituency of Charnwood, 57.87 per cent of voters are estimated to have backed Leave.
But the former frontbencher yesterday said she would not vote for an end date on the Brexit Bill.
Said she accepted the UK was leaving the EU but said there was “no need” to “tie the Government’s hands” by committing to an definite date.
She told Channel 4 News: “I am not voting voting for there to be an end date as proposed… to this Bill.
“That is not what this Bill is about.”
Tom Tugendhat and Antoinette Sandbach
In Jeremy Lefroy constituency of Stafford, an estimated 57.46 per cent of voters backed a split from the EU.
He was opposed to Brexit before last year’s vote and voted Remain in the referendum. Mr Lefroy has been an outspoken critic of the Government’s landmark EU Withdrawal Bill, saying it grants too much power to ministers.
He has also argued the UK should re-join the European Free Trade Association during the proposed transitional period.
In remainer Anna Soubry’s constituency of Broxtowe, an estimated 52.51 per cent of voters backed Leave.
The former minister who is now an outspoken backbencher, has been a harsh critic of the Government’s Brexit approach and consistently argued Parliament should be allowed more scrutiny over the Brexit Bill, which would transfer all existing EU legislation on to the UK’s statute books.
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She blasted a front page story in yesterday’s Daily Telegraph branding her, and 15 other reported rebel MPs, ‘mutineers’ for planning to vote against the Government as a “blatant piece of bullying”.
Speaking in the Commons yesterday night, after a preview of the article was published, she went on to describe the article as “a badge of honour”.
All of those who vowed to oppose the Government’s plans to enshrine the exit date in law, with the exception of Ken Clarke, voted to invoke Article 50 which formally began the Brexit process on March 29 this year.
Professor Hanretty carried out his study in 2016, which was published in a peer-reviewed academic journal this year. The data used in the research is available online.
For the research, he used ward-level data, local authority information and a Freedom of Information request from the BBC to produce the estimates.