The 11 rebel MP’s were accused of teachery and hypocrisy after siding with Labour to defeat Theresa May in the Commons last night.
The stab-in-the-back vote – which gives MP’s a veto on any Brexit decision – left the Prime Minster entering today’s European Union negotiations in Brussels in a much weakened position.
Critics asked why they hadn’t fought so vociferously against the last 40 years of Parlaiment being told what to do by an unelected body based in Brussels.
Politicians among the 309 who won the vote, and their supporters, immediately praised the power of “parliamentary sovereignty”.
Self-appointed Remain campaigner Gina Miller tweeted last night: “#Parliamentary sovereignty wins the day! Well done to the 309 and Dominic Grieve – reason wins today. Let it become the norm for everyday. Country before party.”
Stephen Hammond, one of the Conservative rebels who voted against Theresa May’s administration also took to the social networking site to say: “Tonight I put country and constituency before party and voted with my principles to give Parliament a meaningful vote.”
He was later sacked as Vice Chairman of the Conservative party for his troubles of going against the party whip.
Another Tory rebel Sarah Wollaston MP said on Twitter: “Proud to #TakeBackControl for our Parliament, where there is no majority for a chaotic no-deal Brexit.”
Those comments were also echoed by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn who said the Government’s defeat by just four votes – 309 compared to 305 – was “a humiliating loss of authority for the government on the eve of the European Council meeting”.
He added: “Theresa May has resisted democratic accountability. Her refusal to listen means she will now have to accept parliament taking back control.”
The European Parliament’s chief Brexit co-ordinator Guy Verhofstadt tweeted: “British Parliament takes back control. European and British Parliament together will decide on the final agreement. Interests of the citizens will prevail over narrow party politics. A good day for democracy.”
The irony though of the backing of parliamentary sovereignty by those who were happy to subjugate British sovereignty to the European Union before Brexit was not lost on those wishing to leave the bloc.
During the eight hour debate in the Commons yesterday Eurosceptic Tory MP Bernard Jenkin said: “We are recovering from a situation where as members of the European Union we had handed over all these decisions lock, stock and barrel to the European Union.
“To dress this attempt to reverse Brexit as an argument in favour of parliamentary sovereignty is nothing but cant.”
Suzanne Evans, former Ukip deputy chairwoman, said: “This is a joke, right? The same bunch who voted year on year against parliamentary sovereignty in favour of EU rule?”
Jayne Adye, Director of cross-party campaign group Get Britain Out, commented: “The 11 Conservative MPs who defied the Government last night – 6 of whom actually represent Leave constituencies – acted against the democratic will of the British people expressed in the EU Referendum last year. Coincidentally they all voted Remain last year, which leads one to wonder if they simply want to derail the Brexit process!
“They think their votes are more important than the 17.4 million Brits who voted Leave to take back control of our laws, borders and money.
“Their cries of ‘Parliamentary sovereignty’ stand at complete odds with the Parliamentary subordination they advocated during the Referendum.
“This Amendment will allow MPs to vote against a final Brexit deal and undermines the Prime Minister’s position going into Phase 2 of the negotiations. This could be used to delay or even block Brexit!
“It is no wonder anti-Brexit campaigners like Lord Adonis and Gina Miller are celebrating.
“These 11 MPs, as well as the 4 Conservatives who abstained, will face serious electoral consequences if they stand for re-election. Leave voters will never forget or forgive this betrayal.”
Political journalist and commentator Julia Hartley-Brewer said: “It’s laughable for the rebel Remain MPs to claim they want to bring power back to Parliament. They were perfectly happy to leave that power in Brussels for another 40 years!”
Those comments were echoed by the campaign group Leave EU which said: “Remoaner MPs conveniently using Brexiteer argument for parliamentary sovereignty to push for soft Brexit didn’t mind conceding sovereignty to Brussels for the last 40 years.”
The Tory rebels were Dominic Grieve, Heidi Allen, Ken Clarke, Jonathan Djanogly, Stephen Hammond, Sir Oliver Heald, Nicky Morgan, Bob Neill, Antoinette Sandbach, Anna Soubry and Sarah Wollaston.
Another Conservative MP, John Stevenson, abstained by voting in both lobbies.
Two Labour MPs, Frank Field and Kate Hoey, voted with the government.