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Brexit: Take our poll on what should happen now

By Paul Brackley

East of England Euro MP Alex Mayer said voting down a 'no-deal' Brexit was the right move from MPs.

Alex Mayer, Labour MEP for the East of England
Alex Mayer, Labour MEP for the East of England

Speaking after chaotic scenes in the House of Commons, the Cambridge-based Labour MEP claimed Prime Minister Theresa May had also put “party before country".

She said: “Voting down a ‘no deal’ Brexit is the very least that MPs could do – ‘no deal’ would mean medicines running short, farmers going bust and businesses faced with biggest change to trade since 19th century.

“Under the government’s planned tariffs announced today the price of tins of tuna could go up by a quarter, beef prices up by seven per cent and even the cost of cheese could skyrocketing. Plus the government’s planned tariffs under no deal wouldn’t apply in Northern Ireland - so much for keeping the integrity of the UK.

“A ‘no deal’ would have been the worst possible deal for Britain so I have to welcome tonight’s result."

Following Tuesday night's defeat of Prime Minister Theresa May's deal, the government tabled a motion tonight (Wednesday) to prevent the UK from exiting the EU on March 29 without a deal, although it noted that no-deal remained the default unless a deal was ratified by the UK and the EU.

But before MPs voted on that, they narrowly supported an amendment to it tabled by Labour MP Yvette Cooper by four votes, which rejected a no-deal Brexit at any time, under any circumstances.

The amendment was passed by 312 to 308.

The whips then instructed Tory MPs to vote against the amended government motion, but 13 government ministers defied them, and it was passed by 321 votes to 278, a majority of 43,

Ms Mayer said: "We saw chaotic scenes as government whips tried to get Tory MPs to vote against exactly the same motion many of them voted for half an hour earlier, plus resignations and abstentions by ministers. What a mess.

“We should also be clear, Theresa May just whipped MPs to keep no deal as an option - that’s terrible - again putting party before country."

“But the clock is continuing to tick. MPs have said no to May’s deal as it stands and no to a no-deal Brexit. So what’s now left? Surely now after two and a half years of negotiations it’s time to put this back to the people with a public vote.

A European Commission spokesperson said: “There are only two ways to leave the EU: with or without a deal. The EU is prepared for both.

“To take no deal off the table, it is not enough to vote against no deal - you have to agree to a deal.

“We have agreed a deal with the Prime Minister and the EU is ready to sign it."

Read more

‘It’s time to revoke Article 50 and call off Brexit’ says Cambridge MP Daniel Zeichner


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