Labour’s Peterborough MP Fiona Onasanya has slammed Theresa May after the Prime Minister announced a vote on the Brexit deal had been called off less than 36 hours before it was due to take place.
Despite four days of debates in Parliament and cabinet ministers insisting that the vote would go ahead tomorrow evening (Tuesday). Mrs May told the House of Commons this afternoon that the vote would be postponed.
The Prime Minister acknowledged that the Government would face a heavy defeat if the vote took place largely due to concerns over the proposed Irish backstop and how the UK could leave it.
She said she will look to reopen talks with the EU, but there was no time-frame on when another vote may take place.
The UK is due to leave the EU at 11pm on Friday, March 29.
MP for Peterborough Ms Onasanya tweeted earlier today: “We don’t have a functioning government. Whilst these botched Brexit shenanigans continue, our public services are at breaking point and our communities suffer from dire under-investment.
“The Government has delayed the introduction of several key policies including the social care green paper, the NHS 10 year plan, local government funding plans, police grant, delayed votes on the roll out of Universal Credit, and the immigration white paper - we need change!!”
One it was confirmed the vote had been cancelled, she tweeted: “The Prime Minister’s Brexit deal is so disastrous that government has taken the desperate step of delaying its own vote at the eleventh hour!
“We have known for at least two weeks that this deal was going to be rejected by Parliament because it seems to be damaging for Britain. Nonetheless, rather than return to Brussels & renegotiate, she ploughed ahead...
“Labour’s alternative plan for a jobs first Brexit deal must take centre stage in any future talks with Brussels.”
Labour East of England MEP Alex Mayer said: “Theresa May has finally realised she won’t get this miserable deal through Parliament but some tweaks here and there won’t do the trick either.
“She’s wasted two years getting to this point and another few weeks isn’t going to help. The Prime Minister is running scared, she’s run out of steam and we are running out of time to save jobs and British influence.”
In the 2016 referendum nearly 61 per cent of voters in Peterborough backed leaving the EU. The turnout was more than 72 per cent.
Brexit Secretary (and Fenland MP) Steve Barclay visited Peterborough last Friday to speak up for the withdrawal agreement. He said during the visit to engineering firm Peter Brotherhood: “We’ve had two years of hard fought negotiations where the Prime Minister has been out there battling for the best deal. It’s the only deal, and it’s now time for the country to come together to get on with it.”
John Bridge, chief executive of the Cambridgeshire Chambers of Commerce, and Peterborough Chamber of Commerce, said: “The businesses we speak to and represent are looking on with utter dismay at the ongoing saga in Westminster and express concern that politicians are seemingly acting in their own interest, with little regard for the millions of people whose livelihoods depend on the success of UK business and trade.
“Many of our business leaders will be intensely frustrated by yet another delay in this drawn-out process, which impacts real-world business conditions, not least currency markets.
“Local businesses are clear that time is rapidly running out. With just over 100 days to go until March 29 many are already enacting contingency plans in the absence of clarity from Westminster. Even basic business planning for next year has become difficult, if not impossible, for many of our companies and their investors.
“Chamber research shows that in a no deal scenario, many businesses would cut investment and recruitment, or move some of their operations elsewhere. Survey after survey have shown that businesses will be taking decisions that are right for them, but may damage the UK economy.
“Our local businesses need clarity and precision on the UK’s future relationship with the EU and with other key trading partners. They are clear that they do not want a messy and disorderly exit, which both government and far too many firms are underprepared for.
“Avoiding a messy exit from the EU, and ensuring continuity of trade, is a matter of national urgency. Efforts must be redoubled to find a route forward, while at the same time ensuring that preparations are stepped up to help businesses and communities deal with any potential scenario.
“It is essential that there is focus on wealth creation which is the only source of funding for all government expenditure.”