Peterborough MP Fiona Onasanya explains why she backed public vote on Brexit deal

MP for Peterborough Fiona Onasanya says she backs the public having a vote on any Brexit deal - but only if the referendum question is different to the one from 2016.

Thursday, 28th March 2019, 9:04 am
Updated Thursday, 28th March 2019, 9:11 am

The independent MP, who is currently subject to a Recall Petition which could see her lose seat, voted in favour of two options in last night’s indicative votes in Parliament (Wednesday, March 27).

MPs, who had backed a motion on Monday to seize control of the timetable in Parliament, were given eight different Brexit options to vote on to see if any could command a majority and point to a way out of the current impasse.

In the end none of the eight options were passed, with the closest vote coming on whether to push for a customs union with the EU. This failed by just eight votes.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Fiona Onasanya arrives at her home in Peterborough. Picture by Terry Harris. THA THA

MPs may have further indicative votes on Monday.

Ms Onasanya voted in favour both of Common Market 2.0 and a public vote to confirm any Brexit deal passed by Parliament before its ratification.

Common Market 2,0, as it has been called, calls for UK membership of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and European Economic Area (EEA).

It allows continued participation in the single market and a “comprehensive customs arrangement” with the EU after Brexit, which would remain in place until the agreement of a wider trade deal which guarantees frictionless movement of goods and an open border in Ireland.

Writing on Facebook about the reasons why she backed both of those options, the MP explained: “Yesterday in the indicative vote I voted in favour of the following:

D - The Common Market 2.0/Norway Plus motion because I believe it is the best way to honour the 2016 referendum result and protect the economy and jobs. This amendment gives the UK greater powers in terms of ending Freedom of Movement whilst maintaining a continuation of freedom of movement for workers which would benefit numerous industries, particularly the NHS and will allow us to strike our own trade deals worldwide, and;

“M - A CONCILIATORY VOTE on a deal motion but only on the basis that the question is different to the one put to the country at the 2016 referendum. Any withdrawal agreement must be put to you, I was not seeking to simply halt the democratic decision taken by the largest electorate mandate in UK history.

“D and M were for me, compromises, based on correspondence received, that constituents may be willing to accept - none are perfect - no one group gets everything, but no deal must be avoided and as I have always said the question is not IF we leave but HOW.”

The votes followed an announcement from Theresa May earlier in the day that she will stand down if MPs back her withdrawal deal, which had twice been comprehensively rejected.

Conservative MP for North West Cambridgeshire Shailesh Vara supported no deal and was against another public vote.

A Recall Petition which could see Ms Onasanya lose her seat is currently running in Peterborough after she was jailed for perverting the course of justice. If 10 per cent of her constituents (nearly 7,000) sign it by 5pm on May 1 a by-election will be triggered.

To see how all of the MPs in the Peterborough Telegraph’s patch voted last night, visit: