Peterborough’s MPs split as Brexit options fail again

Shailesh Vara and Fiona Onasanya
Shailesh Vara and Fiona Onasanya
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Peterborough’s MPs were split as once again no Brexit option received the backing of the House of Commons.

MPs voted tonight (Monday, April 1) on a second set of indicative votes which offered a range of alternatives to the current deal put forward by Theresa May, which has been rejected three times.

A first set of votes were held last week after MPs voted to take over the running of the Parliamentary timetable, but no option reached a majority.

Tonight, the four options allowed to be voted on by Speaker John Bercow all failed, with the closest option to a majority being a customs union with the EU which was rejected by three votes.

The results are not binding on the Government.

MP for Peterborough Fiona Onasanya, whose seat is under threat, last week supported ‘common market 2.0’, which is backed by Stamford MP Nick Boles, and a public vote to ratify any Brexit deal passed by Parliament.

Common market 2.0 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, but means the UK would retain freedom of movement.

Ms Onasanya again voted for both those of options but voted against a customs union.

Writing on social media before tonight’s vote, Ms Onasanya said: “None of the choices are perfect but it’s a workable Brexit that honours the result, so let’s do this and hopefully bring this country back together.”

Conservative MP for North West Cambridgeshire Shailesh Vara voted last week to support no deal and tonight rejected all alternative options, which included options for a second referendum.

Mr Vara has been a vocal critic of Mrs May’s deal and has twice rejected it, but last Friday he voted for it “with reluctance” as he described it as the “least bad choice to deliver on the referendum result”.

Ms Onasanya has voted against Mrs May’s deal all three times it has been put before MPs.

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.

Cabinet members, including Brexit Secretary and North West Cambridgeshire MP Steve Barclay, abstained.

What they voted on

Customs union

Calls for the Government to change its deal to include a “permanent and comprehensive UK-wide customs union with the EU”. It has already been ruled out by the Prime Minister as it would hinder the UK’s ability to begin independent trade deals with other countries.

Result: 276-273 against

Fiona Onasanya (Peterborough) - Against

Shailesh Vara (North West Cambridgeshire) - Against

Steve Barclay (North East Cambridgeshire) - Abstain

Nick Boles (Grantham & Stamford) - For

Jonathan Djanogly (Huntingdon) - For

John Hayes (South Holland and The Deepings) - Abstain

Tom Pursglove (Corby) - Against

‘Common Market 2.0’

The UK would join the European Free Trade Association and European Economic Area. This would mean staying in part of the single market with freedom of movement.

Result: 261-282 against

Fiona Onasanya (Peterborough) - For

Shailesh Vara (North West Cambridgeshire) - Against

Steve Barclay (North East Cambridgeshire) - Abstain

Nick Boles (Grantham & Stamford) - For

Jonathan Djanogly (Huntingdon) - For

John Hayes (South Holland and The Deepings) - Abstain

Tom Pursglove (Corby) - Against

Public vote

Calls for another “confirmatory” referendum on any Brexit deal before it can be implemented.

Result: 292-280 against

Fiona Onasanya (Peterborough) - For

Shailesh Vara (North West Cambridgeshire) - Against

Steve Barclay (North East Cambridgeshire) - Abstain

Nick Boles (Grantham & Stamford) - For

Jonathan Djanogly (Huntingdon) - Against

John Hayes (South Holland and The Deepings) - Abstain

Tom Pursglove (Corby) - Against

Parliamentary supremacy

If the UK is set to leave with a no deal, this plan would require the Government to seek an extension before the deadline for leaving. Then, if the EU does not agree to an extension, MPs would hold another vote between a no deal Brexit or revoking Article 50 to stop Brexit.

Result: 292-191 against

Fiona Onasanya (Peterborough) - Abstain

Shailesh Vara (North West Cambridgeshire) - Against

Steve Barclay (North East Cambridgeshire) - Abstain

Nick Boles (Grantham & Stamford) - For

Jonathan Djanogly (Huntingdon) - Against

John Hayes (South Holland and The Deepings) - Abstain

Tom Pursglove (Corby) - Against

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