DROITWICH’S MP has lent his support to embattled Prime Minister Theresa May after her proposed deal to leave the EU was overwhelmingly rejected by MPs during a dramatic vote in the House of Commons.
Nigel Huddleston voted in support of Mrs May’s deal but saw the Prime Minister humiliated by 432 votes to 202.
The 230 vote defeat was the worst defeat ever suffered in the House of Commons by a Prime Minister, well ahead of the 166 vote rejection suffered by Labour leader Ramsey McDonald in 1924.
McDonald was ousted at an election within months but Mrs May saw off an immediate threat to her position by winning a vote of no confidence by 325 votes to 306 on Wednesday (January 16).
Mr Huddleston again voted in support of the Government and said he would continue to back the Prime Minister.
“A lot of my colleagues voted against the deal, they did so for a variety of reasons, many still believe we have more to do on the backstop in Northern Ireland and want clarity we can leave without the EU’s approval.
“Others voted down the deal for party political reasons, others want to frustrate Brexit and don’t want it to happen or want another referendum.
“The problem none of all these options can be right, some who rejected the deal on Tuesday simply won’t get what they want,” he added.
So what happens now?
There appear to be six options on offer to tackle the Brexit deadlock
The UK’s default position is we leave the European Union on March 29 with no deal if something is not agreed before then. In passing the legislation to approve Article 50, the House of Commons has agreed the UK’s exit day is March 29.
A large number of MPs across all of the political parties are opposed to no deal but with no solution on the horizon the current law takes the UK out on March 29 without an agreement.
Prime Minister Theresa May has vowed to reach out and discover what MPs would approve, although as the Observer went to press Labour are refusing to meet with the Government unless No Deal is removed from the discussions.
Mrs May is expected to address the House of Commons on Monday (January 21) with ‘Plan B’ and a vote will be held in Parliament on January 29.
Brexit supporting MPs such as Boris Johnson have suggested the Prime Minister returns to Brussels to attempt to negotiate the current agreement. This is unlikely as European leaders have vowed not to offer any further negotiations on the deal being offered.
A renegotiation is possible but this would require Article 50 to be extended as the Government bids to ‘start again’.
A highly contentious choice given voters have delivered a verdict on a question posed by the Government which has not been fulfilled.
An extension to Article 50 and a delay to Brexit would be required and MPs and the Electoral Commission would have to rule on the question which could be put to voters.
The Prime Minister could decide to break the Parliamentary deadlock by calling an early election, the UK’s third in less than four years, to seek a majority to deliver Brexit.
Two-thirds of all MPs would need to support the move with an election held 25 working days or more after such a vote.
ANOTHER NO-CONFIDENCE VOTE
Labour could table another motion of no confidence in the government at any time.
Should it succeed the parties have 14 days to win a vote of confidence in a new Government. If they fail a General Election will be held.