Brexit options 'unpalatable' from here on in - MP Julian Knight's verdict on crushing defeat of Theresa May's Brexit deal - The Solihull Observer

Brexit options 'unpalatable' from here on in - MP Julian Knight's verdict on crushing defeat of Theresa May's Brexit deal

Solihull Editorial 16th Jan, 2019 Updated: 16th Jan, 2019   0

MPS are preparing for another busy day following the crushing rejection of Theresa May’s Brexit deal.

The prime minister’s deal was overwhelmingly defeated in the House of Commons by 230 votes last night – the largest defeat suffered by a government in modern British political history.

Among the 432 votes against Mrs May’s deal, 118 were cast by Conservative MPs.

But Tory MPs Dame Caroline Spelman (Meriden) and Julian Knight (Solihull) backed their leader.

Dame Caroline said: “People voted against the deal for a variety of reasons, such as wanting a general election, so after tonight’s vote if government survives we can resume the search for a  deal acceptable to a majority and rule out a no-deal Brexit, which would cost jobs in our region.”

Following the result Mr Knight tweeted: “The withdrawal agreement was not ideal but the best available route to Brexit, here on in options become more unpalatable…also very sorry to see some top people like @EddieHughes4WN (Eddie Hughes MP for Walsall North) and @craig4nwarks (Craig Tracey MP for North Warwickshire and Bedworth) leave the Gov’t but they took a stand for what they thought was right.”

Immediately after the vote, Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn tabled a vote of no confidence in the government. The vote will take place this afternoon. If successful it could trigger a general election.

Following the vote political commentators speculated it moved both the possibility of a no deal Brexit or another referendum a step closer.

European Council President Donald Tusk suggested cancelling Brexit altogether was now “the only positive solution” but Mrs May remains adamant that is not an option.

The Greater Birmingham Chamber of Commerce (GBCC) is calling on the government to bring an end to the Brexit stalemate and provide firms with “real answers”,  after last night’s vote.

Paul Faulkner, chief executive of GBCC, said: “Regardless of where businesses stand on the issue of Brexit, no one supports a messy and chaotic exit from the EU.

“The window for businesses to plan and prepare for Brexit is already slim and businesses need real answers now.

“Despite all of the uncertainty in recent months, businesses in the region continue to show resilience and confidence. In fact our latest quarterly business report survey shows over 60 per cent of local firms expect to increase their turnover in the next 12 months.

“They are delivering on creating jobs and supporting the economy. It’s time for the government to deliver, remove this unnecessary uncertainty and deliver a solution with the Parliamentary support it needs to put an end to this stalemate.”

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