Blog: About tonight's Brexit votes

I voted to extend Article 50 and to put in place a mechanism to allow Parliament to take the timetable on Brexit out of the Government’s control.
I support a confirmatory public vote on a Brexit deal which passes through Parliament against the option to remain. In my view today’s amendment tabled by Sarah Wollaston was premature as it was not tabled in agreement with everyone who supports a public vote and put the possibility of that vote at potential risk.

The peoples vote campaign have issued a statement which says,

“…we do not think today is the right time to test the will of the House on the case for a new public vote. Instead, this is the time for Parliament to declare it wants an extension of Article 50 so that, after two-and-a-half years of vexed negotiations, our political leaders can finally decide on what Brexit means.

“That is because a People’s Vote is not just another option in this Brexit crisis – it is a solution to this crisis. When the real costs of Brexit are measured up against the broken promises made for it in 2016, we believe Parliament will have better opportunities to decide it is only fair and reasonable to give the public a real say on this crucial decision for our country.”

I agree with that statement and have abstained on the vote in order to maximize the chances of getting a public vote once the extension is achieved. This will involve persuading some who will only vote for a public vote at that time.

Keir Starmer, the Shadow Brexit Secretary confirmed in the debate that the Labour Party supports a public vote. My position is, stop a no-deal Brexit, extend Article 50, support motions to take control of the agenda from the Government and then try to win a vote to put a deal to the public against the option to remain. I believe this approach has the best chance of success.