Brexit vote: Sunderland MP said deal was ’worse than we have now’ and ‘not what was promised to voters in 2016’

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A Sunderland MP says is was no surprise that the Prime Minister’s Brexit deal was defeated again.

Following the defeat of her Brexit deal in the second “meaningful vote”, Prime Minister Theresa May told the House of Commons that she will grant a free vote to Conservative MPs in a vote today on whether the UK should leave the EU without a deal on March 29.

MP for Houghton and Sunderland South, Bridget Phillipson, said: “I am not surprised that the Prime Minister’s deal has yet again been overwhelmingly rejected by Parliament, given that it has not fundamentally changed since it was voted on in January. 

“Her Brexit plan remains a grave threat to jobs and livelihoods in the North East.

“Voting for it will not end uncertainty, but drag this out for years to come.

“I will not support a deal which is so much worse than the one we have now, and is so far from what was promised to voters in 2016.

“It is increasingly clear that the only way forward is to put this question back to the people, so they can have the final say on staying in the EU or leaving on Theresa May’s terms.”

Although the 149 margin was reduced from the record 230-vote defeat of the first vote in January, Mrs May was left far adrift from a majority with just 17 days to go to the scheduled date of Brexit on March 29.

In line with a promise set out by Mrs May last month, MPs are now due to vote today on whether they are willing for the UK to leave the EU without a deal on March 29.

If they reject no-deal, as most Westminster observers expect, a third vote will follow – probably on Thursday – on authorising Mrs May to request an extension of the two-year Article 50 negotiation process.

An extension requires the unanimous agreement of all 27 remaining member states, and Jean-Claude Juncker in Strasbourg has warned that it cannot stretch beyond May 23 unless the UK takes part in the European Parliament elections starting on that date.

Some 75 Conservative MPs rebelled to vote against the deal, while just three Labour MPs and four independents joined the 235 Tories who backed it.

European Commission president Mr Juncker had already warned that if MPs turned down the package agreed in Strasbourg on Monday, there would be “no third chance” to renegotiate.