Canterbury and Whitstable’s Labour MP Rosie Duffield is among the parliamentarians who rejected the Prime Minister’s last-ditch attempt to secure the UK’s departure from the European Union.
A total of 391 – including 75 Conservatives – voted against Theresa May’s deal while 242 MPs voted in favour in the House of Commons last night.
It represents the second crashing defeat for the Prime Minister and raises questions as to whether Brexit will happen or whether the present government is capable of honouring the 2016 referendum result which saw a 52% majority vote to leave the EU and its institutions.
Explaining her decision to vote against, Ms Duffield, Canterbury’s first ever Labour MP, said: “Yet more bumbling incompetence and utter embarrassing Groundhog Day approach again from the government.”
Also voting against the PM’s deal were Brexiteer Conservative east Kent MPs Craig Mackinaly (South Thanet), Gordon Henderson (Sittingbourne and Sheppey), and Charlie Elphicke (Dover and Deal).
Ashford, North Thanet and Faversham Conservatives Damian Green, Sir Roger Gale and Helen Whately all voted with the government.
Conservative rebels lead by Jacob Rees-Mogg voted against the PM’s proposal in the hope that the government should seek to obtain a better deal on the terms of withdrawal – or else leave without one.
Elswhere there have also been calls for a second referendum on Britain’s continued membership of the EU.
Groups of opposition MPs are also arguing that the only way out of the impasse is via a General Election.
Despite the chaos around the government, the latest poll by Kantar/TNS taken over the last five days shows the Conservatives leading by 10 points on 41%. Labour has 31% and the Lib Dems 8%.