'A Government in chaos' - MPs react to latest Brexit defeat

MPs have reacted to the defeat of Theresa May's EU Withdrawal Agreement which comes on the day the UK was due to leave the European Union.

By Sophie Brownson
Friday, 29 March, 2019, 16:33
Prime Minister Theresa May. Image by PA.

MPs rejected the deal by a margin of 58 votes - voting by 344 to 286 against the deal.

Some 34 Conservative rebels ignored a last-ditch plea from the Prime Minister to take "the last opportunity to guarantee Brexit" and consigned her deal to its third humiliating defeat.

The result of the crunch vote means that the UK has missed an EU deadline to secure an extension of the Brexit process and leave with a deal on May 22.

Mrs May now has until April 12 to go back to Brussels with new proposals and seek a longer extension to the negotiation process, or see the UK leave without a deal that day.

With a clear majority in the Commons against no-deal, and with MPs once more seizing control of the timetable on Monday, Mrs May said the UK would have to find "an alternative way forward".

And now MPs have reacted to the defeat, with Sharon Hodgson, Labour MP for Washington and Sunderland West, saying the country was in 'crisis.'

Sharon Hodgson, Labour MP for Washington and Sunderland West,

Mrs Hodgson said: "A government in chaos.

"A country in crisis.

"Another defeat for Theresa May.

"And this is just in the last couple of days!"

Julie Elliott, Labour MP for Sunderland Central.

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Meanwhile South Shields MP Emma Lewell-Buck, said that it had been a 'difficult day.'

She said: "Today has been a very difficult day for lots of MPs, I've always said if there was a final choice: PMs deal, no deal or not leaving, then I would vote for a deal.

"Today was not that day.

"I remain committed to delivering on the result of the referendum, but I want to make sure I have done everything I can to leave with the best possible deal.

South Shields MP Emma Lewell-Buck.

"Today I voted against the Withdrawal Agreement but I do not in anyway at all feel jubilant or happy about the mess we are in. "

Julie Elliott, Labour MP for Sunderland Central, also said she had voted against the Government.

She said: "I am not voting with the Government today and never have - look at my voting record and what I have said on this issue and the amendment I signed this week!"

Mrs May said that the outcome was "a matter of profound regret".

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn called for a general election unless the Prime Minister was willing to find an alternative deal.

And Mrs May - who had promised to step down as Prime Minister if her deal was approved - appeared to hint that this was a possibility, telling MPs: "I fear we are reaching the limits of this process in this House."

European Council president Donald Tusk has called an emergency summit of EU leaders in Brussels on April 10 to discuss the implications of the vote.