‘It has all got very, very messy’ South Shields MP blames Theresa May for potential Brexit delays after deal defeat

A South Tyneside MP has blamed the Prime Minister for potential Brexit delays.

Wednesday, 13th March 2019, 7:11 am
Updated Wednesday, 13th March 2019, 7:28 am
South Shields MP Emma Lewell-Buck

Emma Lewell-Buck, MP for South Shields, said she was not surprised by the defeat of Theresa May’s Brexit deal last night.

She said: “It was obvious she was going to be facing another crushing defeat.

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“None of this is ideal and it has all got very, very messy.

“I feel like MPs like myself who want to honour the referendum have been put in a bind.

“At least the Prime Minister has finally conceded that the house needs to be able to look at all options, something which she should have done months ago.

“It is the Prime Minister’s fault that we are potentially not going to be leaving the EU on time.”

Mrs Lewell-Buck said it is a good thing that we won’t be leaving with the Prime Minister’s deal, but they need to move forward now and get the best Brexit deal possible.

Theresa May’s Brexit strategy was hit by a devastating blow after the House of Commons rejected her EU Withdrawal Agreement by an overwhelming majority for the second time.

MPs voted by 391 to 242 against the deal, despite the Prime Minister’s assurance that new agreements reached with Jean-Claude Juncker in Strasbourg would ensure the UK cannot be trapped in the controversial backstop arrangement indefinitely.

Although the 149 margin was reduced from the record 230-vote defeat of the first “meaningful 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.

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.

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 MPs reject no-deal as most Westminster observers expect, a third vote will follow tomorrow on whether to authorise Mrs May to request an extension of the two-year Article 50 negotiation process.

A Labour Party spokesman said: “Allowing a free vote on no deal shows Theresa May has given up any pretence of leading the country.”