South Shields MP explains why she abstained on a number of Brexit vote amendments

South Shields MP Emma Lewell-Buck has explained why she abstained on a number of Brexit vote amendments last night.

By David Allison
Wednesday, 30 January, 2019, 14:22
South Shields MP Emma Lewell-Buck.

In a series of votes on Brexit, MPs sitting in the House of Commons called for a renegotiation of the Northern Ireland backstop, a measure which had the support of Theresa May's government.

They also backed calls rejecting a no-deal Brexit.

Mrs Lewell-Buck did not vote on Labour's amendment for Parliament to vote on options which prevent the UK leaving the EU without a deal, including a permanent customs union and a referendum or the SNP's amendment to delay Brexit, ruling out leaving the EU without a deal and emphasise the role of the UK nations in the Brexit process.

She also chose not to vote on Labour MP Yvette Cooper's amendment to give Parliament time to pass a bill that would postpone Brexit until December 31 if the prime minister's deal is not approved by February 26 and on Labour MP Rachel Reeves' amendment for the government to ask the EU to postpone Brexit for an indefinite period.

Mrs Lewell-Buck voted for Conservative MP Dominic Grieve's amendment to force the government to make time for six days of debate on Brexit alternatives before March 26 and Dame Caroline Spelman's amendment to reject leaving the EU without a deal.

She voted against Tory MP Sir Graham Brady's amendment to call for Parliament to require the backstop is replaced with "alternative arrangements to avoid a hard border" with Ireland.

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Speaking to the Gazette, Mrs Lewell-Buck said: "I didn't want want to vote for anything that would significantly delay the Brexit process.

"I respect the result of the referendum, so I abstained on a number of votes.

"Jeremy Corbyn will be meeting the prime minister and I'm hopeful that we can have a consensus which protects jobs.

"I think that the mood has changed in the house. No deal is off the table now and Parliament has indicated hat we don't want no deal.

"Having said that we aren't in an ideal place, but all of the Government's own analysis said a no deal would be catastrophic, so we can now move forward."

Sir Graham Brady's amendment to seek alternatives to the Northern Ireland Backstop was passed by a majority of 16 while Dame Caroline Spelman's non-binding amendment to reject the UK leaving the EU without a deal was passed by a majority of eight.