Fareham MP Suella Braverman explains why she voted against Brexit deal
FAREHAM MP voted against the Prime Minister’s European Union withdrawal agreement because ‘it's not Brexit’.
Suella Braverman appeared on BBC’s Newsnight last night following Theresa May’s crushing 149 vote defeat in the House of Commons.
Asked to explain why she decided to rebel against the PM and vote her deal down, Mrs Braverman said: ‘I voted against this deal, it wasn't easy for me to do that, but I voted against it because it's not Brexit.
'The legally binding changes that commanded a majority in the Brady amendment and which the government promised to seek were not there.
'We were still locked into a customs union indefinitely, no changes in the legal risk confirmed by the attorney general and our partners in government the DUP also found themselves voting against this as well.
'We don't get an end to the customs union, nowhere in the political deceleration or the withdrawal agreement does it say we are leaving the customs union.
'Very disappointing for me and I'm sure 17.4 million people who understand Brexit to mean leaving the customs union.
'We don't get necessarily an end to aspects of the single market because the backstop locks us in.’
Mrs Braverman, who resigned as a junior Brexit minister in November last year, appeared alongside fellow Conservative MP Nicky Morgan and the SNP’s deputy Westminster leader Kirsty Blackman.
Asked by presenter Emily Maitlis whether if there was an extension to Article 50 if remaining in the EU would be a better option than leaving with a no-deal, Mrs Braverman said: 'I believe that is a false choice.'
'No deal is better than a bad deal, that was our manifesto promise. The Prime Minister has made that pledge herself many, many times and I've taken her at her word.
'This deal essentially was a customs union but I do believe ultimately whatever happens the legal position is set in stone that we are leaving on the 29th of March, deal or no-deal.
'Motions can be passed and motions cannot be passed but ultimately it takes a lot to get to the point where you change the law.
'There was a genuine, and I speak as someone who is a supporter of the ERG (European Research Group), real desire to vote for the Prime Minister's deal.
'People in the ERG want to leave with a deal by way of first preference but we are not going to be backed into a corner to support a deal which we are told is Brexit but ultimately does not deliver on the referendum promises.’
However while Mrs Braverman voted against the deal, Meon Valley MP George Hollingbery backed the Prime Minister and he’s expressed his ‘disappointment’ that it was voted down.
He said: ‘I am very disappointed the meaningful vote was lost last night.
‘I voted for the Prime Minister’s deal because it allowed us to honour the referendum result and leave the EU while protecting our economy and people’s jobs.
‘It was Parliament who gave the right to the people to make a decision on whether or not to leave the European Union.
‘The decision was to leave and I cannot find any good reason to overturn that instruction.
‘However, I do not want to see a no deal Brexit. The best option for this country is to leave with a negotiated relationship with the EU.
‘Ultimately, what is happening may well leave me with a very difficult decision.
‘To reject the referendum result to leave the EU with all that means for government by consent, or leave without a deal knowing that will cause severe damage to our economy and people’s livelihoods.’