A DAY of high drama in parliament saw MPs shelve Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal – for now – leaving many local MPs disappointed by the turn of events.
MPs gathered for what was touted as being a historic session in parliament, dubbed ‘Super Saturday’.
But from the moment speaker John Bercow gave MPs the green light to discuss the Letwin amendment – essentially allowing the delaying of any deal – it went down as another anti-climax for many, despite the furious debate inside the House of Commons.
The prime minister said the agreement struck with Brussels would allow the UK to leave ‘whole and entire’ on October 31.
But the MPs vote for the Letwin amendment, withholding approval until legislation to implement the deal is in place, was passed by 322 votes to 306.
Sir Oliver Letwin, the former cabinet minister who had the Tory whip withdrawn after rebelling over Brexit, said it was an ‘insurance policy’ to prevent Britain ‘crashing out’ without a deal.
The events in parliament provoked strong reactions on the debate from both sides of the divide locally.
Despite the blow, Portsmouth North MP Penny Mordaunt remained defiant over securing a deal. She said on Twitter: ‘I know many people will be very disappointed at this result.
‘The country does not need further delay. It needs us to agree to a deal. This result means no meaningful vote today, but government plans to introduce the Withdrawal Bill next week.’
The view was echoed by fellow Tory and Havant MP Alan Mak, who said: ‘I've consistently voted to deliver Brexit in parliament and the delay is disappointing and frustrating.
‘I voted against the Letwin Amendment and will continue to vote to leave the EU.’
Meanwhile MP for Portsmouth South Stephen Morgan took an opposing view, with the MP letting rip over the proposed deal. ‘Mr Johnson’s deal is even worse than Mrs May’s. It is a sell out deal which sells out Portsmouth people’s jobs, rights and our city’s communities,’ he said.
He added: ‘I voted for the Letwin amendment. I am assured the majority in parliament agreed to prevent Britain crashing out on October 31 and allows proper public scrutiny of the withdrawal agreement.
‘Brexit has divided the nation and it is clear Mr Johnson cannot be trusted. The prime minster must be brave and put his deal to the people, not just the politicians, and let them have a final say.’
At the beginning of the day Mr Johnson had pleaded with MPs to seal the deal. He told MPs: ‘The House will need no reminding that this is the second deal and the fourth vote, three-and-a-half years after the nation voted for Brexit.
‘And during those years friendships have been strained, families divided and the attention of this House consumed by a single issue that has at times felt incapable of resolution.
‘But I hope that this is the moment when we can finally achieve that resolution and reconcile the instincts that compete within us.’