POLITICIANS who are fiercely divided over the future of Brexit are united on one clear message – that parliament is in disarray.
After a bill that would force prime minister Boris Johnson to ask the European Union for a Brexit extension and put the brakes on a no-deal departure was passed through the House of Commons on Wednesday night, his own proposal for a snap general election fell through.
In Portsmouth, Conservatives are disappointed that no deal has nearly been taken off the table – but still believe Mr Johnson is the right man to lead the country, despite losing his majority.
Ward councillor for Hilsea, and Conservative group leader at Portsmouth City Council, Donna Jones, said parliament is in ‘disarray’.
‘The Labour Party want a deal but not Theresa May’s deal, they want a general election but not right now,’ she said.
‘I think the best way to get a deal with the EU was to keep no-deal on the table – we have severely weakened our hand now.’
She said removing the whip from 21 Tory MPs who voted against Mr Johnson’s plan has earned him respect.
Labour councillor for Charles Dickens, Cal Corkery, said: ‘It’s clear that the government is in free fall, so what matters is getting an agreement against a no-deal Brexit.
‘I do actually agree with Cllr Jones – parliament is in disarray, but the government that’s meant to lead that parliament has completely failed to do so.’
Liberal Democrat and Portsmouth council’s deputy leader, Cllr Steve Pitt, said power cannot be returned to the prime minister.
He said: ‘Mr Johnson’s power has been taken away from him and parliament has chosen to retain its sovereignty.’
Labour’s Cllr Corkery said party leader Jeremy Corbyn will push for a general election after the party has fought off the no-deal threat.
‘We’re desperate for an election because that’s our chance to get the Tories out,’ he said.
‘But if we do that now then we fall into the trap of letting them continue with a no-deal Brexit.’
Cllr Pitt said: ‘I’m not in favour of a general election because Mr Johnson would have the ability to control when the date is – and could use that to keep control when power now lies elsewhere.’
But Cllr Jones, Portsmouth South Tory candidate, said: ‘There is a sense of trepidation – to become an MP and represent people from Portsmouth would be a dream come true, but snap elections are often called because there is a crisis, as there is currently in Westminster.’