This is what Portsmouth area MPs have to say about an ‘unhelpful delay’ to Brexit

POLITICIANS have said they are ‘deeply disappointed’ and ‘frustrated’ after Theresa May’s Brexit withdrawal agreement was defeated in parliament.

Saturday, 30th March 2019, 4:01 pm
Brexit protesters in Parliament Square, Westminster, London. Picture: Victoria Jones/PA Wire

Conservative MPs Penny Mordaunt, a member of the cabinet, and Caroline Dinenage, a minister, said people across the country want Britain’s departure from the European Union to be completed.

But instead it appears there will be a lengthy delay after MPs voted by 344 to 286 against the deal as thousands of protesters staged a noisy demonstration outside on the day when the UK was due to leave the European Union.

Fareham MP Suella Braverman, a former Brexit minister and ex-chair of the Tory’s European Research Group, joined 33 other Conservative rebels against the prime minister’s deal.

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Overall it was beaten by a margin of 58 votes in the House of Commons this afternoon.

Labour MP Stephen Morgan, who represents Portsmouth South, said Mrs May was a ‘failing prime minister’ who tried to separate the withdrawal agreement and political declaration – two processes that he said should not be split.

Mrs May has faced repeated calls to quit her job and earlier indicated this week that she would leave after the next stage of Brexit.

Mr Morgan, whose party has called for a general election, said: ‘We cannot allow the terms of our future relationship with the EU to be left to the outcome of the Tory leadership contest.

‘Parliament must now find a consensus on a better way forward that protects jobs, rights and the economy, and gives the public a final say.

‘I will continue to work across party, and across the House of Commons, to make that happen for Portsmouth.’

Brexit protesters have converged on Westminster today as both Remainers and Leavers make their voices heard.

‘The vote tonight would have guaranteed Brexit and I am deeply disappointed that it did not pass,’ said Portsmouth MP Ms Mordaunt.

‘Having given the decision to the British people we have a duty to implement it.

‘People across the country just want this done. No further delay, we must leave and move forward.’

Gosport MP Ms Dinenage said there would now be an 'unhelpful delay’ in the process.

Britain has missed an EU deadline to agree an extension to the process so as to leave with a deal on May 22.

Mrs May now has until April 12 to go back to Brussels with new proposals and seek a longer extension to the negotiation process, or see the UK leave without a deal that day.

Asked her views, Ms Dinenage said: ‘Frustrated and disappointed. Local people and businesses have clearly said they want us to get on and deliver Brexit.

‘It’s hard now to see a way forward that doesn’t involve a long, unhelpful delay.’

With a clear majority in the Commons against no-deal, and with MPs once more seizing control of the timetable on Monday, Mrs May said that the UK would have to find ‘an alternative way forward’.

This was ‘almost certain’ to involve the UK having to stage elections to the European Parliament in May, she said.

Mr Morgan voted against Mrs May, while Ms Dinenage and Ms Mordaunt, together with East Hampshire MP Damian Hinds and Meon Valley MP George Hollingbery, voted with the prime minister.

Prominent critics of the deal Jacob Rees-Mogg and Boris Johnson supported the deal – despite having said it was terrible.