Why local Conservative MPs are still backing Theresa May despite Brexit resignations

Fareham MP Suella Braverman met with fellow Conservative MP Jacob Rees-Mogg on Thursday night. Picture: Supplied
Fareham MP Suella Braverman met with fellow Conservative MP Jacob Rees-Mogg on Thursday night. Picture: Supplied

CONSERVATIVE MPs in the Portsmouth region have rallied behind prime minister Theresa May, following a number of resignations over Brexit.

After the Prime Minister unveiled her Brexit plan to cabinet ministers, resignations came thick and fast on Thursday, with Brexit secretary Dominic Raab, work and pensions secretary Esther McVey and more.

But while Theresa May’s leadership has been called into question, Conservative MPs across the region say they will still back her plan for Brexit.

Fareham MP Suella Braverman resigned as a junior minister from the Department for Exiting the European Union – but says that she still has faith in the Prime Minister.

Mrs Braverman said: ‘I do want the prime minister to continue but I want us to stick to the policies that were voted for in the referendum.

‘It was a significant day for me yesterday and it was not an easy decision however I want to be able to look people in Fareham in the eye and know that I have done right by them.

‘The majority voted for leave and a high majority voted for me as their MP so I want to represent them.’

Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage says that although she hasn’t seen the full deal yet, she will also be backing Theresa May in the coming months.

She said: ‘I have always had realistic expectations of what the deal would look like because it was an incredibly difficult thing to negotiate.

‘It does deliver on the things that most people voted to leave the EU for, such as control of our borders and laws.

‘There are some things that I am still uncomfortable with, but there is the chance to get these things in a better place.

‘It gives us a framework to work with and is still better than no deal at all.’

But Theresa May has come under intense pressure from opposition – with some calling for a general election.

Portsmouth South MP Stephen Morgan said: ‘Whether people voted leave or remain – nobody voted for this offer from the Government. Theresa May’s “deal”’ is in two parts – a withdrawal agreement that includes half-baked proposals for a backstop, and a political declaration that is incredibly vague and opens the gate to a hard Tory Brexit.

‘The deal does not secure frictionless trade, nor a single market or customs union, contains no commitment to workers’ rights and regulation, nor our environment, no European Arrest Warrant, no retainment of Europol arrangements, no collaboration with key agencies like EASA and Erasmus.

‘This is a hard Brexit by any other name.

‘It doesn’t protect jobs, rights and living standards in Portsmouth. It’s asking me as a city MP to leap into the unknown – and it won’t reassure anyone in Portsmouth. 

‘If a general election isn’t triggered soon, we need a People’s Vote.’

Speaking to The News, MEP and former UKIP leader Nigel Farage said: ‘This deal is the worst in history and is a trap to keep us stuck inside EU rules. We lose sovereignty, not gain.

‘Any cabinet minister that supports this is not a eurosceptic.’