“The Ayes to the right, 202. The Noes to the left, 432.” With these words, the Conservative government suffered the largest defeat in British Parliamentary history, losing by a massive 230 votes.
Members of Parliament from across political parties came together to overwhelmingly reject the Prime Minister’s Brexit deal.
I voted against the deal as it is not in Battersea’s or the country’s interest: It does not protect jobs, rights, or people’s livelihood.
I also know that the vast majority of Battersea residents are opposed to the deal.
Ordinarily, the Prime Minister would resign after having suffered such a humiliating loss, but instead Theresa May is clinging on to power.
Her government survived a no confidence motion, but the fundamentals have remained the same: Parliament, like the country at large, still opposes the Prime Minister’s deal – and a ‘no deal’ Brexit.
In the weeks following this defeat, it has been clear that the Prime Minister has no plan B, pretending ‘nothing has changed’, even as she careers the country towards a catastrophic no deal.
A no deal Brexit is not an option: The government’s own economic analysis says it would hit GDP by 9.3 per cent over a 15-year period.
Trade unions and businesses warn that it would have a devastating impact on jobs.
And even dozens of government ministers are reportedly threatening to resign if the Prime Minister does not rule it out. But as I write, the Prime Minister is still refusing to do this.
She is using the threat of a no deal to pressure MPs to vote for her failed deal. This is a reckless approach.
The country deserves better than the choice of the Prime Minister’s deal or a disastrous no deal.
To break the Brexit deadlock, it is increasingly clear that we will need to extend Article 50.
This would give us the time to take this question back to the people, with a public vote on the deal.
In this vote, I would support Remain because I know it is the deal that works best for Battersea, for London, and for the country.