Brexit branded 'depressing', 'embarrassing' and a 'disaster', by frustrated Yorkshire MPs

Frustrated Yorkshire MPs have branded the Brexit process a “disaster” and an “embarrassment” after the Commons failed to choose a preferred way forward during a series of indicative votes.
Sheffield Heeley MP Louise HaighSheffield Heeley MP Louise Haigh
Sheffield Heeley MP Louise Haigh

MPs were given eight Brexit options to choose from on Wednesday, but none of them secured a majority.

Speaking to The Yorkshire Post, Sheffield Heeley MP Louise Haigh described the scenes in Parliament as “depressing” and “embarrassing” and expressed her irritation that no way forward had been agreed.

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The plans put before the Commons were - no deal, Common market membership, European Economic Area membership, retaining a customs union, Labour’s alternative Brexit plan, revocation of Article 50, a second public vote, and a managed no deal scenario.

Ms Haigh said: “It was so depressing to see every single option voted down and I was disappointed with colleagues who abstained on the customs union and didn’t let those votes pass because they have really retreated into quite an extreme position on Brexit now.”

Following the votes it emerged that veteran Labour MP Dennis Skinner had opted for a no deal Brexit, which Ms Haigh “deeply irresponsible”.

She said: “I like Dennis but I disagree with him completely on this. No deal was not what was promised during the referendum. They explicitly said the whole way through that a deal would be delivered.”

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Her fellow Labour MP and Sheffield City Region Mayor Dan Jarvis also spoke out, branding Brexit a “disaster”.

In a statement, he said: “The Brexit process has been a disaster...

“We have failed to co-operate, and we have failed to compromise. We have failed to find a consensus in either our interpretation of the result or how best we deliver it.”

Of all the Brexit options the one which won the highest number of votes was a second public vote, which was defeated by 295 to 268.

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Wakefield MP and People’s Vote advocate Mary Creagh said the result was encouraging.

She tweeted: “The option of putting any deal back to the people came top last night with 268 votes - that’s 24 more than the PM’s Withdrawal Agreement last time she put it to a vote.

There’s a cross-party consensus emerging around some kind of soft Brexit.”

Tory MP Alec Shelbrooke was also frustrated at the House’s inability to decide.

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In a statement, he said: “Last night backbench MPs who have previously said what they don’t want were given the opportunity to indicate what they do want, and they failed to agree to anything.

“The House voted against the revocation of Article 50, against no deal and against a People’s Vote...

The Elmet and Rothwell MP added: “Given where we are today, I continue to believe that the Brexit Deal is the only way to deliver on the result of the 2016 referendum, voting against the deal will almost certainly result in the UK staying in the European Union.”

The Government is set to put its Withdrawal Agreement to MPs again tomorrow - although not in the form of a “meaningful vote” - but if it fails to pass then more indicative votes will be held on Monday.