More than three-quarters of Yorkshire’s MPs are planning to vote against Theresa May’s Brexit deal next week.
The Yorkshire Post contacted all 53 MPs in the Yorkshire and Humber region who are eligible to vote next week - with Doncaster Central’s Rosie Winterton not participating because of her role as Deputy Speaker - with 32 of the 41 who replied intending to veto the Withdrawal Bill and a further two undecided.
Analysis of the anticipated positions of those who didn’t respond based on their party’s positions and previous public statements suggests just 13 of the region’s 53 MPs are set to vote for the deal.
The five confirmed Conservative rebels in this region include former Brexit Secretary David Davis, Morley and Outwood MP Andrea Jenkyns, former whip Sir Greg Knight, Shipley’s Philip Davies and Cleethorpes MP Martin Vickers - although the latter three men said they would reconsider their positions should there meaningful changes to what is currently proposed.
It comes as a new five-day debate begins today ahead of Tuesday’s vote on the bill, which Mrs May dramatically postponed last month in the hope of securing further assurances from the EU on issues such as the Northern Ireland backstop that critics fear could result in the UK having to follow EU rules and regulations indefinitely.
Not a single regional MP who responded said their mind has been changed since the delay.
Thirsk and Malton MP Kevin Hollinrake, one of the seven MPs who told The Yorkshire Post they will support the bill, said Mrs May had delivered “a workable deal” that offered the chance to strike trade deals, control immigration and “crucially if we accept it, no disastrous general election or second referendum”.
But Mr Vickers said: “My view hasn’t changed - it remains that I can’t support the agreement unless amendments to the backstop are brought forward.”
Labour MPs from across Yorkshire also lined up to condemn the deal, although Rotherham’s Sarah Champion said she would only decide on her vote after hearing the debate, while fellow South Yorkshire MP Kevin Barron said he intended to base his decision on “the will and interests of the people of Rother Valley”.
But other Labour MPs said Mrs May’s decision to delay the vote had contributed to hardening their opposition.
Yvette Cooper said: “Theresa May has made a real mess of this and she’s lost support from all sides. She wants us to vote on a wish list rather than a proper plan. Moving the vote has been a complete farce, she’s just trying to give herself some time to convince her own side to vote with her, but it doesn’t seem to be working.”
Rachel Reeves added: “The delay to the vote has just further exposed the Government’s incompetence and inability to come up with a deal that protects jobs, workers’ and consumers’ rights and the frictionless borders that are vital for trade.”
It comes as a new survey published today found almost three quarters of MPs believe Theresa May has done a poor job of negotiating Britain’s exit from the EU.
No-deal ‘cannot be contemplated’
A no-deal Brexit “should not be contemplated” if Theresa May’s deal fails, Business Secretary Greg Clark has told the House of Commons.
He said such an outcome would cause major disruption to time-sensitive supply chains served through the port of Dover, affecting businesses across the country.
“It is evident that avoiding no deal is an essential task for all of us in this House,” he said.
The warning came after Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd said history would take a “dim view” of Theresa May’s Cabinet if it pressed ahead with a no-deal Brexit in the event of the Withdrawal Agreement being rejected next week.