One for, one against – that was the record of York MPs in tonight’s long-awaited ‘meaningful vote’ on Brexit.
Conservative member for York Outer Julian Sturdy changed his position after hearing about the last-minute tweaks to the deal Prime Minister Theresa May negotiated with the European Union.
In the last big vote on January 15, Mr Sturdy voted against the PM.
But tonight he voted in favour of Mrs May’s deal.
However his vote was cancelled out by Labour MP for York Central Rachael Maskell, who voted against the Government, as she did in January.
Afterwards she tweeted:
With such a heavy defeat of the Prime Minister’s deal (149 votes) it is clear that her deal is dead, so tomorrow Parliament will vote on a no ‘no deal’ proposition.
— Rachael Maskell MP (@RachaelMaskell) March 12, 2019
‘No third chance’
MPs voted by 391 to 242 against the deal, despite the Prime Minister’s assurance that new agreements reached with Jean-Claude Juncker in Strasbourg would ensure the UK cannot be trapped in the controversial backstop arrangement indefinitely.
Although the 149 margin was reduced from the record 230-vote defeat of the first “meaningful vote” in January, Mrs May was left far adrift from a majority with just 17 days to go to the scheduled date of Brexit on March 29.
Some 75 Conservative MPs rebelled to vote against the deal, while just three Labour MPs and four independents joined the 235 Tories who backed it.
European Commission president Mr Juncker had already warned that if MPs turned down the package agreed in Strasbourg on Monday, there would be “no third chance” to renegotiate.
In line with a promise set out by Mrs May last month, MPs are now due to vote on Wednesday on whether they are willing for the UK to leave the EU without a deal on March 29.