Hartlepool’s MP has explained why he backed a Commons vote that would have avoided a no-deal Brexit.
Mike Hill said leaving the EU without a deal would be ‘a disaster for British jobs and for the working class’ and leave the country poorer.
In Tuesday night’s debate, Mr Hill voted to support an amendment by Labour MP Yvette Cooper that would have sent Prime Minister Theresa May back to the EU and asked for an extension to the leaving period if no agreement had been reached on a deal by March 29 – the day the UK is due to leave the EU.
MPs instead voted for another amendment in the House of Commons on Tuesday evening.
The Brady amendment means that Theresa May will go back to Brussels and demand changes to the Irish backstop and ask for “alternative arrangements”.
Mike Hill voted against the Brady amendment.
Given the recent announcements by many large employers across the country, nobody is now in any doubt that a No Deal Brexit would be a disaster for British jobs and for the working class. No Deal will make us poorer and Hartlepool cannot afford that.Mike Hill
READ MORE: Hartlepool MP Mike Hill says it is time to ‘crack on with leaving the EU’ after latest votes on Brexit.
“I voted on the Prime Minister’s revised plan for Brexit,” he said.
“I still do not think that she has fully grasped the scale of the opposition to a large proportion of her proposals both in Parliament and public opinion, and from all sides of the debate.
“There are two important points that I must bear in mind in any votes on this issue. The first is that my constituents voted to leave the EU and I promised in my election in 2017 that I would honour that result.
“The second is that Hartlepool does not need a second referendum to make up its mind on Brexit and, although I have no issue with the option being debated by other MPs, I could never support holding another referendum on this question when my constituents voted so overwhelmingly to leave.
“I voted in favour of numerous amendments which unfortunately did not pass. In a time when passions and often tempers are running high, I voted to ensure that we have a well-informed, rational and reasonable discussion of every possibility.
“My voting decisions were based on four key points; avoiding a No Deal Brexit, protecting our 400-year-old principle of Parliamentary sovereignty which is the foundation of our constitution, ending the free movement of people to and from the United Kingdom, and abiding by the result of the referendum.
“I supported Yvette Cooper’s amendment that allows an extension of the negotiation period if no deal is reached by the 29th of March. This would have given us time to breathe, time to think and time to negotiate a deal that benefits working people.
“I was convinced by the cross-party agreement to limit the time of the extension to weeks rather than months and was disappointed in its failure.”
It comes after a Hartlepool Mail poll saw 3,741 votes cast and found that 55% of the readers who responded were in favour leaving the EU even if a deal cannot be reached.
Mr Hill added: “Passions and even tempers are running high across the country over Brexit. I would like to see this debate become less about personalities and more about achieving the best outcome possible in the negotiations.
“Given the recent announcements by many large employers across the country, nobody is now in any doubt that a No Deal Brexit would be a disaster for British jobs and for the working class. No Deal will make us poorer and Hartlepool cannot afford that.
“No specific type of Brexit was specified in the referendum, No Deal or otherwise, and we must make the best of the situation that we can in a way that ensures everyone can benefit.
“I also welcome the Prime Minister’s announcement that she will reopen negotiations with the EU after two months of her stating that it would be impossible for her to do so.
“In light of the defeats for Parliamentary Sovereignty tonight, I will be lobbying harder than ever to ensure that the rights of working people, pensioners and vulnerable people are at the forefront of these new discussions.”