Hartlepool MP sets out why he supported Brexit amendment

Hartlepool MP Mike Hill says the Government's defeat over key Brexit legislation was a 'vote for demoracy'.

Friday, 15th December 2017, 5:00 am
MPs return their result in the House of Commons, London, where the Government has suffered its first defeat over the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill after MPs supported a Tory rebel amendment for a "meaningful vote" on any Brexit deal by 309 votes to 305, majority four. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday December 13, 2017. See PA story COMMONS Brexit. Photo credit should read: PA Wire

Mr Hill was one of 254 Labour MPs who voted in favour of an amendment to the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill which guarantees Parliament a “meaningful” vote on any Brexit deal.

MPs voted in favour of Tory MP Dominic Grieve’s amendment to the European Union by 309 votes to 305, a majority of just four, in the Commons on Wednesday night.

Mike Hill MP

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It requires any Brexit deal to be approved by a separate Act of Parliament before it could be implemented.

Mr Hill said: “The Government were defeated tonight, not on Brexit, which will happen, but on their attempt to give themselves and their Ministers Executive powers over Parliament.

“The whole idea of Brexit is to restore powers back to the UK and in the political context that means Parliament – the home of democracy.

“The fact that Tories joined us in the lobby to support the principle that elected members in Parliament should be allowed to do their job and represent the will of the people in any final decision on a Brexit deal shows how right and just that is and that the principle of democracy must be upheld at all times.

Mike Hill MP

“Brexit means transferring powers back to the UK Parliament not to an Executive, who would dearly love to be able to change laws on subjects like workers rights, animal welfare, food standards and the environment by statutory instrument and not by recourse to the Full House.

“Whatever the urgency over Brexit may be subverting the rule of democracy is not the way ahead, which is why I am pleased that that important principle was reinforced.”

Eleven Conservative rebel MPs supported the amendment.

Clause nine of the Brexit bill provides the Government with the power to use secondary legislation to implement any deal - which would require less scrutiny from MPs.

Prime Minister Theresa May insisted that she remains “on course to deliver on Brexit” despite the humiliating defeat.

She said: “I am disappointed with the amendment but actually the EU (Withdrawal) Bill is making good progress through the House of Commons and we are on course to deliver on Brexit.”

Mrs May arrived travelled to a European Council summit in Brussels yesterday.