North Somerset MP votes against crucial Brexit decision
PUBLISHED: 16:00 15 March 2019
Kirsty O’Connor/PA Wire/Victoria Jones
North Somerset's MP voted against the extension of Article 50 in yesterday's (Thursday's) vote.
Dr Liam Fox, along with Wells MP James Heappey, voted against delaying Article 50 – which says the UK will leave the European Union on March 29.
The motion to extend the UK’s exit was put forward to MPs at Westminster yesterday (Thursday) and was passed by 413 votes to 202.
The main motion was backed by MPs from across the various political parties, however most Conservative MPs voted against the motion.
Weston-super-Mare MP John Penrose voted in favour of the extension while the Wells and North Somerset representatives both opted against it.
All three MPs previously voted in favour of Prime Minister Theresa May’s exit deal and against leaving the EU with no-deal.
The extension will not be actioned until all 27 European Union (EU) countries unanimously agree to it.
What has happened so far?
Right back in June 2016, 51.9 per cent of voters opted to leave the EU, with a total turnout of 71.8 per cent.
Article 50 was triggered on March 29, 2017 with the UK scheduled to leave at 11pm UK time later March 29, 2019.
Mrs May has put forward two deals to Parliament, both of which have been rejected in an overwhelming majority.
This week has been seen MPs vote three times, firstly for the latest deal on the table (which failed), then whether the UK should leave the EU without a deal (which also failed), and finally whether the Prime Minister should ask the EU for an extension to Article 50.
What happens next?
The Brexit deadline is legally binding and cannot be extended without the agreement of all other 27 EU countries.
If the other EU countries agree, Theresa May will have until June 30 to get a Brexit deal through Parliament.
If they say no to the extension then the UK leaves the EU on March 29 without a deal.
Even if the deadline is unanimously agreed, the Prime Minister will still need to get a deal through the Houses of Commons, which is currently divided on the matter of the Irish back-stop.
Mrs May will also look to get her deal passed through the House of Commons again, with plans to hold another vote next week.
If the vote is successful then she can ask for a ‘short technical extension’ to Article 50.
If MPs refuse to accept the deal on the table, or if the EU grant a longer extension, then the Prime Minister can negotiate an entirely new deal.
But Parliament could also express its views on alternative options including another General Election, a vote of no confidence or another referendum.