St Albans and Harpenden MPs back government on Brexit

PUBLISHED: 09:38 09 September 2019 | UPDATED: 09:38 09 September 2019

Hitchin and Harpenden MP Bim Afolami voted in support of the government in the Brexit debate. Picture: Martin Wootton

Hitchin and Harpenden MP Bim Afolami voted in support of the government in the Brexit debate. Picture: Martin Wootton

Martin Wootton

St Albans MP Anne Main and Harpenden and Hitchin MP Bim Afolami both voted in support of the government against the motion seeking to block a no-deal Brexit.

St Albans MP Anne Main voted in support of the government in the Brexit debate. Picture: Anne Main's officeSt Albans MP Anne Main voted in support of the government in the Brexit debate. Picture: Anne Main's office

The Commons voted 328 to 301 to take control of the agenda, enabling them to bring forward a bill which aims to delay the UK's exit date.

Mrs Main and Mr Afolami were not among the 21 rebel Tory MPs who joined opposition parties on Tuesday to defeat the government.

Anne Main has historically supported Brexit against the views of her constituents, 67.7 per cent of whom voted to remain in the EU, making St Albans one of the most pro-EU areas in the country.

She also supported Boris Johnson becoming Prime Minister, saying he was the "best person" to deliver Brexit. She said: "I believe that Boris has the vision, energy and experience to be an excellent leader for our party and our country.

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"We must deliver on the referendum result to leave the EU and I believe Boris is the best person to deliver that."

On Saturday, hundreds of St Albans constituents protested against the Prime Minister's prorogation of Parliament, and thousands more signed a petition against Parliament being suspended.

A cross-party group of UK MEPs have also signed 'the Brussels Declaration', committing to work together in the face of Brexit and describing prorogation as "completely unacceptable".

In a statement on his website, Mr Afolami explained his commitment to honouring the results of the referendum, but described a no-deal Brexit as an undesirable outcome.

He said: "Although I voted to remain in 2016, I believe that if Parliament were to try and frustrate or overturn the result it would trigger an even more serious political crisis, and public anger. We all promised to abide by the result, and I intend to keep that promise.

"A 'No Deal' outcome would mean immediate restrictions on our trade, disrupt our economic growth and cause issues at our borders. The entire government - including those who campaigned for leave and remain - has been clear that a no deal scenario is not desirable and is not the best outcome for the future of our country."

After the vote on Tuesday, Downing Street said the rebel MPs would have the whip removed, effectively expelling them from the parliamentary party, and Mr Johnson said he would bring forward a motion for an early General Election.

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