How did St Albans and Harpenden MPs cast their votes on rejection of No Deal Brexit?

PUBLISHED: 17:20 14 March 2019 | UPDATED: 17:20 14 March 2019

Hitchin and Harpenden MP Bim Afolami abstained from the No Deal vote. Picture: Alan Millard

Hitchin and Harpenden MP Bim Afolami abstained from the No Deal vote. Picture: Alan Millard

Alan J Millard 15 SG4 0BS

MPs all over the country faced a big decision yesterday, with the majority choosing to reject the possibility of a No Deal Brexit. But how did the St Albans and Harpenden MPs cast their votes?

St Albans MP Anne Main speaking in the House of Commons.St Albans MP Anne Main speaking in the House of Commons.

On Tuesday, with just over two weeks to go until Britain is due to leave the single market, MPs voted by 149 votes not to accept Prime Minster Theresa May’s negotiated EU Withdrawal Agreement.

This is a smaller margin than the first Meaningful Vote in January, which crushed the plan by a record majority of 230.

Once again, St Albans MP Anne Main voted against and Hitchin and Harpenden MP Bim Afolami voted to support it.

Yesterday, MPs were asked whether the UK should leave the European Union with a No Deal - however, this motion was not legally binding.

Mrs May whipped Conservatives to vote against this motion as she wanted to keep a No Deal scenario on the table.

However, it was still passed - Mr Afolami was one of the MPs who defied party orders and did not take part.

He said: “I have been clear in the past that I could never support a No Deal Brexit. It would cause irreparable damage to our economy and was not what people voted for in the 2016 referendum.

“However the original government motion to rule out No Deal on March 29 was not made available for me to vote on.

“I voted against the Spelman amendment after Caroline Spelman herself withdrew it believing the government motion was more powerful. I agreed.

“As that amendment passed, the substantive motion became the only opportunity to prevent No Deal on 29 March. I could not in good conscience vote against that.

“It is clearer now then ever before that the only way to solve this issue is for Parliament to agree a deal. I backed the government deal [on Tuesday]. I will continue to work towards getting a sensible deal agreed so that we can leave the EU in an orderly manner.”

Mrs Main voted against the motion. She did not reply to requests for comment.

She supported the Brexit campaign during the 2016 referendum, in which St Albans district bucked the trend, swinging 37.3 per cent Leave to 62.7 per cent Remain.

Today Parliament will vote on whether to ask the EU for an extension to Article 50.

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