Burnham-On-Sea’s MP James Heappey backed Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Saturday by voting against an amendment to his new Brexit deal to withhold Commons approval until the necessary UK legislation to leave the EU has been passed.
During a rare sitting of Parliament on a Saturday, Mr Heappey was among 306 MPs to vote against the Letwin amendment, while a majority of 322 MPs voted for the amendment.
As a result, Mr Johnson was compelled to send a request to the EU last night asking for a delay to Brexit – but he did so without his signature. The request was accompanied by a second letter, signed by Mr Johnson, which said he believes that a delay would be a mistake.
Burnham’s MP, James Heappey, gave his reaction last night: “Parliament may have drafted the letter that the PM must send but he is our head of government. He’s crystal clear in this letter that he won’t negotiate an extension and he’ll tell the EU we don’t need it. Parliament must make best speed to pass the deal because the extension may never come.”
In a separate comment on Saturday evening, Mr Heappey added: “Sat waiting for my train trying to get my head around today. Those opposed to Brexit legislated for meaningful votes. We’ve had them. They said Meaningful Vote 4 must happen by today. It did. But when it looked like the Government would win, they’ve kicked the can down the road (again). And so it goes on…”
The Commons defeat was a major setback for the PM, who has repeatedly insisted that the UK will leave at the end of the month come what may.
However, Mr Johnson told the Commons he was not “daunted or dismayed” by the defeat and remained committed to taking Britain out by the end of the month on the basis of his “excellent deal”.
Meanwhile, a huge protest was held in London calling for a second public vote on the new Brexit deal.