A North East MP who voted against proceeding with Brexit has given her reasons for being against the proposed bill.
On February 1, Newcastle North MP Catherine McKinnell was the only MP in the Tyne and Wear area that voted against a bill to invoke Article 50 and withdraw from the European Union. Mrs McKinnell was one of 114 MPs from around the country to reject the bill.
The highly contentious bill is a result of the division seen in the referendum on June 23 with only 52 per cent of people voting for the winning leave campaign. In Newcastle (which contains McKinnell’s constituency) the split was even closer with a vote to remain winning by 50.7 per cent.
In her statement McKinnell explained that she doesn’t believe that the Government’s plans are beneficial for her constituents, as it would “effectively give the Prime Minister a blank cheque to press ahead with leaving the EU in a way that I believe could be enormously damaging for Newcastle, the wider North East and indeed the country.”
For her the Government ruling out remaining in the single market “which will have an enormous impact on the North East’s economy” exemplifies this. Which is especially important due to 58 per cent of the North East’s exports being to within the EU.
Also worrying to Mrs McKinnell is the Government’s inability to produce a paper outlining a formal plan and strategy for leaving the EU as they had promised to do.
These concerns about the bill caused McKinnell to “vote against the Government’s Bill enabling Article 50 to be triggered at this stage, before we have a significantly more detailed plan and strategy in place and before we head down a – potentially irreversible – path that could do irreparable damage to our area and the country.”
Despite these concerns McKinnell was the only MP in the area who voted against the proposed bill. The following Tyne and Wear MPs voted to approve the bill:
- David Anderson (Blaydon)
- Bridget Phillipson (Houghton and Sunderland South)
- Stephen Hepburn (Jarrow)
- Nicholas Brown (Newcastle Upon Tyne East)
- Chi Omwurah (Newcastle Upon Tyne Central)
- Mary Glindon (North Tyneside)
- Emma Lewell-Buck (South Shields)
- Julie Elliott (Sunderland Central)
- Alan Campbell (Tynemouth)
- Sharon Hodgson (Washington and Sunderland West)