Election is only way to tackle Brexit, says Lamont

Borders MP John Lamont told the Southern today that he would vote in favour of a general election to break the current deadlock over Britain’s exit from the European Union.

Wednesday, 4th September 2019, 5:17 pm
Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves after a cabinet meeting at Downing Street today in London. Last night the so-called "Rebel Alliance", including 21 Conservative MPs, won a vote that allows them to take charge of the Parliament order paper today, allowing them to debate a bill to block a no deal Brexit. The Prime Minister has withdrawn the whip from the 21 rebels and they face de-selection at the next General Election. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)

MPs are due to hold a vote on avoiding a no-deal Brexit this evening.

It follows last night’s SO24 vote which saw MPs grab control of parliament by 328 votes to 301.

That paved the way for legislation to delay Brexit until January 2020 unless Parliament agrees a new withdrawal agreement by October 19 or accepts a no-deal exit, neither of which is likely.

It was a crushing defeat for UK Government prime minister Boris Johnson.

He had reportedly threatened to deselect any Conservative MP who voted against the government, and today, the party whip was removed from the 21 rebels, who included Sir Nicholas Soames, former chancellor Philip Hammond and Mr Johnson’s opponent in the recent Conservative leadership campaign, Rory Stewart.

The Borders’ two Tory MPs were not among them, no Scottish Conservative MP having rebelled.

Mr Lamont said on Monday that he was not about to vote against the government and said he would be supporting the prime minister, who had said that if a no-deal scenario was taken off the table, he would call a general election.

The Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk MP told us yesterday: “I want the UK to leave the EU with a deal, which is why I repeatedly voted for the withdrawal agreement.

“It is increasingly frustrating to hear from opposition MPs who claim to want to avoid a no-deal Brexit, but who refuse to vote for any deal negotiated with the EU.

“The latest attempts by the Sturgeon-Corbyn alliance to derail the Brexit negotiations will make it harder to get a deal. This deadlock cannot continue. The country should now have its say on how best to move forward.

“I will therefore be voting in favour of a general election so that Borderers can decide who they want to represent them.”

David Mundell, MP for Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale, also voted with the government.

He said: “Whilst I believe the best Brexit outcome is a deal and an orderly exit, I am not prepared to support any proposal which would make it possible for Jeremy Corbyn and Nicola Sturgeon to take control of 10 Downing Street, and that is why I opposed the SO24 motion.”