My editorial today for the Reasons2Remain campaign:
The Daily Mail this morning reported:
“Eleven Conservative MPs last night voted to give the Commons a ‘meaningful’ vote over any Brexit agreement with the EU, despite government pleas to let ministers retain control.”
The Daily Mail accused those 11 Tory MPs of treachery.
We say they upheld and restored Parliamentary sovereignty at last.
The Daily Mail called them “11 self-consumed malcontents.”
We say they are 11 brave democrats who did what all MPs should do: recognise that it’s Parliament, not the government, that should have the final say on what happens to Britain.
The Daily Mail says that those MPs who voted for Parliament to have a real say on the Brexit deal betrayed “17.4 million Brexit voters.”
We say Brexit was sold to those voters on the promise that Britain would have more Parliamentary sovereignty, not that it would be so weakened as to make the role of Westminster meaningless.
The 11 Tory MPs who voted against their government last night were Dominic Grieve, Anna Soubry, Ken Clarke, Nicky Morgan, Antoinette Sandbach, Stephen Hammond, Heidi Allen, Bob Neil, Sarah Wollaston, Jonathan Djanogly and Sir Oliver Heald.
They voted with Labour, the LibDems, SNP, Plaid Cymru and the Green Party in favour of an amendment to ensure that Parliament takes back some control of Brexit.
The Daily Mail pictures them all on their front page today as if they are criminals and asks, ‘Proud of yourselves?’
We are proud of them, Mr Paul Dacre (editor of the Daily Mail).
But we don’t think you have anything to be proud about.
What kind of doublespeak is it on your front page today that attempts to conflate patriotism with dictatorship?
Since when was denying MPs a vote on something as seismic as Brexit anything to do with democracy or taking back control.
Dominic Grieve’s ‘Amendment 7’ was a perfectly rational Parliamentary proposal to ensure democratic checks and balances against an executive that looks increasingly dictatorial.
By just a majority of four votes, MPs last night backed Mr Grieve’s amendment to ensure that Parliament, and not government ministers, must approve the final Brexit deal before it can go ahead.
If the amendment was lost last night, our headline this morning would have been, ‘Death of Parliament’. We had planned to picture a hearse with the Houses of Parliament in the back.
Fortunately, 11 Tory MPs put their country before their party to prove that Parliamentary democracy is alive and kicking (just) and that it can, and must, assert its authority over the executive when it is in the best interests of us, the people.
Now you have found your voice again, Parliament, please use it more and more to protect the interests of the United Kingdom.
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