Stamford MP Nick Boles flies in ‘specially’ to back Labour bid to block ‘no deal’ Brexit
Stamford MP Nick Boles last night backed Labour in a bid to stop a ‘no deal’ Brexit.
The Independent MP spoke in the debate, which the Government won, after ‘specially’ flying in from abroad for the vote.
It means that a ‘no deal’ Brexit remains the default position, should the government be unable to pass a deal by October 31.
Mr Boles called on the House to “seize the chance to defend its rights and freedoms against an arrogant executive hellbent on implementing an extreme policy.”
He continued: “The British people will have been given the opportunity to slow their leader’s lemming-like rush towards a no-deal Brexit; and the world will have been given reasons to believe the pyschodrama of the Tory Party’s leadership contest does not define us as a nation, that Britain has not taken leave of his senses.”
Earlier, Mr Boles said many Tory MPs will feel torn between loyalty to their party and what they see as the national interest. He too was an instinctive loyalist, ambitious for high office, desiring to stay on good terms with their local party.
But some issues demand that be put to one side, he continued, claiming a ‘no deal’ Brexit would ‘“decimate Britain’s lamb exports” and destroy “thousands of highly skilled and well-paid manufacturing jobs.”.
Labour MPs in Leave-voting areas may feel the vote was to block Brexit, Mr Boles added, when all it meant was on June 25 Parliament could vote a Bill to allow MPs to vote in September on the new Prime Minister’s plan for Brexit.
The Government won the vote by 309 votes to 298, with it gaining the support of Rutland MP Sir Alan Duncan and Deepings MP Sir John Hayes.
Mr Boles voted against his former party, joining forces with Labour, ChangeUK, Liberal Democrats and ten Conservatives including Dominic Grieve, Ken Clarke and Oliver Letwin.
Earlier this year, Mr Boles worked with Mr Letwin, Labour’s Yvette Cooper and others on measures to stop a no-deal Brexit, which helped prevent the government from leaving the European Union in March as promised.
After yesterday’s vote, the MP said of the Tory rebels on social media: “Ten brave souls were willing to defy party members and whips to put the interests of the country, and their constituents, first. I hope the many other Tories who have declared their opposition to a No Deal Brexit don’t regret their failure to act.
“Dozens of Tory MPs belong to the One Nation caucus. Almost as many as in the ERG (European Research Group). But unlike the hardline Brexiters most don’t have stomach for the fight. The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity. So the worst will win.”
Mr Boles also tweeted soon afterwards: "Oh well. I tried. And now I’m back at Gatwick waiting for my flight out. Hasta la vista baby!”