Pro-Brexit MP to fight deselection 

Pro-Brexit MP to fight deselection 

Two pro-Brexit Labour MPs are facing the wrath of their constituency parties over a tight parliamentary vote that UK Prime Minister Theresa May only survived because of their support. 

Kate Hoey and Frank Field have been attacked by their constituency members for backing amendments by the far-right European Research Group, giving May a majority of three.

Hoey represents Vauxhall, the London constituency with one of the highest remain votes in the divisive 2016 EU referendum.

The MP since 1989 faced a unanimous vote of no confidence by Vauxhall party members this week and no one spoke to defend her. No one from the Vauxhall branch explained why it had taken more than two years for the action to be taken. 

Hoey, who is in Zimbabwe as an election observer, reportedly pulled out of the meeting after the no-confidence motion was tabled and instead a newsletter” listing all the laws May’s government had passed as handed out, “which was strange”, according to a party member. 

They called on party leader Jeremy Corbyn to suspend Hoey and remove the Labour whip so she had to sit as an independent MP.

She would become “ineligible” for re-selection as a candidate in future elections. 

Before the tight vote, Hoey defended herself, saying  “the idea there would have been a general election” if May had lost the vote on her Trade Bill was “not true”.

The constituency motion has no formal standing in Labour’s selection procedures but it is understood that the opposition party will be taking it seriously.

Fellow Labour MP Frank Field is also facing a move by activists in his Birkenhead constituency to have him suspended for backing Brexit. 

Field, 76, criticised a motion against him as “Momentum-inspired”, in reference to the pro-Corbyn, radical movement within the party. 

May failure 

May’s efforts to bypass the European Commission and deal directly with EU nations have been rejected as the risk of a no-deal Brexit appeared to intensify.

She was told the European Parliament would veto her Chequers proposals on a shared customs union unless there was a new plan for the Irish border.

During her trip to Austria, fellow conservative Chancellor Sebastian Kurz and his Czech counterpart, Andrej Babis, appeared to rule out special treatment for the UK. 

Ales Chmelar, Czech state secretary for European affairs, warned there was a “clear problem with the fact that the EU will not have a mechanism to control its borders and it would be delegated – without any EU control – to a third country, which would be Britain after March”.

He said May’s proposals on single market regulations lacked “a certain balance between the rights and obligations” and called on London to avoid “trying to find loopholes in the EU position”.

A source in France said Paris was “puzzled” why the EU would be expected to accept May’s customs plan that was so complex, risky and burdensome for it and its employers, for no benefit.

Nathalie Loiseau, France’s European affairs minister, said there was “no difference between what [negotiator] Michel Barnier says and what we would say individually, each and every member state”.

 

 

More voices are joining the campaign for a People’s Vote. Picture credit: Eurasia Times

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