Conservative MP Nicky Morgan has defended her decision to vote in favour of Yvette Cooper’s amendment to the Finance Bill, which she and 19 other Tory MPs defied the government on to vote through.
Joining Julia Hartley-Brewer on the talkRADIO breakfast show, Ms Morgan said: “It’s become very clear that a no deal Brexit would be deeply damaging for the people of this country.
“It would make our economy smaller, therefore making it harder to fund public services in a way people want, it would put at risk the supplies of medicine, manufacturing jobs, and I think it’s the responsibility of MPs when we have an opportunity to make it very clear to the government that parliament will not support a no-deal outcome to Brexit.”
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She reiterated that she would be supporting Theresa May’s deal when it comes to parliament, with a vote expected to happen next week.
“There is a deal on the table and it’s a deal that I will be supporting next week, the Prime Minister’s deal that she has negotiated,” she said.
“The vast majority of people in this country are saying ‘get on with it’ - then we can start talking about all the other things you want the government to be worrying about.”
The Finance Bill amendment means the Treasury cannot alter tax regulations relating to the EU unless a deal has been passed, Article 50 extended, or a no deal exit is approved by MPs.
The amendment passed with a majority of 302 to 296.
'Sovereignity of parliament'
“I don’t think there is a majority for the deal,” Hartley-Brewer replied, referring to the division of opinion in parliament.
“No, I meant overall in the country, the view is there’s a deal on the table, get on with it,” said Ms Morgan.
“It’s difficult to predict what’ll happen in that vote, but at the moment it doesn’t sound like there’s going to be sufficient support for the Prime Minister to get her deal through on the first go.”
Hartley-Brewer suggested that the 20 Tories who voted for the amendment had prevented the government being able to prepare for no deal.
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“You and others who voted for Yvette Cooper’s amendment effectively tied the government’s hands to prevent them preparing for no deal,” she said.
“No, that’s not right,” countered Ms Morgan.
“The clause that was amended yesterday was just saying the government can’t make tax changes in the event of a no deal without an agreement having been approved.
“It’s about the sovereignty of parliament. People who voted for Brexit talk about taking back control - that control has got to come from parliament.”
“I didn’t vote for the sovereignty of parliament, I voted for the sovereignty of the British people,” Hartley-Brewer responded.
“Parliament doesn’t represent the people’s views on this.”