The Government has won the support of its EU Withdrawal Bill, with a majority of 36 in the Commons last night (11 September), but they didn’t get the support of Eastbourne MP, Stephen Lloyd.
The Liberal Democrat, along with his 11 Party colleagues, voted against the legislation. They were joined by Conservative Ken Clarke, much of the Labour Party, SNP, Green MP – Caroline Lucas who represents Brighton Pavilion – Plaid Cymru and an independent MP. The DUP voted with the Government in favour of the Bill, along with seven Labour rebels who went against their Party whip to back the Bill.
With Stephen Lloyd voting has he did, has he gone back on his word, not to hamper Brexit? – Eastbourne had a majority vote to leave the EU in the referendum last year. Commenting on why he voted against the Bill, Mr Lloyd said, “I voted against because I think it's a bad Bill and will give the executive enormous power. It will allow ministers to change things where they think it is ‘appropriate’, in theory that makes their decisions even exempt to proper legal challenge.
“It could also allow the government to amend legislation without recourse to parliament, which I profoundly believe is simply wrong in a parliamentary democracy.
“Some noises off will try to say I broke the promise I made to Eastbourne. I have not, and I never will. I was crystal clear that although I am a Remainer myself, I promised Eastbourne I would not support calls for a second referendum, and that I'll vote for the eventual Brexit Bill in two years’ time.
“And I will.
“Meanwhile I will do all I can to lobby the government to get as sensible a Brexit as possible for our nation and that includes voting against an over-powerful executive. We have a long history of bad governmental decisions when there is a lack of proper parliamentary scrutiny.”
Meanwhile, Polegate MP, Maria Caulfield voted with her fellow Conservatives in favour of the Bill. Whilst Polegate had a majority leave vote in the referendum, Ms Caulfield’s overall constituency of Lewes, had a majority vote to stay in the EU.
However, despite Theresa May winning the vote last night, some Conservatives have called on the Prime Minister to make significant changes to the Bill in order to continue to have their support for the legislation going forward.