Clashing views on Brexit after weekend of parliamentary drama

UK and EU flags
UK and EU flags

A tumultuous weekend in parliament unsurprisingly produced very different reactions on both sides of the political divide in the borough.


MPs passed the Letwin Amendment to make it harder for Britain to leave the European Union (EU) with No Deal when the House of Commons sat on Saturday in an historic event.

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MPs are now due to hear the introduction of the Withdrawal Agreement Bill today (Monday), with a second reading which should make the level of support for it in the chamber clearer scheduled for Tuesday.

In the wake of Saturday's outcome Makerfield MP Yvonne Fovargue praised the work done against Britain leaving with no arrangements in place.

However, the success of the Letwin Amendment drew a furious response from Coun Michael Winstanley, the Conservative leader of the opposition in the council chamber.

Ms Fovargue said: “Boris Johnson cannot be trusted and his new deal will change our country for the worse, leading to an erosion of rights at work and it would fire the pistol in a race to the bottom leading to a deregulated economy. The vote last weekend will stop us crashing out without a deal.”

Critics of the agreement reached by prime minister Boris Johnson and the EU say it would leave Britain in an even worse position should it go through than the one Mr Johnson's predecessor Theresa May agreed, which was roundly rejected in parliament, would have done.

Coun Winstanley, though, heaped criticism on Ms Fovargue as well as Wigan MP Lisa Nandy and Leigh parliamentary representative Jo Platt for supporting the amendment despite their constituencies strongly supporting Leave in the 2016 Brexit referendum.

Coun Winstanley said: "Once again the three Labour MPs for the Wigan borough have demonstrated their utter contempt for the people of Wigan and the United Kingdom.

"Saturday was an opportunity to vote for a deal to leave the EU by October 31. The date set down by the EU. Our Labour MPs since the referendum have done everything they can do to stop us leaving and Saturday they were at it again.

"They have voted three times against the deal, they voted for the Surrender Act and on Saturday they voted for the Letwin amendment that was designed, again, to delay leaving.

"This is unforgivable, they are acting in the most undemocratic and disingenuous way.

"This is quite simple, but they seem to have trouble understanding. The people of this borough in every ward voted to leave the EU in the 2016 Referendum. In 2017 at the General Election they were elected on a manifesto to respect the result of the referendum. At some point in the next few weeks they will have an opportunity to do just that. No second referendum, no delay; just get us out by October 31.

"It's time for the Wigan borough Labour MPs for once in their lives to respect the views of their constituents. They should remember it is their job to implement the wishes of the people of Wigan.

"If they can't or won't do that, then resign and let's have a by-election or even better let's have a General Election and the people can have a real say on this rotten Parliament."