Isle MPs due to take part in crucial Brexit Withdrawal Agreement vote

General Election

North Thanet MP Sir Roger Gale says he will back Prime Minister Teresa May on today’s (January 14) meaningful vote over Brexit.

MPs will start voting at 7pm, after five days of debate, over whether to back the PM’s deal for leaving the European Union.

Sir Roger says a withdrawal deal will allow for negotiation.

He said: “I signed what has become known as the “No Deal” letter because I do not believe that a “No Deal” Brexit is either in the long-term economic and security interests of those that I represent and neither –judging from my mailbag – represent the expressed wish of even most of those who voted to Leave.

“I accept that there are some hard-line Brexiteers that would welcome a “cliff edge” exit but that does not appear to reflect the view of the majority that want a clean but negotiated departure from the European Union.

“As a Member of Parliament I am not mandated: I am elected to exercise my judgement in the light of the knowledge and facts that are available to me and I shall continue to do precisely that.

“At present   I am concentrating all of my efforts on seeking to secure support for the Withdrawal Agreement -and if I was seeking to remain I would not be voting to leave – as a paving measure that will then allow us to negotiate the trade and other relationships with our former EU partners that still have to be struck. I do not propose to be distracted from that purpose.

“If and when- but only when –  it becomes apparent, following the “meaningful vote” that the House is not prepared to support the Withdrawal Agreement  – and logically all of those Labour, Liberal, Green, SNP and Tory members who signed the “No Deal” letter should vote for the deal on offer – then other considerations will come into play.

“What I will not do is back any arrangement that I believe will leave the Country that I have been proud to serve for much of my life weaker either economically or in terms of security. It would not be my generation that would pay the price for such folly but those of our children and grandchildren and that is not a price that I am prepared to condone or support.”

The withdrawal agreement is in preparation for the UK’s exit from the European Union on March 29. Fears of a no-deal Brexit have prompted emergency plans, in Thanet these include government funding for extra ferry capacity if a Ramsgate/Ostend route is established by Seaborne Freight and proposals for lorry parking at the Manston airport site to ease congestion at Dover port.

Craig Mackinlay

South Thanet MP Craig Mackinlay is expected to oppose the deal as it stands. He recently said of the Brexit deal preparations:”We hear much, often with a negative overtone, when ‘no-deal Brexit’ is discussed. Leaving cleanly and trading on World Trade Organisation terms would have short-term lumps and bumps, but this type of arrangement is merely an international normality.

“It is a ‘deal’ and a well-recognised one. We’d be saving the £39Bn offered up as a divorce settlement, protecting the Union and put ourselves in the driving seat to conclude new international trade deals.

“An ambitious Free Trade Agreement, on the lines of the Canada deal, will in my view deliver the referendum result, keeps relations with the EU on a friendly and professional basis and is the way forwards as we re-establish ourselves as a new Global Britain.”

‘Botched Brexit’

Thanet Liberal Democrat spokesperson Angie Curwen says a ‘botched Brexit’ will leave people poorer and has called for MPs to give the public the final say on the deal.

She said: “Theresa May’s deal is bad for the NHS, bad for British jobs and leaves the UK a rule taker not a rule maker.  It is a deal nobody voted for and nobody wants.

“If Roger Gale and Craig Mackinlay cannot look their constituents in the eye and say this botched deal will make them better off, they must back the Liberal Democrats and vote this deal down.”

“Liberal Democrats demand better. The only escape from this Tory mess is to give the people the final say on the deal, including the option to remain in the EU.”

Photo Simon Crow

A huge rally in London last October 20 attracted some 700,000 campaigners demanding a new referendum on the final Brexit deal.

The People’s Vote march started at Park Lane for the rally to Parliament Square. Campaigners, including people from Thanet such as Labour’s district councillor hopeful Rob Yates, said there were  fears that the UK would exit the EU with no deal and concerns over what this will mean for issues including imports and exports, travel and the NHS. There are also concerns over physical border checks between the country and Ireland as a result of the exit.

Political pundits are predicting the PM will suffer defeat in the vote.


  1. I think you will find that the “Peoples Vote ” rally in October attracted over 750,000 people, not just 67,000 as this article states. It was easily the second biggest march in UK history, second only to the over one million marching against starting the Iraq war. The anti-Iraq war demonstration has proved to be , tragically, correct with continuing devastation across the destabilised Middle East and the spread of terrorism to new countries. The Peoples Vote march will also prove to be all too accurate in the need for us all to have a final referendum now we know the chaos that has been caused by the Brexit vote. I cannot help but notice that both the Iraq War and the Brexit vote were urged on us with lots of Union-Jack waving and “patriotic” calls for action against the wicked foreigners. Just as these shallow emotions brought misery to millions in Iraq and surrounding countries ,so they will bring economic misery and feelings of betrayal to millions of Brexit Britons.

  2. The 17.4 million who voted to leave won the vote, and only losers are protesting. There will be civil unrest in numbers exceeding 700,000 if the will of the people is not carried out without further delaying tactics from losers. The Vote was OUT, a simple 3 letter word which losers find hard to understand. No Umpire needed. The democratic majority said O U T.

  3. Ok, our two MPs differ in their intent on today’s vote. Gale likes it, Mackinlay doesn’t! Not sure what this tells us other than rather like the way they have mislead the people of Thanet for years, I wouldn’t trust either of them. By the way Mr. Macinlay, what are you doing about lobbying to keep QEQM hospital available for stroke victims instead of having to travel 35 miles across county to receive treatment? NOTHING!
    Still trying to work out how we’ve ended up with these two Tory twits, come on Thanet ….wake up and smell the coffee!

  4. Not at all-it seems the majority of Daily Fail/Express/Sun/Mirror etc racists, xenophobes & bigots who voted leave based on fearmongering, outright lies & a dislike of non-British people are now backtracking as they see what a colossal mess they have created & now seeing that it will affect them personally-will there be food on the shelves? How much will it cost them? Will they still be able to get their medicine etc?

    The truth is the majority of those who voted for leaving thought it would be as simple as winning the vote & being our a week later. Having now seen the lies they were fed by Boris et al. & the mess now facing the UK on the news every day if you held the vote again now there can be little doubt the majority would vote remain.

  5. The majority wanted out and that is what we expect the Government to do. Backtracking because of all the scaremongering by the anti-brexiters is not democratic. We cannot keep voting over and over until everyone is happy because that will never happen. Out with no crappy deals.

  6. Now we know that over two thirds of our MPs rejected the Brexit deal that was on the table – despite that being the only deal that was available – so it looks like we now leave with no deal.

    That clearly shows a hardening of the resolve to extricate ourselves from the confines and consequences that the EU wishes to impose on us – and an opting towards the hard Brexit rather than the soft Brexit. Our MPs have voted that way despite all the fear mongering that nobody will be able to import or export goods between the UK and Europe, planes will be unable to fly over Europe to and from the UK, etc., etc.

    We voted to leave, with all it’s consequences, now let’s just get on with it and stop all the bickering . . .

    • Did people vote to leave without knowing the consequences? Without caring about the consequences? If so, why?

      • Yes, they did vote without knowing the consequences because there was no mention by David Cameron of the silly two years of negotiations for a deal afterwards. Most of the Tories wanted to stay in and are doing anything they can to stay in or leave with a soft Brexit, which just means we will be worse of with Teresa May’s deal garnered. The squirming about that is going on here is being laughed on by the European parliament members. This Government has dug itself a hole and instead of climbing out they dig deeper. The obvious deal is the No Deal exit which we were expecting by now but these fools are too soft to get on with it. What a shambles. Great Britain – the laughing stock of the world!

  7. Would someone who knows about these things tell me what “making Britain Great again” and “getting our sovereignty back” actually mean?

  8. I still don’t understand why people would rather leave the EU than stay in and try to improve whatever they feel is wrong about our relationship with it.

    Look at the countries with which Britain is now trying to arrange increased trade. Saudi Arabia, China, America…what a desperate state of affairs. How can that be better than staying in a nearby trading bloc of countries with which we share a long history and have basically, a common culture?

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