Sussex MPs react to Theresa May’s latest Brexit deal

Theresa May unveiled her latest Brexit deal this week
Theresa May unveiled her latest Brexit deal this week

A number of Sussex MPs have criticised Theresa May’s latest Brexit deal.

The Prime Minister’s draft withdrawal agreements for the UK leaving the EU have already been defeated several times in the Commmons.

She has now unveiled revised plans that include new guarantees on workers’ rights, environmental protections and the Northern Irish border, as well a customs ‘compromise’.

MPs would also have to vote on holding a second referendum if they passed the deal.

On Tuesday she told MPs of all parties she had compromised and asked them too as well.

But Mrs May’s withdrawal agreement bill (WAB) has been criticised by figures across the political spectrum, including by many Sussex MPs.

Two of the county’s MPs, who both serve in Mrs May’s Government, backed her new deal.

Work and pensions secretary Amber Rudd, MP for Hastings and Rye, tweeted: “The Prime Minister is doing everything she can to ensure we leave the EU in a way that protects jobs, security and the Union.

I support her and urge colleagues to back the deal. Once passed business investment and confidence will surge,building on strong national employment.”

Schools minister Nick Gibb, MP for Bognor Regis and Littlehampton, added: “Fully support the proposals announced by the Prime Minister today to find common ground in Parliament through the Withdrawal Agreement Bill. We must deliver Brexit and this is the only way to do that.”

However other opinions of the new deal were entirely negative, including from fellow Tories.

Lewes MP Maria Caulfield said: “I supported the dreadful WA [withdrawal agreement] before as I thought it was our only chance of leaving the EU on 29th March. The WAB proposal is worse than before. This is not Brexit and I won’t be supporting it.”

Henry Smith, Crawley’s MP, added: “With every statement Theresa May makes herself less relevant and further insults the British people by questioning their Brexit referendum decision. She has no credibility or judgement as Prime Minister and, if she remains so, her EU vision will not have my support in Parliament.”

Tim Loughton, East Worthing and Shoreham MP, added: “After listening to the PM’s speech yesterday, it is clear that any legislation which enables either a customs union or a second referendum will not get my vote. This is not Brexit. It is not what 17.4million people voted for.”

MPs from opposition parties were equally damning.

Green MP for Brighton Pavilion Caroline Lucas said: “PM’s ‘new’ deal is putting lipstick on a pig - rehash of old deal with a few concessions attached.

“Using bait of possible People’s Vote to get flawed deal over line won’t work. Democracy shouldn’t come with strings attached. People’s Vote needs to be guaranteed now, not left to chance.”

Labour’s Peter Kyle, MP for Hove, added: “The prime minister just made a whole load of promises on behalf of the next prime minister. That’s likely to be someone who has repeatedly voted against the very things she’s announcing. No thanks.”

He described how the Kyle-Wilson amendment ‘was offered to her as a clean, simple confirmatory public ballot on her deal’, but suggested the Prime Minister had promised a ‘strange, complex Commons process’, adding: “This is not leadership and not good enough.”