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“I want to represent the vast majority of people in West Berkshire who want to make this work"

Newbury MP Richard Benyon calls for 'clever Brexit' after Article 50 Parliament ruling

“I want to represent the vast majority of people in West Berkshire who want to make this work"

NEWBURY MP Richard Benyon has reiterated his intention to vote in favour of triggering Article 50 following a Supreme Court ruling this week.

On Tuesday, judges upheld the High Court ruling from November that the Government must gain Parliament’s permission to begin negotiations to leave the European Union.

This means Britain’s complex negotiations to exit the EU can only begin when Article 50 of the Treaty of Lisbon is formally triggered through a vote by MPs.

Last year, Mr Benyon came in for criticism for saying he would choose to back the will of the nation rather than his own constituents in West Berkshire – 52 per cent of whom voted to remain in the European Union.

Following the latest ruling confirming MPs would be given their say on Article 50, Mr Benyon has again said he will opt to back the Government’s proposal to begin the Brexit process.

Mr Benyon said: “I’m a democrat. I didn’t want the referendum result, but we have got to live with it.

“I think it would be an affront to democracy to vote it down.”

A number of MPs across the country have declared their intention to vote against Article 50, with recently-elected Liberal Democrat MP Sarah Olney, tweeting: “I had a clear mandate from the people of Richmond Park to vote against Article 50 and I can confirm that is what I will do.”

Several Labour MPs have also said they intend to vote in line with their constituents’ wishes to remain in the EU.

However, Mr Benyon, who backed the failed Remain campaign in last year’s referendum, said those who are calling for MPs to vote against Article 50 would be viewed with contempt by the British public.

He added: “I want to represent the vast majority of people in West Berkshire who want to make this work.

“We face a very difficult task now. There are many different business sectors right across West Berkshire looking to this with concern and trepidation.

“They want someone on the pitch fighting their corner.”

Prime Minister Theresa May has said she hopes to have started Brexit negotiations by the end of March with the process expected to take around two years.

However, the Government has indicated that MPs would again be given a vote to ratify any Brexit deal at the end of the negotiations.  

And Mr Benyon, who has represented the Newbury constituency since 2005, has called for a “clever Brexit”, while reassuring West Berkshire residents he would not approve any deal which did not represent their best interests.

He said: “I will honour the decision taken by the public in a democratic vote, but what wasn’t on the vote was how Britain will leave the European Union.

“I look at things on their merits to try and do what’s right for the country and for my constituency.”

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Article comments

  • DonCossack

    29/01/2017 - 14:02

    I voted Leave, so I'm more than Happy that Benyon is doing the right thing. It's hardly as if his decision to vote will affect his ability to get reelected, his majority is huge. Besides, I've heard that this could well be his last term as Newbury MP.


  • fourcotts

    27/01/2017 - 08:08

    As has been said by other, Mr. Benyon's job is to represent his constituency, that is the fundamental principle of how our democracy is built - some may like that and some may not but it is what it is. He, and indeed all MPs, should vote in line with the constituency vote and not in line with the wider result or party politics.


  • Leah23

    26/01/2017 - 22:10

    Unfortunately Mr Benyon is a bit confused about the kind of democracy we live in, which is representative not populist. He has no choice but to vote in a way that represents the views of his constituents. To do otherwise is to fail his public duty. He campaigned against Brexit because it is the wrong decision. He is only voting for it now because he wants to climb the greasy pole in May's Gov't. The majority of us, the Remainers, will be the same majority that votes him out in 2020 if he does not perform his public duty to us.


  • ClaireyHodges

    26/01/2017 - 18:06

    Massively unimpressed that our MP is not representing the views of his constituency. What is the point of us having a vote if this will be completely ignored? This is not democracy. West Berks voted "remain" and our MP should represent that view. It's very simple. Jumping ship after the event (after no doubt some whipping from more senior Conservatives!) is unacceptable. But perhaps West Berkshire constituents will remember this and use their vote more wisely at the next election!


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