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Richard Benyon rebels against Government in no deal vote

'I voted to make it absolutely clear so that we would not be leaving without a deal and putting the needs of my constituency first'

John Herring

John Herring


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Richard Benyon - Conservative

RICHARD Benyon rebelled against his party line last night after the Government was forced to whip its own MPs into voting against its own motion. 

The Government had proposed a motion to not leave the EU without a deal on March 29, but included the option of a no-deal Brexit at a later time. 

But before the main vote, MPs backed an amendment to reject the UK leaving without a deal under any circumstances by a majority of four. Mr Benyon was absent from the vote. 

However, the vote is not legally binding as the UK could still leave without a deal on March 29. 

MPs then voted down the Malthouse compromise, proposed by North West Hampshire MP Kit Malthouse, to delay Brexit until May 22 to enable a managed no-deal Brexit. 

Again, Mr Benyon was absent from the vote. 

The results meant that the Government's proposal had to be changed to include no deal under any circumstances, with Conservative MPs being whipped into voting against the motion.

Mr Benyon defied the party whip and voted for the amended motion. 

Reading West MP Alok Sharma, Mr Malthouse and Wokingham MP Sir John Redwood voted against the amended motion. 

Explaining his reasons, Mr Benyon said: "I have tried to be consistent throughout. I will continue to vote for the Prime Minister's deal at every opportunity I get.

"I am respecting the result of the referendum, but the referendum did not ask us whether we wanted to leave with or without a deal. 

"Leaving without a deal would be very damaging to my constituency, so I was not happy with the Government's amendment last night because I thought it was equivocal.

"I voted to make it absolutely clear so that we would not be leaving without a deal and putting the needs of my constituency first. 

"I think that the Government amendment would have been seen from both directions. That's not what the Prime Minister said the previous night and therefore I voted the way I did."

When asked why he abstained from the Malthouse compromise, he said: "I am a good friend and admirer of Kit Malthouse but I don't think his option will work because the EU has said it won't work, therefore I was not going to support it and I didn't want to vote against it as I think Kit has done a good job of bringing people across Parliament together. 

"It came down to the Government motion as amended. I couldn't vote against that and I couldn't vote against him and his amendment, which meant voting against my party whip."

MPs will vote today on whether to extend Article 50 past March 29. 

Theresa May has indicated that she will try and push her twice-defeated deal through the Commons again, although an amendment has been tabled to stop this.

Mr Benyon said: "I will continue to support the Prime Minister leaving with a deal. If that comes to a vote next week then I will totally support it. 

"I think the deal is perfectly good enough to all those who voted to leave the EU and those, who like me, voted to remain."

But when asked whether he should back his remain-voting constituency, Mr Benyon said: "I am a democrat. It was a national referendum and my side lost.

"Many, many more constituencies voted leave than remain. On that basis we would have left with the hardest possible Brexit. People should be careful about what they wish for. 

"I am responding as best I can by supporting the result of the national referendum and that we leave sensibly with a deal."


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Article comments

  • bruin the bear

    15/03/2019 - 12:12

    Leavers or remainers can at least agree that Parliament is a shambles at the minute!


  • Louise


    14/03/2019 - 14:02

    If he was supporting the UK, he should have allowed "No Deal" to be an option; having that fall back would have immensely strengthened our negotiating hand. As it is, yet again we have to bend over even further for the EUSSR TO TAKE OUR MEDICINE. It's shameful so many in authority have absolutely zero expertise in negotiating. No Deal will have caused some SHORT TERM issues, but in the long run we would be far better off, so we can trade unhindered with the world. The rumoured tariffs on imported German cars for example, can only be good news for us.


    • EugeneStryker

      14/03/2019 - 17:05

      Is this the short term 50 year wait for the benefits of Brexit suggested by Rees-Mogg? I suppose this is better than Farage who said he didn't necessarily think we would be better off, just 'self-governing'


    • Bombey

      14/03/2019 - 16:04

      How can a tariff on German cars be good when 85% of cars built in the UK ( by foreign companies ) are exported?


    • NoisyNortherner

      14/03/2019 - 15:03

      WHAT NEGOTIATING HAND!? The deal is what it is, the EU have stated until their faces are as blue as the flag that it's not going to change. As for negotiating, what expertise do you have exactly, random person on the internet? Do you consider being forced to accept whatever conditions the US/India/etc. ask for in the desperate search for a trade deal "SHORT TERM"?


  • Northern Monkey

    14/03/2019 - 13:01

    If Mr Benyon put the needs of the constituency first he would still be supporting remain. His view was that remain was best for West Berkshire before the referendum and if anything the evidence since then further supports that view. To claim he puts the needs of the constituency first is clearly not true.


    • NewburyLad

      14/03/2019 - 19:07

      Lets repeat once again, the referendum decision WAS A COUNTRY WIDE decision, it was not a regional vote. Therefore he should be respecting the wishes of the MAJORITY of the voters of the WHOLE OF THE UNITED KINGDOM and he should be doing everything to ensure a full exit from the all parts of the EU is achieved. The constituency of Newbury is completely irrelevant in the leave/remain decision.


    • dazzer

      14/03/2019 - 16:04

      Benyon is a Traitor to the UK and a parasite - The richest or one of the richest MPs in the UK - He only loves Money not the UK - His expenses are a disgrace 1 Oct 2017 — 30 Sep 2018 Total claimed: £158,637.77 * Number of items claimed for:222 1 Apr 2017 — 31 Mar 2018 Total claimed: £155,957.07 * Number of items Claimed for: 231 1 Apr 2016 — 31 Mar 2017 Total claimed: £144,615.85 * Number of items Claimed for:241 1 Apr 2015 — 31 Mar 2016 Total claimed: £140,895.62 * Number of items claimed for: 219 1 Apr 2014 — 31 Mar 2015 Total claimed: £147,032.67 * Number of items claimed for: 238 We will get these traitors in court via the Constitution........I hope he spends the rest of his life in absolute poverty and hardship..........Treason by so many!