"You can literally feel the Brexit fantasies evaporating" says TIG MP Chris Leslie
In Central Lobby last night Independent Group MP Chris Leslie told The Parliamentary Review that MPs should “synthesise the different Brexit options into something that can pass”.
Leslie spoke after all eight of the Brexit options selected for indicative votes by the Speaker were defeated.
Leslie backed both revoking Article 50 two days before Britain would leave the EU without a deal and a confirmatory vote for the British people.
Joanna Cherry’s revocation motion was defeated by a majority of 109, while Margaret Beckett’s public vote motion lost by 27 votes.
Asked about his thoughts on the night’s results, Leslie said: “I’m quite pleased that tonight we got the highest recorded vote, and although nothing got a majority, its preferences day.
“As we move forward to Monday, possibly combined with some of the other options like Customs Union that seem to be up there, I think there is a potential scope for a Customs Union Brexit or remaining in the EU via a confirmatory vote.
“There might well be a route through this mess.”
In February, Leslie was part of a group of seven Labour MPs that broke away to form The Independent Group in protest to the leadership of the Labour party.
The Independent Group have been active supporters of a second referendum while also voting to prevent the UK from leaving the EU without a deal.
Last night John Baron’s no-deal motion was defeated by 240 votes which Leslie said shows that MPs in favour of no deal “don’t have the numbers to go forward”.
Leslie added: “The reason there was such boorish behaviour from the hardliners and ERG MPs in the chamber as the results were coming out was because you can literally feel the Brexit fantasies evaporating before you and they don’t like it.
“There are so many options here and I think it is going to be interesting how over the weekend MPs get together and try and synthesise the different options into something that can pass.”