BRING on an election – that is the view of two local MPs amid more debate over leaving the EU, while a third prefers exiting without a deal.
Sir Desmond Swayne, Julian Lewis and Sir Christopher Chope all voted in favour of Boris Johnson’s proposed exit deal and his defeated plan to have a fast-tracked three days of debate in the House of Commons.
The failure of the second bill means the UK is unlikely to agree on an EU departure deal before 31st October, with an extension likely.
Prime Minster Boris Johnson has threatened to call an election, and there remains uncertainty as to what will happen next.
On Wednesday Mr Johnson held negotiations with Jeremy Corbyn amid reports Labour was keen for an alternate timetable to debate Mr Johnson’s bill in more detail.
Dr Lewis, New Forest East MP, said: “We need a general election to break the Westminster deadlock – and it is absurd the opposition parties, including Labour and the Liberal Democrats, are conspiring to stop that happening.
“Although a clean break departure from the EU followed by a negotiated free trade agreement would be the best outcome, Boris’s deal is a great improvement on the deal offered by Theresa May.”
He added: “His deal is a real Brexit, while hers was Brexit in name only, which is why I voted against it three times. I shall continue to support the Boris deal, unless it is amended unacceptably.”
While New Forest West MP Sir Desmond shared the general election wish, he was more doubtful of it happening.
“My hope is an election so we can get a parliament with a majority to get Brexit done, but that requires two thirds of MPs to vote for an early election, and in the last few weeks they have twice refused to do so,” he said.
“I voted for the agreement to get out of the EU by the 31st. It is no good to will the end but not the means; that is why I also voted for the timetable. Those who voted down the timetable are responsible for keeping us in the EU even longer.
“The notion that we needed more time is ridiculous; there is only one small bit that is new, as for the rest we’ve been debating it for three years. I sit in the Commons and listen to the same speech again and again and again and again.”
Christchurch MP Sir Chris was not enthused about going to the electorate, remarking: “Who wants an election?”
Explaining his vote, Sir Chris said: “I supported Boris’s deal because I think that it’s a great deal better than the previous deal and I want us to get out of the EU, as do most of my constituents.
“I am very disappointed to find that a lot of the people who were supporting Boris’s deal were in fact doing so with their fingers crossed behind their backs as they then went on to frustrate the delivery of the Brexit deal by voting against the timetable.
“What I think should happen is Boris should make it quite clear he is the leader of the executive – the government – to the EU and they should not agree to an extension and we should leave on 31st October. I think we have got to leave – no more messing about.”