MERIDEN MP Dame Caroline Spelman is today urging fellow MPs to vote to rule out a no-deal Brexit through fear of great ‘damage’ to the West Midlands economy.
It comes after the Prime Minister’s latest deal was defeated in the House of Commons by 149 votes last night.
Conservative Dame Caroline backed the PM.
The House of Commons is due to vote on whether to leave the EU without a deal tonight (Wednesday).
The Prime Minister said Tory MPs will get a free vote on the motion so MPs can vote with their conscience rather than following party orders.
In January Dame Caroline tabled an amendment with Labour MP Jack Dromey (Erdington) to prevent at all costs a ‘no deal Brexit.’
This was not legally binding and the motion was carried.
Speaking on BBC Coventry and Warwickshire this morning, Dame Caroline said: “I voted for the deal last night so I want us to leave in an orderly fashion.
“That’s exactly the words the Prime Minister used and I am really disappointed that although there were fewer colleagues who voted against the deal last night, it was still too many for that deal to be carried.
“So my concern is this that if we just leave on March 29 without a deal it will be incredibly damaging to the West Midlands economy.
“We are the leading exporter of all regions in the United Kingdom, mostly cars of course but a lot of other manufactured goods, and thousands of jobs depend on us being able to export to our principal market which happens to be the EU.
“I am not blocking the deal, I just want to make sure we leave with a deal it’s so important for people’s jobs and livelihoods.
“If we rule out a no deal, which provides certainty for business, they know we are not going to crash out without a deal and will be able to get their goods in and out of the country without a big hold up – that’s a positive – but in return for offering to do that, get some improvements to the deal that might get it over the line.”
If no-deal is rejected, MPs will vote on Thursday on delaying Brexit by extending Article 50 – the legal mechanism that takes the UK out of the EU.
The EU has said it would need “a credible justification” before agreeing to any extension.
Leaving the EU in 16 days’ time remains the UK’s default position under the law.