With just 112 days to go until the United Kingdom leaves the European Union, StaffsLive explores how the 12 Staffordshire MPs might vote on the Prime Minister’s ‘Brexit deal’ next Tuesday.
Members of Parliament from across the country are today sitting in their fourth of five days of debates in the House of Commons, leading up to a crucial vote on Theresa May’s Brexit deal.
If the Prime Minister’s deal is voted down, a few different things could happen – though none are guaranteed. She could resign, could be forced out of power by Conservative MPs, a second referendum may be called, another General Election could be called, or Brexit might not happen at all (or it might happen with no deal).
Here are the 12 Staffordshire MPs, and how they will likely vote in Tuesday’s vote:
Jack Brereton has been the Conservative MP for Stoke-on-Trent South since 2017, with just a majority of 663 votes.
Mr Brereton MP has written for the pro-Brexit website BrexitCentral with an article headlined ‘Brexit must refresh parts of the U.K. like Stoke which the EU has failed to reach’.
In it, he writes: “I am optimistic about our future in leaving the EU.”
Given his voting record of consistently voting against more EU integration, we can assume Mr Brereton MP would vote in favour of Theresa May’s Brexit plan on December 11. However, Sky News data has him as an ‘unknown’.
Ruth Smeeth is the Labour MP for Stoke-on-Trent North and has held the seat since 2015.
Mrs Smeeth MP campaigned for the U.K. to remain in the EU during the 2016 referendum, however she holds a constituency seat that voted 72% in favour of Brexit.
Despite news that the ceramics industry has urged MPs to back Theresa May’s Brexit deal, we believe that Mrs Smeeth MP will vote against the deal next Tuesday in order to boost the numbers of opposition votes, forcing the Government to lose.
Gareth Snell is the Labour MP for Stoke-on-Trent Central, having held the seat since the 2017 snap general election.
In an article two weeks ago, Mr Snell MP wrote: “I’m voting against May’s Brexit deal – but I know it’s a gamble.
“I can’t support a deal that fails to meet the expectations of the referendum, and I’m confident it will be voted down.”
Given his above comments, we are sure Mr Snell MP will vote against the Governments deal on December 11.
Paul Farrelly has been the Labour MP for Newcastle-under-Lyme since 2001, and in 2017 saw reelection with just a majority of 30 votes (0.09% of the vote).
Farrelly was one of just 47 Labour MPs who defied the the Labour Party whip and voted against the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Act 2017. This allowed the Conservative Government to invoke Article 50, which triggered the beginning of the Brexit process.
In order to maintain the Opposition numbers against the Government deal, we believe Mr Farrelly will vote against Mrs May’s Brexit deal on Tuesday.
Gavin Williamson has been the MP for South Staffordshire since 2010, and was appointed as Defence Secretary by Theresa May last year.
Holding such a powerful Ministerial position, it would be politically fatal for him to vote against Theresa May’s deal. Doing so would likely result in him losing his position.
As a result, and given the regions strong support of Brexit, it can be said with almost certainty that Mr Williamson MP will vote in favour of the Brexit deal next week.
Jeremy Lefroy is the MP for Stafford and has held the seat since 2010.
Just last week, Mr Lefroy MP joined a number of other Conservative MPs in putting forward a vote that held the Government in Contempt of Parliament for the first time in British history – pushing the majority of votes in favour of the Opposition.
However, Mr Lefroy MP has confirmed he will vote in favour of the deal next week, saying that the deal delivers on the referendum result and protects jobs, giving businesses the certainty they need.
Sir William Cash
Sir William ‘Bill’ Cash has been the Conservative MP for the Stone constituency since 1997, but has been an MP in Staffordshire since 1984, having previously held the Stafford constituency.
As Chair of the European Scrutiny Committee since 2010, Sir Cash MP is one of the bigger and more vocal Eurosceptics within the Conservative party.
A critic of the Prime Ministers proposed deals in the past, and a determined and strong supporter of a hard, definitive Brexit, we believe that Sir Cash MP will vote against the deal next week.
Michael Fabricant has been the Conservative MP for Lichfield since 1997, but has been an MP within Staffordshire since 1992, having previously held the Mid Staffordshire constituency.
Mr Fabricant MP has previously described himself as an “ardent Brexiteer” and has vocally supported Theresa Mays past deals for Brexit – including the controversial Chequers deal, despite it being “no means perfect”.
Given his loud and at times controversial support of a strong, definitive Brexit, and criticism of Theresa May’s past deals, we believe Mr Fabricant MP will vote against the upcoming Brexit vote.
Andrew Griffiths was the Conservative MP for Burton since 2010, however is now an Independent, and previously held the ministerial role for Small Business, Consumers, and Corporate Responsibility.
Not much is known about Mr Griffiths MPs voting intention ahead of the upcoming vote, as since earlier this year he has been embroiled in a sex-text scandal. Since this emerged, the MP for Burton has largely remained quiet on his views for the deal.
Due to his past affiliation as a Conservative MP and previous Ministerial role given by PM Theresa May, and tendency to vote against further EU integration, it’s believed he will vote in support of the upcoming Brexit deal.
Amanda Milling has been the Conservative MP for Cannock Chase since the 2015 election. She is currently an Assistant Government whip.
Given her position as a Government whip, it can be safely assumed that Mrs Milling MP will vote in favour of the Prime Minister’s Brexit deal – assuming she does not abstain, unlikely for a whip.
Christopher Pincher is the Conservative MP for Tamworth and has held the seat since 2010. He is also serving as the Deputy Chief Government whip.
Again, as a Government whip, it would be extremely unlikely of Mr Pincher MP to vote against Mrs May’s Brexit deal.
As a result, we believe the Mr Pincher MP will vote in favour of Tuesday’s Brexit deal vote.
Karen Bradley has been the Conservative MP for Staffordshire Moorlands constituency since 2010. Since January she has been the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and many bill her as a staunch supporter of Mrs May’s policies.
When asked by ITVs Good Morning Britain last year whether she is a remain or a leave voter, Mrs Bradley MP said: “We are leaving the European Union, I am making sure we leave. I’m part of a government that is leaving, so I guess you would say leave.”
We can assume from her previous statements on Brexit, and public support of Theresa May’s Brexit plan, that Karen Bradley would vote in favour of the upcoming Brexit vote.
As a round-up of the 12 Staffordshire MPs, we believe that 7 of them will vote in favour of Theresa May’s Brexit deal, whilst 5 of them will vote against it.
The seven MPs we believe will vote for the deal on December 11:
Karen Bradley (Conservative, Staffordshire Moorlands)
Jack Brereton (Conservative, Stoke-On-Trent South)
Andrew Griffiths (Independent, Burton)
Jeremy Lefroy (Conservative, Stafford)
Amanda Milling (Conservative, Cannock Chase)
Christopher Pincher (Conservative, Tamworth)
Gavin Williamson (Conservative, South Staffordshire)
The five MPs we believe will vote against the deal on December 11:
Sir William Cash (Conservative, Stone)
Michael Fabricant (Conservative, Lichfield)
Paul Farrelly (Labour, Newcastle-under-Lyme)
Ruth Smeeth (Labour, Stoke-On-Trent North)
Gareth Snell (Labour, Stoke-On-Trent Central)