GOVERNMENT WINS NO CONFIDENCE VOTE WITH A MAJORITY OF 19

Had the DUP voted with Labour, the opposition would have won by a single vote – a point that party is busy making.

Ayes 306, Noes 325.

DUP sources point out that had it voted with Labour, the opposition would have won by one vote.  Nigel Dodds makes the point just a little more tactfully above.

In a point of order following the result, Theresa May changed tack by asking Jeremy Corbyn, and other opposition leaders, to join the talks she announced yesterday evening.

In response, Corbyn also seemed to change tack.  Labour MPs complained during the debate that he hadn’t been invited to the talks.  But Corbyn appeared to suggest that the Prime Minister ruling out a No Deal Brexit was a pre-condition for him joining them.

The full list of Conservative and Labour rebels in the vote on May’s Brexit deal

The names of all 118 Conservatives who voted against the proposal, and the three Opposition MPs who voted for it.

Here are the full lists of those MPs from the two main parties who rebelled in either direction on the Prime Minister’s proposed EU deal.

Labour MPs who voted for May’s proposed deal:

Ian Austin

Sir Kevin Barron

John Mann

Conservative MPs who voted against May’s proposed deal:

Adam Afriyie

Lucy Allan

Heidi Allen

Sir David Amess

Richard Bacon

Steve Baker

John Baron

Guto Bebb

Bob Blackman

Crispin Blunt

Peter Bone

Ben Bradley

Sir Graham BRady

Suella Braverman

Andrew Bridgen

Fiona Bruce

Conor Burns

Sir Bill Cash

Maria Caulfield

Rehman Chishti

Sir Christopher Chope

Simon Clarke

Damian Collins

Robert Courts

Tracey Crouch

Philip Davies

David Davis

Nadine Dorries

Steve Double

Richard Drax

James Duddridge

Iain Duncan Smith

Charlie Elphicke

Nigel Evans

Sir David Evennett

Michael Fabricant

Sir Michael Fallon

Mark Francois

Marcus Fysh

Zac Goldsmith

James Gray

Chris Green

Justine Greening

Dominic Grieve

Sam Gyimah

Robert Halfon

Greg Hands

Mark Harper

Sir John Hayes

Gordon Henderson

Philip Hollobone

Adam Holloway

Eddie Hughes

Ranil Jayawardena

Sir Bernard Jenkin

Andrea Jenkyns

Boris Johnson

Gareth Johnson

Jo Johnson

David Jones

Daniel Kawczynski

Sir Greg Knight

John Lamont

Pauline Latham

Phillip Lee

Andrew Lewer

Julian Lewis

Ian Liddell-Grainger

Julia Lopez

Jonathan Lord

Tim Loughton

Craig Mackinlay

Anne Main

Scott Mann

Stephen McPartland

Esther McVey

Johnny Mercer

Stephen Metcalfe

Nigel Mills

Andrew Mitchell

Damien Moore

Anne Marie Morris

Sheryll Murray

Matthew Offord

Priti Patel

Owen Paterson

Sir Mike Penning

Mark Pritchard

Tom Pursglove

Will Quince

Dominic Raab

John Redwood

Jacob Rees-Mogg

Laurence Robertson

Andrew Rosindell

Douglas Ross

Lee Rowley

Grant Shapps

Henry Smith

Royston Smith

Anna Soubry

Bob Stewart

Julian Sturdy

Sir Hugo Swire

Sir Robert Syms

Derek Thomas

Ross Thomson

Michael Tomlinson

Craig Tracey

Anne-Marie Trevelyan

Shailesh Vara

Martin Vickers

Theresa Villiers

Giles Watling

John Whittingdale

Bill Wiggin

Sarah Wollaston

William Wragg

May’s Deal suffers the biggest Government defeat in modern Commons history

The backbench rebellion was also the biggest against a Conservative Government in modern times.

It was defeated by 432 to 202 votes – a majority of 230. 118 Conservative MPs voted against the Government.  139 Labour MPs rebelled against the then Labour Government over Iraq, “which was larger than any rebellion of any party since the Corn Laws,” Philip Cowley wrote.

95 Tory MPs voted against John Major over the gun laws. So this evening saw the biggest Conservative revolt of modern times.  We listed a total of 111 who in our assessment with either vote against the deal, would probably vote against it or might vote against it.

21.15 Update: Our estimate is that some 63 per cent of Tory backbenchers voted against the Government.

The 17 Conservative MPs who voted for the Grieve’s amendment today

The Speaker defied all precedent to allow an amendment which forces the Prime Minister to present the Commons with a ‘Plan B’ much sooner than planned.

  • Heidi Allen
  • Nick Boles
  • Kenneth Clarke
  • Jonathan Djanogly
  • Justine Greening
  • Dominic Grieve
  • Sam Gyimah
  • Jo Johnson
  • Phillip Lee
  • Oliver Letwin
  • Andrew Mitchell
  • Nicky Morgan
  • Robert Neill
  • Antoinette Sandbach
  • Anna Soubry
  • Ed Vaizey

Labour’s Kevin Barron, as well as Frank Field and the Democratic Unionists, joined the rest of the Conservatives in voting again.

The outcome of this vote is arguably less significant than the fact that John Bercow allowed it to take place – Mark Wallace has written elsewhere about the potential ramifications for our constitution.

Regarding the outcome, it forces the Prime Minister to return to Parliament within three days of losing the Meaningful Vote on her Withdrawal Deal with a ‘Plan B’, which MPs can then vote on and perhaps amend.

This makes Theresa May’s game of chicken more difficult, as it loses her more than two weeks of her procedural smokescreen, but there remains no way for MPs to force the Government to abandon no deal, since they cannot bring forward actual legislation.

The Government lost by 11 votes.

“We will not allow a no-deal exit to occur at the end of March.” Letwin’s speech on yesterday’s crucial Finance Bill amendment.

It had, he said, “has no impact whatsoever on the Government’s ability to prepare for Brexit – it is about what the Government do after Brexit”.

“Thank you, Mr Speaker. I rise to support amendment 7, to which I am a signatory.

My right hon. Friend the Member for Mid Sussex (Sir Nicholas Soames), who is sitting next to me, and I have calculated that we have been in the House, collectively, for 56 years, and we have only ever, either of us, voted once against the Conservative Whip. This will be the second time that we will both be voting against the Conservative Whip, and I want to explain why. First, I want to say one thing about what this amendment is not. The right hon. Member for Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford (Yvette Cooper) and my right hon. Friend the Member for Loughborough (Nicky Morgan) gave eloquent expositions, but what they did not mention is that, in contrast to some things that have been suggested, it has no impact whatsoever on the Government’s ability to prepare for Brexit—it is about what the Government do after Brexit.

Secondly, clause 89 is an item that those of us who have been Ministers for a number of years will recognise as an “abundance of caution” clause. Some group of lawyers somewhere stuck in the bureaucracy clearly alerted Ministers to the possibility that they did not have certain unspecified powers and said it would be a good idea to have some unspecified powers in case the lack of unspecified powers turned out to be important. I do not think therefore that this amendment, in itself, will be likely to have a huge impact, if any, on the Government of this country.

That brings me to the question of why I am supporting this amendment. The answer is that it is most extraordinarily important to make it clear to the Government that it is not just this amendment. It is the precedent that this amendment sets, which is that on any power taken in any Bill in relation to the exit of the UK from the EU, if there is a majority in the House today and there continues to be majority against no deal, it will be possible to bring forward similar amendments. It is my proposal that we should indeed do that. I want to make it abundantly clear to those of my hon. Friends who are thinking of voting against the Prime Minister’s deal, which I shall be supporting, that the majority in this House, if it is expressed tonight, will sustain itself, and we will not allow a no-deal exit to occur at the end of March.

My last point is on why I am so passionate about not allowing such an exit. Many Members, including the Father of the House, have spoken eloquently about the long-term dangers to our economy of WTO trading and so on. My right hon. Friend the Member for Wokingham (John Redwood), for example, very much disagrees with that. I do not take a particular view about that. My preference is for a continued free trade deal with the EU, which is by far our largest trading partner, but in contrast to some, I do not want to argue that there would be a disaster in principle if we were on WTO terms. I do not believe it would be disastrous. I think it is suboptimal but not disastrous.

For five long years, I was in charge of the resilience of this country. During that period, I saw many examples of our civil service, military and security apparatus being prepared or not being prepared for certain issues that closely affected the wellbeing of our country. That is one reason why two years ago I passionately argued—my right hon. Friend the Member for Wokingham will recall an occasion a year ago when I made that argument even more forcefully—that the Government should undertake serious preparation for a no-deal exit. That would have had the effect that some of my hon. Friends mentioned. It would have altered our negotiating position. It was not done.

I have been in awesome detail through the papers produced. I have listened to the briefing for Privy Counsellors. I have consulted senior officials across Whitehall. I know what the RAG ratings of red, yellow and green mean—nothing. I know what it is actually to have prepared for dealing with the gas interconnectors, the electricity interconnectors and the many other details concerned.

Some of my hon. Friends and others in the country believe they can assure that under circumstances where we wreck the deal, refuse to make all the payments that the EU is expecting and falsify its expectations of a reasonable departure, the EU will then reasonably set out to work with us in a calm and grown-up way to ensure a smooth departure. It may be so. I am in no position to deny that it will be. I do not make lurid projections. Anybody who believes that they know it will be so is deluded.

I do not believe that we in this House can responsibly impose on our country a risk that may be severe of serious short-term disruption, for the sole purpose of gratifying the possibility that we avoid certain eventualities that certain Members of Parliament would prefer to see avoided and on which nobody in this country ever voted because they were never asked to. Under those circumstances, I will be voting with the right hon. Member for Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford against my own Government and very much against my own will, and I will continue to do so right up to the end of March, in the hope that we can put paid to this disastrous proposal.

“We have never said this.” Selmayr tweets a response to Hands’ ConHome article about him and Weyand.

The Secretary-General of the European Commission denies that either of them want to punish Britain.

Here’s a link to Hands’ piece from yesterday (“The power is with us.” The two EU officials who want to punish Britain, crafted the deal – and claim they are winning.)

ConHome has tweeted that Secretary-General of the European Commission is welcome to write a reply.

The 20 Conservative MPs who voted for Cooper’s anti-No Deal Finance Bill amendment

The Government is suggesting that it will make little difference in practical terms – but opposed it for symbolic and political reasons.

  • Heidi Allen
  • Guto Bebb
  • Richard Benyon
  • Nick Boles
  • Kenneth Clarke
  • Jonathan Djanogly
  • Sir Michael Fallon
  • George Freeman
  • Justine Greening
  • Dominic Grieve
  • Sam Gyimah
  • Dr Phillip Lee
  • Sir Oliver Letwin
  • Nicky Morgan
  • Bob Neill
  • Antionette Sandbach
  • Sir Nicholas Soames
  • Anna Soubry
  • Ed Vaizey
  • Dr Sarah Wollaston

Labour’s Kate Hoey, Graham Stringer and Ronnie Campbell voted with the Government.

In technical terms, Ministers are saying that it will make little difference to the practical effects of No Deal if that happens.

In political ones, this is the first substantial anti-No Deal revolt by a coalition of Second Referendum and Norway Plus supporters.

There will be more.

The Government lost by seven votes.

The 22 Conservative MPs who have signed Spelman’s letter opposing No Deal

We also reproduce the full text of the letter itself.

Below is the list of 22 Conservative MPs who have signed the letter organised by Caroline Spelman and Jack Dromey opposing No Deal.

Of course, if they are opposed to a No Deal exit, and the Prime Minister’s proposed deal does not pass the Commons, then presumably they must have a third outcome in mind. Are they in agreement on what that is? If so, presumably they will be announcing it soon.

I’ve also enclosed the full text of the letter at the foot of this post.

Conservative signatories:

Heidi Allen

Nick Boles

Jonathan Djanogly

Sir Roger Gale

Mark Garnier

Robert Goodwill

Richard Graham

Dominic Grieve

Sir Oliver Heald

Gillian Keegan

Jeremy Lefroy

Sir Oliver Letwin

Paul Masterton

Nicky Morgan

Bob Neill

Mark Pawsey

Antoinette Sandbach

Sir Nicholas Soames

Anna Soubry

Dame Caroline Spelman

Ed Vaizey

Sarah Wollaston

Full text of the letter to Theresa May:

We the undersigned Members of Parliament, business leaders and representatives are writing to you about the threat that leaving the European Union without a deal poses to the manufacturing industry. Many of us represent constituencies with a significant manufacturing presence. Manufacturing plants employ thousands of our constituents and their jobs will be put at immediate risk if the United Kingdom leaves the European Union with no deal. We are acutely aware that 29th March is fast approaching.

The renaissance of manufacturing and its supply chains in this country, bolstered by demand for exports, has markedly improved the lives of our constituents. The principal market for these exports has been the European Union. The revival of the manufacturing industry has created innumerable jobs, not only via direct employment but also in the supply chain and ancillary services.

A whole generation of young people have had the opportunity to access world-class training and gone onto highly skilled and well-paid employment in manufacturing with iconic, global and market-leading companies. As a result, the aspirations of a generation have been raised.

Leaving the EU without a deal would cause unnecessary economic damage. Trading on World Trade Organisation (WTO) terms would instantly make our manufacturers less competitive and make it very difficult for the industry to justify producing goods in the UK for export. Leaving without a deal would make continued investment in UK manufacturing a real challenge for global firms, when they have plants in other European locations. Without continued investment and confidence in the UK manufacturing sector, thousands of jobs across the country will be put at immediate risk.

As a cross-party group of MPs, business leaders and representatives, we are united in our determination that the UK must not crash out of the EU without a deal. We urge the Government to agree a mechanism that would ensure a ‘No Deal’ Brexit could not take place and are confident this is a path that Parliament would support.

Yours ever,

Redwood and Streeter knighted

The former award explodes the conspiracy theory that honours are being given only to backers of May’s deal.

Cynicism abounds. Yesterday evening, when the news broke that Edward Leigh is to be appointed to the Privy Council, there was speculation that this long-convinced Eurosceptic would now join his fellow appointees, Philip Dunne and Roger Gale, in supporting the Prime Minister’s Brexit deal.

Heaven forbid that journalists should be less hard-bitten than others, but there is reason not to jump to conclusions.  John Hayes was panned after becoming a knight last month, but said afterwards that he can’t support the deal as it stands.  Meanwhile, Sir Edward has been promoting a particular take on the Northern Ireland backstop – namely, that it can’t be permanent under the wider provisions of the Vienna Law of Treaties.

Furthermore, the claim that political honours are only being awarded to supporters of Theresa May’s deal is not supported by one of this morning’s announcements.  John Redwood is just about the last man imaginable to switch sides simply because he is to become Sir John Redwood.  Or for any other reason.

The Prime Minister has been careful not to recommend knighthoods for MPs from the same wing of the Party.  The other Parliamentarian to be so honoured, Gary Streeter, is a left-of-Tory-centre, committed Christian and social justice Conservative.  He gave his fellow Tory MPs some shrewd advice via this site immediately after the last election.  Being so, it has thus been more or less ignored – apart from the glorious, concluding sentence: “Don’t die unless you have a majority of over 25,000”.

Sir John, as we must learn to call him, is a two-time Conservative leadership contender, has a first-rate mind, and isn’t afraid to strike out on his own.  He has been the most effective head of a Downing Street Policy Unit appointed to date, serving under Margaret Thatcher during the mid-1980s.  There is no reason why either man should not be knighted and we thus send congratulations to both.

“My views on treating allies with respect…are strongly held.” Mattis’ resignation letter: full text

“Because you have the right to have a Defense Secretar whose views are better aligned with yours…I believe it is right for me to step down from my position.”

“Dear Mr. President:

I have been privileged to serve as our country’s 26th Secretary of Defense which has allowed me to serve alongside our men and women of the Department in defense of our citizens and our ideals.

I am proud of the progress that has been made over the past two years on some of the key goals articulated in our National Defense Strategy: putting the Department on a more sound budgetary footing, improving readiness and lethality in our forces, and reforming the Department’s business practices for greater performance. Our troops continue to provide the capabilities needed to prevail in conflict and sustain strong U.S. global influence.

One core belief I have always held is that our strength as a nation is inextricably linked to the strength of our unique and comprehensive system of alliances and partnerships. While the US remains the indispensable nation in the free world, we cannot protect our interests or serve that role effectively without maintaining strong alliances and showing respect to those allies. Like you, I have said from the beginning that the armed forces of the United States should not be the policeman of the world. Instead, we must use all tools of American power to provide for the common defense, including providing effective leadership to our alliances. NATO’s 29 democracies demonstrated that strength in their commitment to fighting alongside us following the 9-11 attack on America. The Defeat-ISIS coalition of 74 nations is further proof.

Similarly, I believe we must be resolute and unambiguous in our approach to those countries whose strategic interests are increasingly in tension with ours. It is clear that China and Russia, for example, want to shape a world consistent with their authoritarian model — gaining veto authority over other nations’ economic, diplomatic, and security decisions — to promote their own interests at the expense of their neighbors, America and our allies. That is why we must use all the tools of American power to provide for the common defense.

My views on treating allies with respect and also being clear-eyed about both malign actors and strategic competitors are strongly held and informed by over four decades of immersion in these issues. We must do everything possible to advance an international order that is most conducive to our security, prosperity and values, and we are strengthened in this effort by the solidarity of our alliances.

Because you have the right to have a Secretary of Defense whose views are better aligned with yours on these and other subjects, I believe it is right for me to step down from my position. The end date for my tenure is February 28, 2019, a date that should allow sufficient time for a successor to be nominated and confirmed as well as to make sure the Department’s interests are properly articulated and protected at upcoming events to include Congressional posture hearings and the NATO Defense Ministerial meeting in February. Further, that a full transition to a new Secretary of Defense occurs well in advance of the transition of Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in September in order to ensure stability within the Department.

I pledge my full effort to a smooth transition that ensures the needs and interests of the 2.15 million Service Members and 732,079 DoD civilians receive undistracted attention of the Department at all times so that they can fulfill their critical, round-the-clock mission to protect the American people.

I very much appreciate this opportunity to serve the nation and our men and women in uniform.

Jim N. Mattis”