Kwasi Kwarteng compares Brexit to campaign for Scottish independence and asks MPs to respect referendum

December 6, 2018
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Spelthorne MP Kwasi Kwarteng has compared Brexit to the fight for Scottish independence as he called for MPs to respect the result of the referendum result.

Mr Kwarteng defended Theresa May’s Brexit deal less than a week after Chancellor Philip Hammond admitted the UK would be better off economically staying in the EU.

The Prime Minister’s deal has exposed deep divisions among Surrey MPs over the issue of Brexit, with two cabinet members from the county resigning in protest of the deal.

At the same time, Mr Kwarteng and Runnymede and Weybridge MP Mr Hammond have come out in support of the deal.

In his first outing as Junior Brexit Minister in the House of Commons on Monday (December 3), Mr Kwarteng railed against calls for a second referendum on membership of the European Union (EU).

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Brexit in Surrey

“This government will respect the result of the referendum and we will not hold a second referendum,” he said.

In response to Tommy Sheppard, Scottish National Party MP for Edinburgh East, pointing out that polls indicated a majority of the public now back remaining in the EU, Mr Kwarteng said he would not place “too much credence” in polls as they had shown similar results before the referendum.

“If, by some misfortune, the Scottish National Party had got its wish and won the independence referendum in 2014, how enthusiastic would it be about another referendum on that question?” he added. “It would simply have shut down the issue.”

Mr Kwarteng continues: “We cannot go down the route of simply relitigating referendums when we do not like the result, because that essentially is what this boils down to.”

Here is what we know of the position of Surrey MPs on Brexit.

Kwasi Kwarteng (Spelthorne – 60.3% leave)

Mr Kwarteng has backed the Prime Minister’s deal, calling it a “decisive step forward in leaving the EU”.

In a tweet published the day the deal was agreed Mr Kwarteng said: “The deal gives us control over our borders, laws and money and the ability to conclude independent trade deals. It’s time to support the PM and deliver on the result of the referendum.”

Philip Hammond (Runnymede and Weybridge – 50.2% remain)

Philip Hammond backed the Prime Minister’s deal
(Image: PA/Dominic Lipinski)

Speaking to BBC Breakfast on Wednesday (November 28), Mr Hammond supported the Prime Minister’s deal despite admitting the UK would be better off economically staying in the European Union.

“If the only consideration was the economy then the analysis shows clearly that remaining in the European Union would be a better out come for the economy but not by much,” he said.

Sam Gyimah (East Surrey – 54.1% leave)

Sam Gyimah quit as Universities Secretary in response to Mrs May’s deal on Friday (November 30), saying the deal would not allow the country to control its “national destiny”.

“It has become increasingly clear to me that the proposed deal is not in the British national interest, and that to vote for this deal is to set ourselves up for failure.” he said.

Crispin Blunt (Reigate – 52.3% leave)

Crispin Blunt has been an outspoken critic of the Prime Minister’s deal, saying it was worse than expected and called for a “clean, global Brexit”.

Mr Blunt said: “The hysterics being played out unchallenged on all mainstream media about the implications of “No Deal” are largely superficial nonsense.

Sir Paul Beresford (Mole Valley – 52.5% remain)

Like several other Surrey MPs, Sir Paul Beresford has “almost always” voted against remaining in the EU according to TheyWorkForYou.com , a website which analysis the way MPs vote on certain issues.

Between 2016 and 2018, he cast his vote against remaining in the EU in 15 votes, and was absent for one. However, in June 2016, Sir Beresford voted to say the UK needs to stay in the EU.

Chris Grayling (Epsom and Ewell – 52.1% remain)

Before the referendum the transport secretary, Chris Grayling, supported the campaign to leave the EU and since then has voted against continued membership in every vote he has attended.

This voting record is at odds with his constituents, 52.1% of which voted to remain in the EU at the referendum.

Dominic Raab (Esher and Walton – 58.4% remain)

Domonic Raab resigned in protest of the deal
(Image: AP/Olivier Matthys)

Dominic Raab resigned as Brexit Secretary on November 15, calling it a “real threat” to the integrity of the UK and said he could not in “good conscience” support it.

In his resignation statement, he said: “First, I believe that the regulatory regime proposed for Northern Ireland presents a very real threat to the integrity of the United Kingdom.

“Second, I cannot support the indefinite backstop arrangement, where the EU holds a veto over our ability to exit. The terms of the backstop amount to a hybrid of the EU Customs Union and Single Market obligations.”

Anne Milton (Guildford – 58.9% remain)

Anne Milton has not made many public statements on the issue of Brexit, although on the night of the referendum result she revealed she had voted for remain.

However, according to data TheyWorkForYou.com , Ms Milton has “almost always voted against UK Membership of the EU”.

Ms Milton was absent from two votes on UK membership of the EU in June and September 2016, but since then has consistently voted in favour of the UK leaving the EU.

Jeremy Hunt (South West Surrey – 59.4% remain)

Jeremy Hunt has backed withdrawing from the EU in every vote he has attended, although he was absent for four votes on the issue in 2016.

This is at odds with voters the foreign secretary’s constituency of South West Surrey, 59.4% of which voted to remain in the EU, the highest percentage in Surrey.

Jonathan Lord (Woking – 56% remain)

In the House of Commons, Jonathan Lord has “almost always voted against UK membership of the EU”, according to TheyWorkForYou.com

Although he was absent from two votes on EU membership and withdrawal from the EU in 2016, since then he has consistently voted with the government on the issue of Brexit.

Michael Gove (Surrey Heath – 51.9% leave)

Michael Gove has also backed the Prime Minister’s deal
(Image: PA)

Michael Gove, who was reportedly offered the role of Brexit Secretary after Dominic Raab’s resignation, has given his backing to Mrs May’s Brexit deal and has consistently been against the UK’s membership of the EU.

Speaking on the Andrew Marr show on Sunday (December 2), Mr Gove admitted the deal “is not perfect”.

“But it does provide those of us who’ve campaigned to leave with an opportunity to take back control of our borders and have control over our immigration policy,” he said.

Article source: https://www.getsurrey.co.uk/news/surrey-news/kwasi-kwarteng-compares-brexit-campaign-15513738


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