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Grantham MP Nick Boles has achieved "main Brexit goals"

By Grantham Reporter

Grantham MP Nick Boles says he has achieved his “main goals” with regards to Brexit

His comments came after Theresa May narrowly managed to keep control of the Brexit process.

However, the prime minister has now given a cross-party group of MPs a start date from when they can control the proceedings, should the PM’s withdrawal agreement be rejected a third time.

Last night, parliament voted by 314 to 312 to oppose a move by Labour MP Hilary Benn, but backed by Mr Boles, for parliament to take control of the Brexit process.

Support from six Labour MPs in Leave voting constituencies narrowly saved the government from a further loss.

Local MPs supporting the government included Rutland MP Sir Alan Duncan of Rutland and Dr Caroline Johnson, MP for Sleaford and North Hykeham.

A further amendment from Labour’s Lucy Powell MP also saw Mr Boles again opposing the government.

This amendment aimed to introduce a cutoff date to prevent Britain’s departure from the European Union being delayed passed June. This would have helped to increase the pressure for the Prime Minister’s deal or a softer-Brexit alternative such as ‘Norway Plus’, promoted by Mr Boles.

That vote was also narrowly won by the government, by 314 to 311, with it being supported by Mr Duncan and Dr Johnson.

An amendment calling for a second referendum was lost by 334 to 85, with all three of the MPs opposing such a ‘people’s vote.’

In a further motion, Theresa May sought to extend Article 50, despite the Prime Minister making many repeated promises that the UK would leave the European Union on March 29.

That time saw Mr Boles vote with the government, along with Sir Alan Duncan. Dr Johnson opposed moves to extend Article 50.

However, Theresa May now has to seek the agreement of all 27 other EU countries to remain in the EU after March 29.

Last night, Mr Boles took to twitter to give this reaction: “It’s frustrating to have lost so narrowly but we have achieved our main goals: to stop no deal Brexit on 29th March, to get the PM to seek an Article 50 extension and to secure amendable motion of 25th March so MPs can start debating Brexit compromises.”

Today, Mr Boles told the Evening Standard: “The debate we wanted to hold on the 20th will now take place on the 25th following a last-minute concession by Brexit Secretary Steve Barclay at the end of yesterday’s debate.”

The MP said the cross-party group of MPs would force the government’s hand if need be.

“Either the Government will bring it forward on the 25th or we will amend the motion to make sure it happens later in the week.”

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