Lichfield and Burntwood’s MP has revealed why he decided not to back Theresa May’s latest Brexit deal.
Theresa May’s amendments to the deal to take the UK out of the European Union was rejected by MPs in a House of Commons vote last night (12th March).
Among those not to support the Prime Minister’s deal was Michael Fabricant who said the issue over the Irish backstop continued to be at the heart of his concerns.
Writing in a Telegraph column, he said: “As the morning progressed, many Brexit supporting MPs took the view that if the DUP support the new agreement, they would switch and support it too despite rejecting the deal two months back.
“After all, if the Northern Ireland backstop arrangements are now good enough for the DUP, that should be good enough for the rest of us. Besides, without DUP support, the Government motion would be likely to fall anyway.
“Throughout the morning and early afternoon, the DUP were in discussions with an increasingly desperate Number 10 who were acutely aware from Government Whips that where the DUP leads, many Conservatives would follow.
“And then the DUP rejected the deal. That was when the evening’s vote was lost.”
The Conservative MP said he had “voted with his heart” on the issue.
“The look of relief on Conservative remainer MPs’ faces was tangible,” he said. “It almost drove me into the Aye lobby.
“But with opposition from the DUP and my not being content with a number of aspects of the Withdrawal Agreement, I – and many others thought – ‘what the heck? We are going to lose anyway. I will vote with my heart’.
“I hope I won’t come to regret it.”