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Tensions heighten in Westminster as MPs break away from main parties

With less than a week to go until the House of Commons is set to vote again on amendments relating to the proposed Brexit deal, 11 MPs decided to split from their parties.

In an announcement on Monday morning seven Labour MPs Luciana Berger, Chris Leslie, Angela Smith, Gavin Shuker, Mike Gapes, Ann Coffey and Chuka Umunna decided to leave their party over the leadership’s alleged failure on having a coherent Brexit policy and in addressing antisemitism within the party.

A day later Labour MP Joan Ryan quit the party, joining force with her former colleagues.

On Wednesday Tory MPs Anna Soubry, Sarah Wollaston and Heidi Allen followed suit leaving their party to join the Independent group. All three of them are supporting the People’s Vote campaign for a second referendum and decided to leave their party over the continued disproportionate influence of the hardline ERG. The group at this contains more MPs than the DUP and equals the Liberal Democrats making it the fourth strongest alliance in parliament. This means that Theresa May’s minority government only has a working majority of eight with the possibility of losing more MPs who might resign too.
This leaves May in an even more weakened position. She travelled to Brussels this week to discuss legal changes to the backstop with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker. Both sides talked about potential options in order to avoid the backstop but no real outcome was reached. Mr Juncker concluded that “the risk of leaving without a deal has increased”

Once again all eyes are now on the House of Commons prior to its vote next week and the possibility of more MPs splitting from their party.


Compliments of Vulcan Consulting, member of EACCNY