Brexit: East Devon – a district divided.

So, Swire voted against May’s Brexit deal, Parish voted for it.

Just where does this leave East Devon?


Not a good place to be!

The no confidence vote later today will be interesting. If Swire votes to retain May after voting down her deal will that make him a hypocrite?

Swire and Parish to vote against May deal tomorrow

Swire on Twitter:

“I do believe that there is still a deal to be done with the EU but that this is not that deal. I simply do not think it right for an MP to bind this country into the backstop from which there is no unilateral right to withdraw. Statement on the eve of the vote.”

Parish on his website:

“There is much that I like in the Withdrawal Agreement and my preference is to vote for a deal to ensure a smooth and orderly exit. The deal can protect citizens’ rights, give businesses certainty, ensure frictionless trade, no hard border in Northern Ireland, co-operation on security – and provide an agreed process moving forward.

But as I have explained to the Prime Minister, the current deal needs work, or it will not pass in the Commons, with or without my vote. Vital issues remain on the indefinite nature of the Northern Ireland ‘backstop’, both in terms of annexation and CJEU jurisprudence, but also as a loss of leverage for leaving the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement – and getting a good future trade deal.

Until I am convinced these are sufficiently resolved, I cannot support the Withdrawal Agreement.”

Will we ever be sure how some Tory MPs voted on May?

Take, say, Hugo Swire. He has not said how he would vote. Say Mrs May wins – he can say he voted for her but could have voted against her as the ballot is secret.

Or, if she loses he can say he voted against her to be in with a chance with a new Leader.

Although Parish says he voted for her, he can’t prove that either – he might have secretly voted against her!

Doesn’t matter what those declared and undeclared voters voted for – it can never be proved.

Transparent? Of course not!

Swire and Parish – more on those votes

A comment on the original post:

“Let’s make sure that everyone is clear what this was all about and why Swire’s & Parish’s votes were fundamentally important.

The issues that these votes related to were as follows:

1. Should the government keep the Attorney General’s legal advice secret so that MPs debate and vote about Brexit could not be an informed vote, but instead would be based on a political interpretation of this legal advice by the Government, in other words an interpretation by government politicians with all the bias towards the outcome they want to see rather than an independent assessment? [Swire and Parish voted to keep the advice secret]

2. Should the Government be allowed to ignore a decision by Parliament that the legal advice should be published in full? In other words, is Government the servant of our MPs or the other way around? Remember, that the only group able to hold the Government to account between general elections is Parliament i.e. MPs – and if Government doesn’t need to be accountable to them, then they are effectively an absolute autocracy, without needing to be accountable to anyone. Scared yet? [Yes, said Swire and Parish – it should ignore the vote]

3. Should the Government – and specifically Mrs May – be allowed to control the Brexit debate in order to give MPs only two choices – a very bad one or an even worse one, and not allow them to debate or vote on the other legally available choices? And to do this to the detriment not only of Parliament but also the people of the UK who have to live with the consequences for at a minimum several decades? [Yes, they voted: only Mrs May and her cabinet of cronies should be allowed to decide what happens next]

In other words, these three votes were not about some minor technicality relating to publication of a specific letter from the Attorney General to the Prime Minister – instead they were about THE FUNDAMENTAL FOUNDATIONS OF DEMOCRACY – that the Government should be able to be held accountable by MPs, and that in the end it is our MPs who take the decisions on behalf of us. [Remember “sovereignty”!]

And that is why both Neil Parish and Hugo Swire’s votes against these motions are so important and so wrong. By now we are all pretty used to Swire and Parish putting Party before People – just look at the awful laws they have voted for which have it the poorest and most vulnerable in our society the hardest. Is it any wonder that the Conservative Party is called “The Nasty Party” by a large proportion of the population?

But these votes were different – they were about putting Party before Democracy itself. Swire and Parish effectively voted for the Government to be unaccountable, and for an absolute autocracy where the Government can do absolutely what they like, regardless of whether MPs agree with it or not. These votes were simply anti-democracy. PERIOD.

Remember, power corrupts – absolute power corrupts absolutely.

So I ask you – yes you, the person reading this comment – do you really want your MP to be voting to give Government ministers absolute power, because that is the first step towards a tyrannical government? Or do you think that above all else, your MP should be voting to preserve democracy? In other words, which is more important to you in the long run – today’s vote or having a genuine democracy? I certainly know my own priority on this.”

Both East Devon MPs voted three times against transparency and parliamentary sovereignty yesterday

Swire and Parish:

Voted that May was NOT in contempt of Parliament to refuse to publish full Brexit legal advice.

Voted AGAINST allowing full publication instead referring the matter to a committee.

And voted AGAINST allowing Parliament a say if May’s deal falls through.

Moral of this story: use your vote wisely next time these men stand for Parliament.

Brexit: Parish ‘ready to shoot May down’ according to Sunday Telegraph; Swire still on fence

Parish unhappy with Brexit deal and will vote it, and May, down according to Sunday Telegraph today:

Swire firmly on his usual fence – no update since this post on his website:

presumably waiting to see which of his Eton pals is going to offer him a nice job. Though perhaps not the Middle East (his usual choice).

Ambassador to the Maldives, perhaps?