Brighton’s Tory MP will vote to trigger Article 50

Simon Kirby SUS-150420-164535001
Simon Kirby SUS-150420-164535001

The Conservative MP for Brighton Kemptown said he will support the Prime Minister and vote to leave the European Union in the Houses of Commons.

He differs from his two colleagues in Brighton Pavilion and Hove, who are both set to vote against the government.

Brighton and Hove voted 68.6 per cent to remain part of the EU in last June’s referendum.

Simon Kirby, the Conservative MP for Brighton Kemptown, said: “People voted differently across the country. Parts of the country voted to remain and parts of the country voted to leave and I do understand that there are mixed feelings about this.

“Whilst I voted to remain in the EU, I can confirm that I will be supporting the Prime Minister and the government and will vote in favour of Article 50 being triggered.

“I understand that Jeremy Corbyn has confirmed in an interview with Sky News that he will impose a three-line whip telling Labour MPs to back the article 50 bill. We need to unite as a country behind the result of the vote that took place. The British people have given us a clear instruction that they want to leave the EU and Parliament must respect that instruction.”

Caroline Lucas, the Green MP for Brighton Pavilion, was set to vote against the Bill and said she would ‘oppose this government’s extreme Brexit and all of the destruction that is likely to bring with it’.

Peter Kyle, the Labour MP for Hove, said earlier this week that he would vote against ‘a panicked Brexit’. Since then the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has announced he will issue a three-line whip - telling party MPs they must vote for triggering Article 50, but Mr Kyle is set to stick to his guns.

The vote is set to take place in the next two weeks after Supreme Court judges ruled on Tuesday (January 24) that the government must have Parliament’s approval to trigger Article 50 and start Brexit proceedings.

Theresa May and her government moved quickly, and today (January 26), the Brexit minister David Davis introduced a Bill to the House of Commons to begin the UK’s departure from the EU.

MPs will vote on the Bill in the next two weeks, before it goes before the House of Lords. The government hopes to push the bill through Parliament by a deadline of March 31.

David Davis, Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, said: “The British people have made the decision to leave the EU and this government is determined to get on with the job of delivering it. So today we have introduced a Bill in Parliament which will allow us to formally trigger Article 50 by the end of March. I trust that Parliament, which backed the referendum by six to one, will respect the decision taken by the British people and pass the legislation quickly.”