A majority of Indian-origin MPs voted against prime minister Theresa May’s withdrawal agreement on Tuesday (15).
There are 12 Indian-origin MPs in the current House of Commons and all seven from the Labour MPs and three from the Conservative party voted against May’s withdrawal agreement.
The two who voted in favour are Alok Sharma, the minister of state for employment, and Rishi Sunak, a junior minister in the department of housing, communities and local government.
Priti Patel, Shailesh Vara and Suella Braverman are the three Conservative MPs who voted against May’s agreement.
Vara, who resigned as minister in the Northern Ireland Office in November when the draft agreement was published, wrote to May: “With respect Prime Minister, this Agreement does not provide for the United Kingdom being a sovereign, an independent country leaving the shackles of the EU, however, it is worded”.
“We are a proud nation and it is a sad day when we are reduced to obeying rules made by other countries who have shown that they do not have our best interests at heart. We can and must do better than this. The people of the UK deserve better. That is why I cannot support this agreement.”
Braverman had also resigned the day the draft agreement was published in November.
After the agreement was voted down 432 to 202, senior Labour MP Virendra Sharma said the prime minister should let people decide and hold a second referendum.
“This evening has proven that there is no majority in parliament for the Prime Minister’s Brexit deal and there isn’t one for a no-deal Brexit either,” Sharma was quoted as saying by the Hindustan Times.
“The Prime Minister has no support for her deal, so Labour should now renegotiate the deal based on our six tests. If she won’t stand aside, she should let the people decide instead and hold a second referendum, with remain as an option.”
The other Labour MPs who voted against the agreement were Keith Vaz, Lisa Nandy, Seema Malhotra, Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi, Preet Kaur Gill and Valerie Vaz.