Moray MP votes for 'No Deal Brexit'
MORAY MP Douglas Ross voted for a no-deal Brexit in yet another crucial vote on Wednesday night at Westminster.
An amendment to take no deal off the table was successful by 321 votes to 278, with 42 abstentions.
But Mr Ross voted to keep a no-deal scenario on the table.
Prime Minister Theresa May is now seeking an extension from the European Union while the UK tries to secure a Brexit agreement which will win support from MPs.
Mr Ross, who is currently on paternity leave, missed the original vote on Tuesday when Mrs May suffered another heavy defeat when her Brexit agreement was overwhelmingly rejected.
The Moray MP missed the vote as he had to dash back to Moray to be at the bedside of his wife, who had gone into labour.
Mr Ross was able to take part on Wednesday night through the proxy voting system.
He said: “While I am on paternity leave I am casting my votes via a proxy but the amendment to take No Deal off the table, was nothing more than posturing as No Deal still remains a possibility. It is already in law that Parliament will leave the EU without a deal if the current negotiations do not conclude, and the amendment did not change that.
“My decision to vote against removing No Deal as an option was because I believed it would weaken our negotiating position with the EU in these final, crucial days, when most EU deals are agreed and delivered. By voting to remove the No Deal option, parties and MPs who supported this, have sent a signal to the EU that we will do anything to avoid that scenario and therefore there is no incentive for the EU to engage with us further.
“Moray was almost perfectly divided over the question of staying in or leaving the EU in 2016, and now, three years on, the majority of people I meet just want things concluded which respects the decision the UK took to leave the EU. This is a message I get from those who supported Brexit and opposed it.”
Moray MSP Richard Lochhead said: “It is absolutely shameful that this week our Conservative MP for Moray failed to vote against a No-Deal Brexit, which will costs local jobs and put our economy at serious risk.
“Economic analysis has shown that Moray will be one of the areas worst hit if we leave the EU without a deal, particularly given the size of our food and drink sector, our export based industries, and that many companies locally rely on EU migrants for their workforce.
“Key industry experts such as Food and Drink Scotland and NFUS have pleaded with MPs to vote against a No-Deal scenario – describing it as potentially catastrophic and urging him to reject it.
“Mr Ross ignored those warnings and abandoned the interests of his constituents this week, instead voting to inflict huge damage on our local businesses, communities and our public services. The people of Moray deserve an MP who will stand up for their interests – not one who votes to take us over the cliff edge to certain economic chaos.”