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‘Explain yourselves!’ Fury as Tory MEPs BACK Verhofstadt vote to block Brexit trade talks

TWO senior Conservative MEPs have been accused of undermining British attempts to negotiate a successful Brexit after deciding to side with arch European Union federalist Guy Verhofstadt to block trade talks during a crucial European Parliament vote.

Richard Ashworth and Julie Girling broke ranks to side with Mr Verhofstadt, the European Parliament’s self-appointed Brexit negotiator, voting to declare Britain had not made “sufficient progress” to proceed to trade negotiations.Senior sources at the Conservative conference in Manchester were “livid” to hear the two MEPs had broken rank on the issue just 24 hours before the Prime Minister called for party loyalty.

Leaders in Brussels have long since demanded Britain meet three key areas – the so-called Brexit bill, the future rights of EU citizens and the Irish border – before talks can progress on the UK’s future relationship with the bloc.

While Eurocrats, including European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier, have rejected Britain has satisfied the criteria, British Brexiteers believe it is time to move on.

Brexit news Guy Verhofstadt European union voteEU.PARL•GETTY

Brexit news: Fury after two senior Tory MEPs sided with Guy Verhofstadt’s bid to thwart Brexit


It is unacceptable that two MEPs put their own interest on personal Brexit ahead of the national interest

Conservative party source

Brexit Secretary David Davis made clear he believed the UK had made “sufficient progress” as he urged Brussels to move on with the talks.In a bid to attempt to settle the argument, Mr Verhofstadt held a non-binding vote in the European Parliament, on Tuesday, to establish whether Britain had made “sufficient progress”.

The European Parliament passed the motion warning that “sufficient progress has not yet been made” agreeing on the key areas.

The resolution was backed by 557 MEPs in Strasbourg, with 92 voting against and 29 abstentions.

The unamended motion accuses the UK of having “seriously impeded” talks by offering a lack of “clear proposals”.Conservative MEPs Mr Ashworth and Ms Girling were amongst the 557 lawmakers who voted against Britain progressing with Brexit talks.

This caused an uproar in Manchester as news of the vote filtered back to Conservatives attending their annual conference.

The pair were accused of putting their own Remainer views ahead of the national interest when they abandoned their fellow Conservative MEPs to side with Mr Verhofstadt.

One senior Conservative source in Manchester told the Express: “It is completely unacceptable that two senior MEPs should put their personal interest on Brexit ahead of the national interest.“I will be interested to hear how they explain to businesses and workers in their constituencies, that are seeking clarification over Britain’s future relationship with the EU, why they want to delay the start of crucial talks over trade.

“They have undermined our negotiators and risk playing into the EU’s hands.”

Express.co.uk has made numerous attempts to contact Mr Ashworth and Ms Girling for comment to no avail.

Liam Fox, the International Trade Secretary, mocked the vote for its “unsurprising outcome”, insisting it will have no impact on the actual talks process.

He told Express.co.uk: “In the most accurate sense, it doesn’t matter at all.

“The European Parliament has no say in the process.

“That will be decided by the heads of government in the European Council, where they will give their instructions to the Commission, who will then carry out the negotiations.

“So, it’s an opinion. Were any of us surprised by it? No, we weren’t. Will it really make a difference? No, it won’t.”

http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/862277/Brexit-news-Conservative-party-conference-MEP-Guy-Verhofstadt-European-Union-vote-outrage

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4 Comments on "‘Explain yourselves!’ Fury as Tory MEPs BACK Verhofstadt vote to block Brexit trade talks"

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Jane Davies
Guest

Yes it is treason, Peter, but didn’t Blair repeal the Treason law? It needs now to be re-instated and to include anyone who displays blatant animosity on the public stage towards ones own country and the monarchy.

Bill
Guest

Do they not realise this is tantamount to treason, and not so long ago would have been treason.

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