Sir John Hayes MP warns of 'mischievous and malevolent' attempts to stop Brexit after another heavy defeat in Parliament for Prime Minister's EU deal
South Holland and the Deepings MP Sir John Hayes has repeated his call for the UK to "just get out" of the European Union (EU) after another parliamentary defeat for the Government.
Sir John warned of "mischievous and malevolent attempts" to try and delay Brexit, or "to stop it altogether", after Prime Minister Theresa May saw her second attempt to get an EU withdrawal agreement through the House of Commons voted down last night (Tuesday).
MPs voted 391 to 242 to reject Mrs May's deal, a majority of 149, despite last-ditch attempts to secure concessions on the UK's future trade relations with other European countries.
In particular, the issue over the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, the so-called "backstop" which ensures an open border on the island of Ireland, was at the centre of discussions between Mrs May and EU leaders over recent days in an effort to finalise a time limit on Northern Ireland staying in elements of the EU.
Sir John, one of 43 Conservative MPs who backed the Prime Minister's deal this time after voting against it two months ago, said: "I thought long and hard how to vote last night and considered it very carefully.
"People will know that I'm a very committed Brexiteer but I'd always been inclined to try and vote for a deal.
"I was concerned about the backstop until the Attorney General made it clear that some improvements had been made to the Brexit arrangements.
"In particular that if the EU tried to perpetuate the backstop, there would now be means to challenge it.
"The other reason I voted for the deal is because I feel there could be worse to come and my constituents say to me now 'We just want to get out of the EU'.
"I do too and any risk of delaying Brexit, which is now a very real prospect, is far less desirable than Theresa May's deal."
Sir John confirmed his plans to vote against a motion, to be tabled in the House of Commons later today, that would see the option of the UK leaving the EU without a day "taken off the table".
The MP also pledged to vote against any plans to extend Article 50, the legal process by which Brexit takes place, beyond March 29, 2019.
"My fear is that there are mischievous attempts to delay Brexit and malevolent attempts to oppose it altogether", Sir John said.
"That's what I oppose most strongly which is why I will vote to keep 'No Deal' on the table and vote against any extension to Article 50 tomorrow.
"There are forces, both within Parliament and outside it, who want to steal Brexit from the people.
"I want to honour the pledge that we made in June 2016 to leave the EU at the end of March 2019.
. Sir John has signalled his willingness to back an amendment that sets out the process for a "managed no-deal".
The so-called "Malthouse compromises", named after Conservative Housing Minister Kit Malthouse, would extend Brexit to May 22, 2019, put into effect "mutual standstill agreements" between the UK and EU until the end of 2021 and provide a unilateral guarantee of citizens' rights.