MPs voted 494 to 114 to back the Brexit bill in the House of Commons after 17 hours of debate. The bill gives the Prime Minister the go-ahead to formally inform the EU that the UK is leaving.
The Pontypridd MP was amongst 47 Labour MPs who voted against their party leader in last nights Commons vote.
Speaking on talkRADIO, Mr Smith described himself as “Churchillian” while he explained the reasoning behind his vote against the will of the British people.
Owen Smith compares his anti-Brexit stance to Winston Churchill
Churchill said the first duty of an MP was to vote with his conscience in the interests of Great Britain
“Churchill said, of course, the first duty of an MP was to vote with his conscience in the interests and safety of Great Britain,” he added.
“Secondly, he had to act in the interests of his constituents – and I feel I did both of those things.
“I acted last night in what I believe to be in the interests of the country and my constituents because I believe Brexit will make us poorer and our politics meaner.”
“I fear that we are still being lied to, like during the referendum campaign, and lied to still about how easy this is going to be,” he added.
Mr Smith alongside thirteen backbenchers, including several senior Labour MPs, failed to table an amendment, that would have forced Mrs May to call a second public vote before taking Britain out of the EU.
The amendment proposed: “A referendum is to be held on whether the United Kingdom should approve the United Kingdom and Gibraltar exit package proposed by HM Government at the conclusion of the negotiation triggered by Article 50 for withdrawal from the European Union or remain a member of the European Union.”
However, their plot to hold a second referendum was quashed by the Commons, with Brexit Secretary David Davis afterwards releasing a 77-page document spelling out the Government’s divorce plans.
Theresa May's 12 point Brexit plan Mon, January 16, 2017
It's finally here!
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Continued cooperation with the EU to tackle terrorism and international crime.
The paper expands on Theresa May’s 12-point plan for Brexit set out in her speech earlier this month, confirming that the UK intends to leave the single market and customs union.
Introducing the plan, Mr Davis said the UK’s “best days are still to come” outside the bloc and promised a close relationship with the rest of Europe, also promising to avoid any “cliff-edge” effect.
He added: ”A never-ending transitional status is emphatically not what we need, not what we seek.
“But a phased process of implementation of new arrangements – where immigration controls, customs systems, the way we operate and cooperate on criminal and civil justice matters, on future regulatory and legal frameworks of business will be necessary for both sides.”
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