Tulip Siddiq, who resigned from the opposition frontbench in the lead-up to Wednesday’s vote, was blasted for seeming “quite happy” with the result, which saw MPs vote overwhelmingly in favour of triggering the Brexit process.
Speaking on Radio 4’s Today programme, Mishal Husain put shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry’s endorsement of Jeremy Corbyn’s three-line whip and her calls to Labour MPs to not block Brexit to the Hampstead and Kilburn MP.
Ms Siddiq said: “What Emily said is right… we did rebel, 47 of us as you said, but the vote has gone through, we are leaving the European Union.”
Husain hit back and asked: “That sounds as if you’re quite happy with the result – if you’re that sanguine about the result, why not just have gone along with what your leadership wanted you to do?”
Tulip Siddiq was grilled over her decision to vote against triggering Article 50
I’ve had sleepless nights over this and I don’t think I’ve ever made such a difficult decision
But the former shadow early years minister insisted she was not “sanguine” about Brexit despite losing the vote on Article 50.
“I’ve had sleepless nights over this and I don’t think I’ve ever made such a difficult decision,” she said.
“But I am in the situation where we tried yesterday and we hoped that we would be able to block it but we can’t and now we are left with this situation where there are lots of divisions in the country that we need to heal.
“But most importantly we need to make sure we get a good deal and don’t give Theresa May a blank cheque on Brexit.”
Government Loses Brexit Vote Appeal
Tue, January 24, 2017
Britain's most senior judges ruled that Prime Minister Theresa May does not have the power to trigger the formal process Article 50 for the UK's exit from the European Union without Parliament having a say.
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Issued by the Supreme Court of (top row, from the left) Lord Neuberger, Lord Mance, Lord Kerr, Lord Sumption, (bottom row, from the left) Lady Hale, Lord Clarke, Lord Wilson and Lord Hodge, who agreed with the majority decision that the Government could not trigger Article 50 without Parliamentary approval.
The exchange comes after MPs backed the European Union Bill by 498 votes to 114 on Wednesday night.
When asked if she would have voted against her constituents, if they had voted Leave, Ms Siddiq said it would have been a “very difficult decision” but she would have "reflected their wishes".
“I passionately campaigned to remain, I’m a firm believer that we’re better of staying in the European Union," she said. "So it would have been a difficult decision but my point has always been that I represent Hamstead and Kilburn in Westminster, not Westminster in Hamstead and Kilburn.
“And if I had been in a constituency where constituents overwhelmingly voted to leave, I suppose I would have reflected their wishes.”