Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns joined several other cabinet ministers – and most Welsh Conservative MPs – in backing a Brexit plan that was rejected by the House of Commons.
It would have seen the UK leaving the EU without a deal, after a short delay until May. Afterwards Britain would have sought a series of “standstill agreements” whilst a permanent relationship was negotiated.
Mr Cairns was one of six Welsh Conservative MPs to back the plan, which was seen as a compromise between the different wings of the party. The six were:
- Alun Cairns, Vale of Glamorgan
- Chris Davies, Brecon & Radnorshire
- David Davies, Monmouth
- Glyn Davies, Montgomeryshire
- Simon Hart, Carmarthen West & South Pembrokeshire
- David Jones, Clwyd West
Two Welsh Conservatives, the Aberconwy MP Guto Bebb and Preseli Pembrokeshire’s Stephen Crabb, voted against the idea. Mr Bebb, who wants a “people’s vote” referendum on Brexit, voted to rule out a no deal Brexit completely.
That proposal was passed with the support of all Welsh Labour and Plaid Cymru MPs. Mr Crabb abstained in that vote and warned of a “deep dark hole” without the Prime Minister’s Brexit deal.
Theresa May said that unless her twice-rejected withdrawal agreement was finally approved, she could be left asking the EU for a much longer delay to Brexit.
She added that the UK would then be obliged to take part in this year’s European Parliament elections.