It is reported in the national press (December 8, 2016), that MPs in the Commons voted by a margin of 461 to 89 to support an amended motion to start the process of leaving the EU by the end of March 2017.
23 Labour MPs refused to commit to the Brexit timetable. Dozens more abstained in defiance of their leader Jeremy Corbyn. Liberal Democrats – including Nick Clegg – also voted against this motion together with the Scottish nationalists and others.
Under a heading of “Ignoring the Voters” a list is published of five Labour MP’s who voted against Article 50, whose constituents voted Leave – by the following amounts.
Angela Smith, our elected member for Penistone and Stocksbridge figures prominently at 61 per cent.
This begs the question who does Ms Smith represent in Parliament – her constituency voters or Labour Party policy and herself? All candidates present a pre-election Manifesto to their constituents. The electorate decides which Party Manifesto they prefer and vote accordingly. The voters know what their Party candidate stands for and this is a democratic process which has stood the test of time.
However, a situation arose whereby following a 6 to 1 majority,Parliament voted to cede the EU withdrawal issue to the public in a National Referendum – which resulted in a 1.5 million majority in favour of leaving.
As Parliament had passed this decision to the people, it is a cause for great concern that Ms Smith despite a 61 per cent vote has chosen to ignore the wishes of her constituents and voted according to Labour Party policy or her own preference in opposing Article 50.
When Parliament passed the EU vote to the people, the democratic way is that MPs should abide by the wishes of the majority and vote accordingly in any Brexit motion.
For reasons known only to herself, Angela Smith has chosen to ignore her constituents’ majority wishes and registered a personal and/or Labour Party vote.
MPs of all parties who ignore their majority constituents wishes do so at their peril when the next General Election comes along.
Busk Meadow, S5