When the Brexit Secretary votes against... the Brexit Secretary, in Parliament.

First published in March 2019.

Closing the debate on the request for an extension of Article 50, yesterday afternoon, the Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay told the House of Commons:

“This is a time for responsibility, yet we have a motion from the Leader of the Opposition that ducks the choice, ducks the time, ducks the clarity and ducks any sense of national responsibility. It is time for this House to act in the national interest. It is time to put forward an extension that is realistic. I commend the Government motion to the House.”


BBC Parliament

However... a few minutes later, the Brexit Secretary turned out in the Noes lobby in order to vote AGAINST AN EXTENSION OF ARTICLE 50, which he had just minutes before argued was in the national interest and was, by the way, a Government Motion supported by Theresa May.

Voting record for the Governement Motion to extend Article 50. / Hansard

This is the very MP who told the German newspaper Die Welt, “a second referendum would cause yet more division,” “The current extent to which Britain is divided now would be small compared to the tensions that a second vote would cause. It would further divide our nation.”

When the Brexit Secretary argues in favour of the extension of Article 50 then votes against his own advice, that can only cause yet more division and tension among voters who rightly start to wonder whether he has been telling them the truth about anything at all since he has started working for DexEU.

The same Stephen Barclay who also — answering the question “Given that Brexit is now obviously not in the best interests of the country why are you still following this path?” — told the Bournemouth Echo, back in December 2018, “I think it’s a trust issue. You don’t ask a question and then ignore the answer.”

There is indeed a trust issue with Stephen Barclay.

When he was finally asked today about his vote against the extension of Article 50 by a BBC journalist, here was his answer:

Typical politician:
- Does not answer the question.
- Deliberately diverts the attention away from the main point.
- Eventually manages to escape without being held to account for his words and his deeds.

Your deeds are your monuments, Steve Barclay.🔷

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[This is an original piece, first published by the author in PoliticsMeansPolitics.com on 15 March 2019. | The author writes in a personal capacity.]

(Cover: Screenshot of Stephen Barclay in Parliament.)