Aylesbury and Buckingham MPs abstain in Commons vote on Northern Ireland protocol

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Greg Smith MP explains why he did not vote

Aylesbury MP Rob Butler and Buckingham MP Greg Smith both abstained in the Commons vote on the Windsor Framework yesterday (Wednesday).

In the event, the government had a 486-vote majority in favour of its motion to approve the deal made with the EU on the Northern Ireland protocol, with MPs voting 515 to 29 in favour of regulations to implement the Stormont brake section of the Windsor Framework.

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Explaining yesterday why he was one of the 48 Tory MPs with no vote recorded, Greg Smith said: "The status quo - the Northern Ireland Protocol- is not working.

Buckingham MP Greg SmithBuckingham MP Greg Smith
Buckingham MP Greg Smith

“The Windsor Framework - whilst representing limited progress - fails to restore Northern Ireland to its rightful status as a full and equal part of our United Kingdom, as it will still be subject to European law.

"It was therefore impossible for me to endorse the Windsor Framework this afternoon - or risk sending the message that the Northern Ireland Protocol is superior by voting against Windsor.

“This was a real Hobson's choice for me, and for the people of Northern Ireland."

Rob Butler MP has been approached for comment.

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Rob Butler MPRob Butler MP
Rob Butler MP

Buckingham’s likely Conservative candidate in the next general election, Iain Stewart, who is currently MP for Milton Keynes South, voted for the motion.

Local Swanbourne resident and arch Brexiteer Iain Duncan Smith, MP for Chingford and Woodford Green, was one of 22 Conservative MPs who voted against the motion – along with Boris Johnson, William Rees Mogg, Priti Patel and Liz Truss.