Buckinghamshire, Bercow and Brexit

Buckinghamshire and Brexit have been intimately entwined over the past few years, and never more so than in the past week.
Buckinghamshire MPs Dominic Grieve, John Bercow, David LidingtonBuckinghamshire MPs Dominic Grieve, John Bercow, David Lidington
Buckinghamshire MPs Dominic Grieve, John Bercow, David Lidington

Buckinghamshire and Brexit have been intimately entwined over the past few years, and never more so than in the past week.

Overall, like much of the country, the region was torn on the issue. The County as a whole voted to Remain in the EU, 50.5% to 49.5%, with Aylesbury Vale voting narrowly to Leave by the same margin.

Arguably it was the MP for Buckingham and Speaker of the House, John Bercow, who set the wheels in motion for an EU referendum with his unprecedented allowance of an extra amendment to the Queen’s Speech in 2013, regretting the absence of an EU referendum Bill.

However, since then Mr Bercow's impartiality has often been questioned amid reports that he voted 'Remain.'

In the nearby Aylesbury the MP David Lidington, who sits in one of Theresa May’s highest appointments on the cabinet - Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster - unsurprisingly voted with the Prime Minister in favour of her deal on Monday.

Meanwhile, Dominic Grieve, MP for the Bucks constituency of Beaconsfield, has been one of the most vocal supporters of a so-called People's Vote campaign.

Last week two of these MPs’ Brexit stories were drawn together when Mr Grieve tabled his 'Grieve Amendment' to force the Government to present it's 'Plan B' within three days should it lose the Meaningful Vote, as opposed to usual 21 days, thereby challenging the accepted normal practice.

The Speaker controversially decided to allow the vote to go ahead, against advice from the Commons Clerk, and subsequently faced a furious backlash and intimations of bias.

Amid raucous scenes in the House, Mr Bercow was dramatically accused of having a 'B******s to Brexit' sticker in his car window by the MP for Gravesham, Adam Holloway, but Mr Bercow clarified that the sticker was actually on his wife's car, not his own.

The MP for Buckingham's influence over the order of business in the coming days and weeks will continue to play an important, potentially pivotal role in how events unfold.

In other County-wide Brexit news, Buckinghamshire Business First, who describe themselves as “a business-focused community” revealed its findings from a Brexit survey compiled by the Government's Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

According to the survey, two-thirds of Buckinghamshire's business leaders reported that they thought Brexit would have a negative impact on their businesses. 51% of the 331 businesses who responded said that they were already undertaking activities to prepare for Brexit, including reducing staffing numbers, stockpiling supplies, and looking to relocate to another EU state.

The UK is set to leave the European Union on 29 March this year. However, with the historic defeat of the Government's EU Withdrawal Agreement on Tuesday by a majority of 230, and the lack of a majority in Parliament for a No-Deal exit, it is far from clear if Brexit will go ahead on time or even at all.