Tatton MP resigns from Cabinet over Government's Brexit deal

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Tatton MP Esther McVey has resigned from Theresa May's Cabinet this morning, following yesterday's announcement of the Government's Brexit deal.

Ms McVey resigned as Work and Pensions Secretary, a position she has held since January having been promoted from Deputy Chief Whip following a cabinet reshuffle.

In a letter to the Prime Minister she wrote "The deal you put before the Cabinet yesterday does not honour the result of the referendum. Indeed, it doesn't meet the tests you set from the outset of your premiership."

Ms McVey continued "The proposals put before Cabinet, which will soon be judged by the entire country, means handing over around £39bn to the EU without anything in return. It will trap us in a customs union, despite you specifically promising the British people we would not be. It will bind the hands of not only this, but future Governments in pursuing genuine free trade policies. We wouldn't be taking back control, we would be handing over control to the EU and even to a third country for arbitration.

"It also threaten the integrity of the United Kingdom, which as a Unionist is a risk I cannot be party to."

She added "We have gone from no deal is better than a bad deal, to any deal is better than no deal.

"I cannot defend this, and I cannot vote for this deal. I could not look my constituent in the eye were I to do that. I therefore have no alternative but to resign from Government."

Ms McVey's resignation came an hour after Brexit secretary Dominic Raab quit.

Esther McVey


Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

Rick Andrews
Thursday 15th November 2018 at 3:54 pm
I wonder if Esther realised that there are a lot of people who voted remain in her constituency. Think about us voters please!
Vince Chadwick
Thursday 15th November 2018 at 4:14 pm
Tatton as a constituency voted 'remain'. Esther seems not to give a stuff about that and follows her own Tory far-right anti-Europe career path. Perhaps she should also resign as our MP?
Jane Mitchell
Thursday 15th November 2018 at 5:11 pm
Sorry to argue with you Vince but although close Tatton voted out of the EU . 51.2 to leave 48.8 to stay .
Terry Roeves
Thursday 15th November 2018 at 6:46 pm
Ran away, including Works and Pensions. Easier to get things done from the inside rather than being outside. Poor show.
Oliver Romain
Thursday 15th November 2018 at 7:42 pm
I understand Tatton voted 50.7 leave in the referendum. This Brextreenist MP is not considering her constituents. Over a million remain and leave voters have signed the People’s Vote Petition. The nation is waking up to the fact that life is better and we have more control within the EU. MPs will be paid no matter what - the rest of us rely on the benefits that EU membership gives us and our employers.
Stuart Anderson
Thursday 15th November 2018 at 8:12 pm
Jane, Oliver, what are your sources please? Local authorities weren’t ever required to publish the results by Parliamentary constituency or by ward therefore the vote split for Tatton can only be based on best estimate. This is probably why there a so many different figures floating around. Based on modelling cited at this source [1], the Tatton leave vote was estimated at 45.6%. Jane's figure of 51.2% leave is probably the vote split for East Cheshire [2], not Tatton.


Shaun Waugh
Thursday 15th November 2018 at 8:17 pm
I applaud Ester for sticking up to the her ideals and fighting for the best deal for us her voters. It is not a good deal on the table. Why didn't they just turn round and say 'we are leaving the EU - Bye. if you want us to buy your products (BMW's, Mercedes, French, Spanish and Italian Wine, Tulips etc) make us a deal, instead of us having to agree to their terms.
Oliver Romain
Thursday 15th November 2018 at 9:27 pm
My source was from the bbc website ‘In Cheshire West and Chester, part of which is covered by Chancellor George Osborne's Tatton constituency, the result was 50.7% for Leave. The result was slightly more pronounced in Cheshire East, with 51.2% for Leave.’ meet in the middle and it’s 50.95% leave. Either way it’s not a landslide. People did not vote for less money, more costly holidays, fewer jobs, nhs unable to recruit staff etc. The leave campaigns placed illegal advertising all over this area and nobody really knows which elites funded them. Sign the Final Say Petition to have your say.
Vince Chadwick
Thursday 15th November 2018 at 9:47 pm
Jane Mitchell, During the 2016 EU Referendum, the Tatton constituency voted to remain in the EU. The vote was 55.56% Remain over 44.44% Leave.

Argue all you like Jane, but by my reckoning that's a Tatton vote to REMAIN! Nor peddling 'leave' false news, are you?
Jon Williams
Friday 16th November 2018 at 10:14 am
Cheshire East official results:
Area total

Remain: 107,962

Leave: 113,163

Electorate: 285,957 Verified Ballot Papers: 221,229 Turnout: 77.4% Ballot Papers Counted : 221,229 Valid Votes: 221,125 Rejected Ballots: 104
Manuel Golding
Friday 16th November 2018 at 10:37 am
Irrespective as to how Tatton voted in the 2016 Referendum, we voted as a whole United Kingdom, not a mini part only viewed in myopia. Therefore our MP is rightly reflecting the UK voters' desires. We voted as a country, therefore it would be anti democratic to ignore that majority,. We, the UK, are better than the EU which has aq long history of ignoring majority voting - this would appear to be the malaise so many misguided anti-democratic remainers are suffering from.
Richard Bullock
Friday 16th November 2018 at 10:59 am
There was never an official tally in Tatton - the results were counted at local authority level, but there are estimates published which suggest 55% remain, 45% leave.

Cheshire East voted narrowly leave as a whole, but the count in Cheshire East was done in two places: Macclesfield and Crewe. Macclesfield, which would have included Wilmslow's votes, was 54% remain, 46% leave. Crewe was 44% remain, 56% leave, hence why the borough as a whole was slightly for leave when adding up both areas.
Manuel Golding
Friday 16th November 2018 at 3:37 pm
The government's pre referendum pamphlet clearly stated "This is your decision. The government will implement what you decide"; we, the UK, clearly decided LEAVE. The message & result were crystal clear, this wasn't per constituency, per region nor per state but as a nation wide UK result. For Tatton voters to now accuse our MP of acting contrary to the government's assurance is, to put it mildly, disingenuous. She is honouring the government's pledge, which is more than our prime minister is doing. Who is being honourable here?
Manuel Golding
Friday 16th November 2018 at 3:47 pm
The government's pre referendum pamphlet clearly stated "This is your decision. The government will implement what you decide"; we, the UK, clearly decided LEAVE. The message & result were crystal clear, this wasn't per constituency, per region nor per state but as a nation wide UK result. For Tatton voters to now accuse our MP of acting contrary to the government's lassurance is, to put it mildly, disingenuous. She is honouring the government's pledge, which is more than our prime minister is doing. Who is being honourable here?
Jon Armstrong
Friday 16th November 2018 at 3:49 pm
No, the referendum wasn't clear. The people were asked to vote for something with no idea of what the deal would be or the consequences. And many of the claims and promises that were made by the leave campaign have proved to be pure fiction.

It was like committing to buying a car without having any idea what make and model you'd end up with, what it would cost or what condition it is in.
Simon Worthington
Friday 16th November 2018 at 4:33 pm
The country voted to LEAVE. If a half baked deal had been on offer similar to the EU biased one on offer who would have voted to remain.
Asked to vote for something without knowing the consequences!!!! And the consequences of giving the unelected a green light would have been?? A European army - no that isn't happening!! Forced to join a fiscal union - no that won't happen!!! Join the Euro - that would have been on the list. Forced to equalise Corporation Tax throughout the EU - another soon to be on the list. Be told by Germany how many economic migrants we must house. I see the fishing industry has been sacrificed again just like the tr***** Heath did.Etc. Etc. How many papers with plans for the future were not published in the run up to our referendum so as not to alert the public to the real focus of Brussels.
So we all knew the consequences of staying did we?
Our MP has had good look and decided not to be involved in wool pulling.
Rod Menlove
Friday 16th November 2018 at 5:22 pm
The Cheshire East count was indeed at both Crewe and Macclesfield but 100% of the postal votes went to Macclesfield to be counted. So the only figure that reflects preferences is that for Cheshire East in total.
Rick Andrews
Friday 16th November 2018 at 7:36 pm
Think of leaving Europe like the transition from Macclesfield BC to CEC, fine promises of efficiencies and savings. A reality of higher costs and chaotic governance. Yes, the EU is not perfect, but we must retain open trade and customs union. Our few remaining factories are owned from outside UK, so we face saying goodbye to Airbus, Mini, Land Rover and Ford.plus the financial institutions. Leave EU and see higher unemployment and reduced living standards. It is very clear that the referendum was based on more fake information than anyone realises from both sides. There must be a new vote based on real information or we face 20+ years of hardship. Me? I am heading for the hills before the economic winter sets in.
Mark Goldsmith
Friday 16th November 2018 at 8:15 pm
This is a highly emotive subject that can make us lose sight of the need to respect alternative opinions.

Esther was elected our MP based on the Conservative manifesto of 2016, not on the Referendum result. The manifesto promised to deliver Brexit and not pass large sums of money to the EU. I think the proposed EU deal is a Hotel California type agreement - we can check out when we want, but we can never leave. It is not what was promised in the manifesto, so I understand why Esther has resigned.

What happens next is anyone’s guess, but outside Wilmslow station today are crosses representing 289 people who died in WW1 to ensure the UK remained ruled by voter democracy. Our first past the post, winner takes all, 2nd gets nothing principle was overwhelmingly agreed in the 2011 Referendum. We then decided to settle once and for all our relationship with the EU and the largest vote in UK history took place in the 2016 Referendum.

Therefore, calls for another Leave / Remain vote ignores what democracy means and the sacrifices made to retain it. Voters have never before had to justify how or why they voted or if their wishes should be enacted. So why do they have to now? We all make the best guess on the day and hope for the best outcome. Sometimes this works, sometimes not. However, the largest vote always wins and they get to enact their wishes. Later elections may reverse their actions, but the power to change is never delayed or denied to the democratic winner.

MP’s, Prime Ministers, governments and councillors all come and go but our democratic principle is the only thing that remains. It is all that separates us from a dictatorship and we throw it away at our peril.
Oliver Romain
Friday 16th November 2018 at 8:46 pm
Brexit was a fantasy. We are simply never going to be better off outside of the EU. There is no British Empire to rely on. It’s delusional for Esther to think that there is a better deal to be had. The other states will have each other to trade with. We have the most to lose!!
Pete Taylor
Friday 16th November 2018 at 9:47 pm
Mark Goldsmith- well said.
Vince Chadwick
Friday 16th November 2018 at 9:56 pm
Not to mention (in addition to the industries mentioned above) the £billions moved by the Financial Services Industry out of the City of London to Frankfurt, Paris, and Dublin. The idiocy of Brexit has already seriously damaged UK, made us a world-wide laughing stock as we bicker among ourselves about just what sort of suicide we want for our nation with absolutely no sign of us having a clue what we really wanted when we voted two and a half years ago. Vague emotive wailings like 'taking back control' don't cut it at the negotiating table, as many of us always knew and maybe a few more have realised since.

As we stockpile medicines and food and the M2 Motorway is being prepared to become a 30 mile HGV park we are already locked out of many joint EU scientific and medical research programmes which if this lunacy persists we will never see the benefit from.

We appear to be hell-bent on making ourselves a lot poorer, losing millions of jobs, and returning to being the sick man of Europe we used to be before joining our European neighbours to the mutual benefit of them and even more so, us (until recent self-inflicted wounds we were a leading nation in Europe).

Time to call a halt. We should never have had a referendum. Cameron went to the Country with an internal Tory wrangle over Europe. But since he did take it to the country, true democracy demands we re-test the water on the nation's willingness to really pull that trigger now that we are (perhaps) more aware that actions like that carry consequences that will be extremely unpleasant for a very long time - and there will be no going back.
Pete Taylor
Friday 16th November 2018 at 10:52 pm
I'm rather sad to find that Brexit has finally cropped up to pollute our wonderful local website. However, presumably some folks here voted for Neil Hamilton, George Osborne and Ester McVey. Well done to all of you- you got he Government you deserve.
Oliver Romain
Saturday 17th November 2018 at 9:24 am
Esthers legacy is well summed up by the United Nations report into Universal Credit. She is immune from austerity and immune from the impacts of the hard Brexit she claims she wants.
The UN report said the government's system of austerity, and particularly universal credit, put women on the back foot and lead to increased poverty.
The system of universal credit merges six payments into a singular benefit. Mr Alston accused it of plunging people into misery and despair. He said single women looking after children had been hit the hardest by the Conservative Party's "commitment to achieving radical social re-engineering".
"There is a really remarkable gender dimension to many of the reforms," he said at a briefing.
"If you got a group of misogynists together in a room and said, 'How can we make a system that works for men but not women?' they wouldn't have come up with too many other ideas than what's in place."
According to the report 14 million people are living in poverty in the UK, with 1.5 million classed as destitute and unable to afford essentials.
Mr Alston said the system of paying only one benefit into a household made it harder for women to leave relationships that did not work or were abusive.
He claims to have put this to former Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey, who resigned over Brexit earlier this week, and she did not see the issue.
"Well if they're having problems, they should get counselling and if things are really bad, they should leave," Mr Alston claimed she said.
Buster Wild
Saturday 17th November 2018 at 5:42 pm
Calm down Vince, I take it you are a remoaner who will not accept defeat. A majority of one is still a majority when you live in a democracy. Let's all calm down and let the MP we voted to represent us in Parliament get on with her job.
Vince Chadwick
Saturday 17th November 2018 at 8:44 pm
Don't busta gut, Buster!

Remoaner? Oh dear.

Democracy? So you don't want a vote now we know what Brexit really means, rather than what Boris et al said it would mean? There are people facing criminal prosecution for the lies 'Leave' used to deceive the voters. And of course two and a half years later we know an awful lot more about the massive catastrophe Brexit would actually be than we did back then.

And what are you scared of in a final, truly democratic, People's Vote? Do you think that somehow The People might cheat The People?
Paul Hampton
Sunday 18th November 2018 at 9:47 am
If we are really going to invoke the memory of our town’s fallen from the two bloodiest conflicts in world history, in order to make political points around Brexit, then we should equally consider how the close bonds we have developed through membership of the EU have served as the ultimate guarantee that such terrible events will never again be allowed to happen on our continent.
Vince Chadwick
Sunday 18th November 2018 at 10:00 am
Quite so, Paul. And before invoking the memories of those brave men in support of Brexit, we should consider the far right fascist forces they laid down their lives to defeat. And then perhaps take a look at one or two of the major figures who have brought Brexit about....

My generation count their blessings that we never had to go to war and face the horrors those men did. A unified Europe has been instrumental in that.
Mark Goldsmith
Sunday 18th November 2018 at 10:07 am
Vince - the democratic principle is clear that the UK voted to leave the EU. The only argument now is how.

Untruths were told by both sides (no EU army, emergency budget the day after a vote Leave victory etc). Politicians have always exaggerated what they can do at elections. Jeremy Corbyn promised to scrap students university loans at the last election but then said afterwards it was just an aspiration. Therefore, can we now re-run those Labour seats again now because of his lie? Well, that’s the system you are advocating for, so why not?

Well, we don’t because it’s not how our democratic system works. Any new EU referendum should be confined to how we leave the EU - this deal or no deal.

But I suspect that’s not what you want. You want to ignore the first referendum completely. Calling it the Peoples Referendum is just a cynical marketing gimmick to bypass the system. Who voted first time though? Trees? dogs? aliens? No, the UK people and in the biggest number ever in the countries 2,000 year history.

UK democracy is not social media, where the noisy minority gets what it wants. Our democracy means enacting the will of the people regardless of the consequences to the nation or cost to individuals.

The 289 men of Wilmslow whose crosses are outside the train station knew and abided by that principle completely. It’s a shame, so many have others have now forgotten it.
Jon Armstrong
Sunday 18th November 2018 at 11:02 am
The First World War wasn't a war about democracy. Many of those men didn't even have the vote. Men weren't going to enlist to uphold anybody's democratic rights.

To redefine their sacrifice to attempt to justify your own political views dishonours their memory.
Mark Goldsmith
Sunday 18th November 2018 at 1:23 pm
@Jon Armstrong: They fought for King and Country, which meant Great Britain determining its own destiny based on its own political process at the time. That included a limited franchise of UK voters but it was democratic process, whereas Germany was controlled by an unelected Kaiser.

After the war, the democratic franchise was widened by the Representation of the People Act 1918 to include men over 21 and women over 30 years old. This timing is no coincidence. The people wanted to ensure their sacrifices meant something and clearly wanted a wider democracy to rule our politicians, not the other way round. Since then, the democratic franchise has been extended to all 18 year olds and in future it may even be given to 16 year olds as well. Who knows, we may even decide our monarchy should have no powers within our democracy too, but that will all be decided by the voting majority at that time. Our democracy changes, but only by voter majority.

Therefore, I am disappointed in your comments that I am dishonouring our war dead by pointing this fact out. As I said earlier, we need to discuss this issue with respect and not revert to insults as a way of closing down honest debate.
Mark Russell
Monday 19th November 2018 at 12:45 pm
"peoples vote" can one of the remoaners advise what that would look like?

2016 - Brexit is voted for by majority of voters

2017 - General election, again majority of voters voted for brexit, by returning the conservatives back to power

2018/9, a 3rd vote, what happens if the remoaners lose that too? I know lets have a 4th and 5th until the noisy neighbors get what they want.

I dont think so, its not how democracy works. There have been 2 votes, brexit was voted for both times, lets get out ASAP as us the MAJORITY of the uk wish. Nobody is interested in what town/county voted which way. Because it was a country decision. Majority of uk voters picked brexit, why cant the losers just accept you lost, im a united fan, trust me im getting used to the feeling!

And one last message for the remoaners, if you dont like our country, go and live in one of the 27 countries that are remaining in eu. No, i didnt think so, i cant see a stampede to the ferries. Ive not heard of one uk resident doing this, so its not all that bad is it really??
Vince Chadwick
Monday 19th November 2018 at 5:42 pm
Mark Russell, your suggestion that it's OK for Brexiters to trash our country because anyone who doesn't like it can go live somewhere else does your cause no favours.

I have a better idea. Why don't Brexitters move instead, as they clearly dislike our integrated and forward looking country. May I suggest Rockall? That should be isolated enough for you.
John Harries
Monday 19th November 2018 at 11:07 pm
Oh dear, not another re-run of the 2016 thing.
The result in our constituency roughly reflected the UK wide outcome - I know because I checked it out from official figures not long after the fair and legal referendum was concluded. I also checked out that figure on the side of 'the' bus, it was pretty spot on too (bit of a mind bender - and EVERY WEEK - even when you consider the actual whopping great size of it once you net down the rebate etc.) but that's all in the past.
Vince has a clear standpoint, he likes things as they were when we jogged along with the other 27 EU club members. He didn't have to ask himself many questions, just opt to keep jogging, sort of mushroom like mentality (no insult intended, honest).
If you are of the other persuasion however there were a lot of questions (many we discover never actually asked or even thought of at the time) none the less, a harder decision to take for a very different direction of travel.
Result - WE the British people actually voted in large numbers and by a clear and measurable majority to leave the European Union and all of it's institutions.
I can understand that there are a sizable number of British citizens who did not share the views of the majority, that is inevitable. I might well have been one of them had our singular trading relationship with the EEC remained just that. Maastricht however changed everything and we've ended up in a political version of the Eurovision Song Contest - and if you follow that nonsense you'll maybe agree it's all turning into Federalist rubbish underpinned by a failing currency that is ruining a good number of it's stakeholders in the process.
Remember, over 40 odd years we've failed in any significant way to influence Eurovision (err. the EU) and it's time to move on.
Let's just do what we voted for, honour the result, get out and get on with it.
Doomsday is not just around the corner nor for a while will life be all beer and skittles. We'll still trade with the EU and they with us, you can go on your family holidays to Portugal and buy all sorts of continental goods if that's your fancy. Europe will have to use our fantastic financial resources and services (unless they prefer to use Wallstreet, I think not), resort to British innovation industry and rely on UK intelligence gathering and resort to unflinching support from our armed services when needs must.
Go on, you know it's good for you.
Mark Russell
Tuesday 20th November 2018 at 7:11 am

Thats not whats going on at all, thats your opinion, as someone who doesn't agree with the democratic process very well described by John above. Im assuming as your so passionate you helped the remain campaign in 2016???

I was merely pointing out you can go and live where there is sunshine and honey (the eu), while us realists get on with managing the process. At what point do remoaners accept it? 2050, 2075 etc etc.

Theres a very good and well known saying "the victors write the history books" Thats whats going on here, the victors are sorting it out, meanwhile the losers (remoaners) just try to stop the democratic process because they didn't get the result they wanted in one of the most heavily voted for events in our country.
Vince Chadwick
Tuesday 20th November 2018 at 10:54 am
John Harries - your 'clear and measurable majority' was 2%! but hey, you even believe Boris's Bus - even Boris has admitted that was a fudge (a lie actually), so I really can't take your post seriously.

I'm still waiting for for one of these simplistic football-score-analogy leavers (we won, you lost, get over it) to give us rational folk just ONE advantage of leaving. The disadvantages have started already, but are of course as nothing compared to the train crash awaiting us in March, especially if the far right loonies who started the whole thing reject May's compromise deal.

Mark Russel - the victors sorting it out? Yeah right! Two and a half years down the line from the vote and leavers STILL haven't a clue what they want. Far from 'sorting it out', they have merely discovered more and more how impossible their position is.

Roll on the People's Vote. That is the only way out of this ever-sillier and deeply harmful mess.
John Harries
Tuesday 20th November 2018 at 10:02 pm
Without nit picking, I think the result was in the order of 52% leave, 48% remain - I'll leave you to do the sum but you can refine it even further by taking the difference to more significant numbers if it makes you feel more comfortable but any way/which - it was a significant margin - in favour of leave.
As for the numbers on the side of the bus, I went to the official EU published statistics source to establish the facts and found the latest figures then available justified what the £350M figure on the bus promoted during the campaign - it was an illustration voters could appreciate; what it could be used for (e.g. the NHS...) was not a party political promise since the two campaigning factions involved were apolitical, it was just one suggestion.
The result is clear and unambiguous, if you cannot see that then I can only cluck and feel sorry for you.
You want a re-run, fine, exercise your democratic right but first let's get this RESULT - referendum/people's vote/whatever - implemented and then you and your ilk can campaign anew.
John Clegg
Wednesday 21st November 2018 at 9:20 pm
Mark Russell,

"Remoaners". Oh, do turn it in.
Brian Fox
Wednesday 21st November 2018 at 10:01 pm
John Harries.

On facts, the £350 million claim was "A clear misuse of official statistics"

UK Statistics Authority


Facts are vital, regardless of our opinions.
John Harries
Tuesday 27th November 2018 at 7:24 pm
Brian Fox,
Misuse of facts is not the issue - as you say, facts are, well, facts!
Those numbers, at the time they were used were (in the round) correct and drawn from the then latest available official EU figures.
The numbers I'm talking about illustrated the flow of funds (annually) to/from the EU against their budgets for each member country.
I haven't bothered to check again but found the figures worked out to be accurate - over that latest accounting 12 month period an equivelant to £360M, every week went east to Brussels and £80-90M came back west to the UK = approx. £250M/week net staying with Brussels to divi out to EU good causes of the (other) 27 member states.
Application of that net £250M outgoing or how the UK might otherwise spend the £350M thus saved was open to a wide range of suggestions/proposals depending on one's disposition to the leave argument (or even remain should one want to reveal the utter burden of the UK financial obligation).
However one wished to simply illustrate the mind boggling numbers, it was just that - not a political promise nor an untruth - simply an illustration that your average Joe in the street might understand and relate to.