Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn received a resignation letter from a frontbench MP in regards to his position on Article 50.
Jo Stevens, Shadow Wales MP has stated that as a “passionate European” she cannot vote to trigger Article 50 to leave the EU. Jeremy Corbyn has said that Labour will not vote against Article 50 and is prepared to use a three-line whip to ensure the will of the British people is carried out.
According to reports, three more resignations in wake of Article 50 will happen. Should frontbench MPs leave the normal line would be to sack them. It is almost standard practice to maintain party discipline.
Two Whips to Defy Leader
Two of the whips, however, have said they will not vote to trigger Article 50. Both Jeff Smith, MP for Manchester and Thangam Debbonaire, MP for Bristol West said they were voting to defy Article 50, Mr Smith claimed he was citing the views of his constituency.
They are joining Tulip Saddiq, another frontbencher who resigned last week citing the constituency reason.
Diane Abbot, shadow home secretary said, “This is a question of opening the process we will seek to amend and if we are not able to get any of our amendments through clearly we will have to review our position.
“What happens to people that vote not to trigger will be managed by the whips but the leadership has a lot of sympathy for people in heavily Remain constituencies who find themselves in difficulty.”
Another MP who will vote against Article 50 is Cambridge MP Daniel Zeichner, shadow transport minister. He said the choice is very straightforward for him and cited the will of his constituents.
Although the vote was at an individual level and not a constituent level, some MPs have cited this as the reason to step down from key positions and to defy the leadership and the will of the British people.