How are our MPs voting in crucial Brexit vote today?
PUBLISHED: 12:10 22 October 2019 | UPDATED: 12:10 22 October 2019
MPs will vote in Parliament today on whether they will back the Prime Minister’s deal to exit the European Union.
The vote is expected to be a close one and could go the same way as former PM Theresa May's withdrawal agreement that was voted down three times.
But our two MPs for Welwyn Hatfield and Hertsmere, Grant Shapps and Oliver Dowden, remain hopeful that Boris Johnson will get the deal across the red line.
When asked by the BBC today if Parliament is going to pass the first step of the bill, Mr Shapps said: "We should do.
"Unlike the previous deal, which meant Brussels had ultimate control and could have forced Britain to accept EU laws and taxes, this deal means voters in the UK, such as the people of Welwyn Hatfield, are in charge," he told the Welwyn Hatfield Times earlier today.
"After three and a half years, it's finally time to leave and hope that my fellow MPs get behind this deal so that we can move on and get on with all the other big issues that matter to people."
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Remain voter Mr Dowden said he sees his job now as "to get on and deliver Brexit".
"I've also been clear that the best way to leave the European Union is with a deal, avoiding unnecessary disruption," he told the Welwyn Hatfield Times.
"Despite all the predictions of failure, the Prime Minister has considerably improved the deal for us leaving the European Union.
"He's got rid of the Backstop, got rid of the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice and has ensured that the whole United Kingdom leaves the Customs Union and is able to negotiate its own free trade deals.
"After three and a half years of endless debates, negotiations and talking it is time for MPs to act in the national interest, to vote for this deal so that we can finally move on and start delivering things like record investment in schools, 20,000 new police officers and money for our precious NHS."
The government's Withdrawal Agreement Bill is predicted to start at about 1.15pm today and be finished at around 7pm.
However even if the deal goes ahead today, there will be several more readings over the course of the next few days if the UK is to meet the October 31 deadline.
And even if this deal goes ahead, the UK will remain in the EU until a free trade agreement is negotiated.
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