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Kent MPs split on Brexit vote as debate gets underway in parliament

By Paul Francis

A debate about the government's Brexit deal gets underway today with the outcome as unpredictable as ever and the fate of the Prime Minister in the hands of her MPs.

The five-day debate will end with a meaningful vote next Tuesday with many predicting a substantial defeat for the deal that has split the county’s MPs.

Between 80 and 100 Conservative MPs are thought to be ready to vote against the deal.

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United Kingdom and European union flags combined, Big Ben and Parliament house at city of Westminster in the background - UK votes to leave the EU, Brexit concept. (5757889)
United Kingdom and European union flags combined, Big Ben and Parliament house at city of Westminster in the background - UK votes to leave the EU, Brexit concept. (5757889)

If, as expected, the deal is rejected it remains to be seen what the ramifications will be.

Labour has pledged to trigger a vote of no confidence if the Brexit deal is defeated but that is likely to fall; other options could be a second vote - or a "People's Vote" or a renegotiation with the EU.

Among the most outspoken critics is the former defence secretary and Sevenoaks MP Michael Fallon.

The MP, who is regarded as a party loyalist, says the deal is a huge gamble.

He is among eight MPs who are poised to vote against the government: Damian Collins, Charlie Elphicke, Craig Mackinlay, Tracey Crouch, Rosie Duffield (Labour), Adam Holloway, Gordon Henderson and Rehman Chishti have opposed the deal.

But there are six MPs who will support the deal: Helen Whately, Greg Clark, Roger Gale, Damian Green, Helen Grant and Kelly Tolhurst.

Two Kent MPs have yet to declare their hand: Tonbridge and Malling MP Tom Tugendhat and Dartford MP Gareth Johnson are both yet to publicly state how they will vote.

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