Driver caught speeding blames Theresa May’s crushing Brexit defeat

‘Another new excuse for us,’ police admit after motorist claims coverage of vote left them distracted

Tom Barnes
Wednesday 16 January 2019 16:59 GMT
MPs reject Theresa May's Brexit deal in overwhelming 432-202 majority

A driver blamed Theresa May’s resounding Brexit defeat in the Commons for their inability to stay under the speed limit after being caught out by police.

The motorist offered up the unusual excuse to Devon and Cornwall Police officers on Tuesday evening as the prime minister’s withdrawal deal was rejected by MPs 432 votes to 202.

When asked by officers why they had been travelling at 86mph, the driver had replied: “I was listening to the results of the Brexit vote.”

“Another new excuse for us,” the force’s road safety team later said in a post on Twitter.

Ms May will face a no-confidence vote tabled by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn on Wednesday after Parliament rejected her Brexit deal by a historic margin.

While she is forecast to survive the confidence latest vote after rebel Conservative MPs who failed to back her deal said they would reject Mr Corbyn’s motion, the future of Britain’s scheduled exit from the European Union remains unclear.

Following the rejection of the deal, Ms May told Parliament on Tuesday evening she wanted to reach out to MPs to discuss what kind of withdrawal agreement would win the support of the Commons.

“The exercise [is] about listening to the views of the house, about wanting to understand the views of parliamentarians so that we can identify what could command the support of this house and deliver on the referendum,” she said.

Support free-thinking journalism and attend Independent events

However, shadow chancellor John McDonnell has complained that she had not invited Mr Corbyn or any of the other party leaders for talks.

Mr McDonnell warned Downing Street’s commitment to an “independent trade policy”, which would rule out Labour’s preferred customs union option, meant talks may never get off the ground.

“She is now laying conditions down about those discussions which look as though they will prevent any discussion of a permanent customs union,” Mr McDonnell told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

Meanwhile, campaigners for a Final Say referendum have stepped up their efforts, with 71 Labour MPs signing a letter demanding their party commit itself “unequivocally” to a public vote if the no-confidence motion fails.

Tory former attorney general Dominic Grieve tabled two bills to enable the House of Commons to consider and deliver a fresh referendum.

“Holding a public vote is now essential as the only credible way out of the current crisis,” he said.

“The public should be allowed to decide on any deal to take us out of the European Union and be given the alternative to remain if they wish.”

Additional reporting by agencies

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in