SWINDON MPs dismissed a controversial vote that aimed to prevent the government potentially forcing a no-deal Brexit through parliament.

A majority of MPs passed a backbench amendment which would block any future attempt to prorogue parliament. This could, in turn, force a no-deal Brexit through the House of Commons and House of Lords.

North Swindon MP Justin Tomlinson, South Swindon MP Robert Buckland and North Wiltshire MP James Gray were amongst those against the motion.

Mr Tomlinson said: “Frankly, this vote was just semantics. No-one has the intention to prorogue parliament and nobody is asking for it to be prorogued anyway so a vote was created on something that was not needed.

“This was more about the principle of MPs seeking to bind the hands of a government in the future when it’s not for them to say.

“The reality is it changes nothing as we remain committed to securing a sensible and pragmatic deal that delivers the clear democratic will of Brexit.”

The motion for amendment A to be added to Lords Amendment 1 of the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation) Bill passed by 315 votes in favour and 275 votes against.

All DUP and most Conservative MPs voted along party lines to oppose it but 17 Tories voted for the motion while several abstained. Every opposition party bar Labour MP Kate Hoey and a few independent MPs also supported the amendment.

Mr Buckland said: “I think the prospect of a prime minister proroguing parliament is remote to vanishing and it would be a very difficult thing to do. It would be extremely unlikely and most unattractive to people who want to make sure we have a smooth Brexit.

“I don’t think these votes were necessary or actually going to make much difference to the situation. Frankly, they were irrelevant to a bill that was about the future of Northern Ireland’s government and had nothing to do with Brexit.

“The amendment was added by the House of Lords who then added a further amendment to strengthen it.”However, it was an irrelevance to the political reality of what is more likely to happen so I was more than happy to oppose it. I want to leave the EU on October 31 and I want to see a deal, as do both prime ministerial candidates and we have to work to achieve that with parliament.”

Mr Gray was not available for comment.