A FEW days ahead of the EU Brexit deal vote in Parliament the Government was defeated over an amendment to the Finance Bill on Tuesday night .

As Minister of State at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the Devizes MP Claire Perry supports the deal while her neighbour James Gray in North Wiltshire is opposed.

Both MPs supported the Government on Tuesday. The cross-party amendment tabled by the Labour MP Yvette Cooper was supported by 20 Conservative MPs as well as the opposition parties with a majority for the amendment of 303 to 296 votes.

The MP for North Wiltshire said: “It was an insignificant bill which would allow the Government to raise the level of VAT and other taxes. I can’t predict what will happen next but the Prime Minister’s EU deal will be defeated next week, and she will then have 21 days to go back to the EU to get a better deal.”

When the Government’s revised deal is voted down James Gray MP expects the EU will then give more ground over the Northern Ireland backstop issue, and it will be a chance for Theresa May to “talk turkey” with Brussels as March 29 gets closer.

“What the EU has proposed is unacceptable. It divides the UK with serious consequences for Northern Ireland and will cost £39bn,” he said.