Government defeated on Saturday sitting

Parliament sat on Saturday 19 October 2019 to vote on a motion to approve the Government’s Brexit deal. This was the first time Parliament sat on a Saturday since the Falklands conflict.

I voted in favour of Amendment A which sought to prevent a no-deal exit on 31 October 2019 and allow an opportunity for Parliament to scrutinise the Withdrawal Agreement Bill. The amendment was passed, and the Government was defeated by a majority of 16 votes (322 Ayes, 306 Noes). This was the 10th defeat for Boris Johnson’s Government.

This deal is even worse than Theresa May’s. It is a sell-out deal – selling out people’s jobs, rights and our communities. It would pave the way for a sell-off of our NHS and lead to a decade of deregulation.

Rather than strengthening the Political Declaration along the lines Labour has repeatedly called for, the deal:

  1. Rules out any possibility of negotiating a new customs union – a key demand of business and trade unions.
  2. Prevents a close future relationship with the Single Market and increases barriers to trade with the EU
  3. Significantly weakens workplace rights, consumer rights and environmental protections
  4. Does nothing to address concerns over security cooperation or participation in EU agencies
  5. Would pave the way for a no deal Brexit and crashing out on WTO terms at the end of the transition period.

The changes to the Northern Ireland Protocol will increase barriers to trade for business in Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK, even relative to Theresa May’s deal.

Labour has always been clear that we will not support a flawed Brexit deal that harms jobs, rights and living standards. This deal will unquestionably do that.

The Prime Minister must now comply with the law. He can no longer use the threat of a no-deal crash out to blackmail members to support his sell-out deal. Labour is not prepared to sell out the communities that we represent. We are not prepared to sell out their future and we believe that ultimately the people must have the final say on Brexit – which only the Labour Party is offering.