A Labour MP has said he is ‘at a loss as to what the government is trying to achieve’ after he pointed out Margaret Thatcher would not have backed such the Brexit bill Boris Johnson is proposing.
Darren Jones said he initially expected the Tories to listen to Nancy Pelosi’s remarks in America that if the Good Friday Agreement is ignored by the UK government that politicians there would stop a Brexit deal with the US.
But he accepted that this argument would not work with government MPs, so called for them to consider their moral responsibility.
He continued: ‘So I’m at a loss what the government is actually seeking to achieve by acting so irresponsibly. So we’re left merely today with the opportunity to appeal to the conscience of the members of this House, on the constitutional importance this House plays in the situation.
‘Because it is this parliament that is sovereign – not the government. That places a personal obligation on each and everyone of us, which we sign up to when we take our parliamentary oath.
‘We are the cheque and balance of an irresponsible executive.’
In his appeal to MPs, he said: ‘So might I gently say, with the greatest respect as a member of the opposing party, that this reckless disregard for our institutions, for what it means to be British, for how we expect for Britain to be governed, and for our inspirations of Britain’s role in the world is not very Conservative either.
‘We’ve already heard the verdict of three Conservative prime ministers, could you imagine what Mrs Thatcher would say from the despatch box in these circumstances?’
To cries from the opposite benches, Jones told them: ‘I can assure you Mrs Thatcher wouldn’t agree to breaching our international obligations in the rule of law, because the way it weakens our standing in the world, and in our negotiations with the European Union.’
The MP continued to urge politicians to ‘look at the Republican Party to see where this goes if you fail to stand up to it.’
He said it was in the ‘national interest’ and in the ‘interests of your own party’s standing’ to vote down the internal market bill.