Labour eye nuclear option over no-deal Brexit

PUBLISHED: 19:00 19 November 2018

Shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer has warned the government Labour could seek a no-confidence motion in the House of Commons to stop a no-deal Brexit
Photo: PA / Peter Byrne

Shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer has warned the government Labour could seek a no-confidence motion in the House of Commons to stop a no-deal Brexit Photo: PA / Peter Byrne

PA Wire/PA Images

Labour could attempt to bring down the government in a desperate bid to foil a no-deal Brexit, Sir Keir Starmer has warned.

The shadow Brexit secretary told the Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP) he would work with MPs from across the Commons to halt a damaging hard Brexit.

He added that Labour would use any parliamentary measures at its disposal, including tabling a motion of no confidence in Theresa May’s flagging government.

READ: No-deal danger: WTO rules will force a hard border in Ireland

If such a motion passed, a new government would have to be formed within 14 days and win a confidence vote in the House of Commons.

If the new administration could not do so then there would be a general election.

Sir Keir told the PLP: “The deal the prime minister has brought back is a miserable failure of negotiation. It falls far short of a deal Labour could support.

“If Theresa May’s deal fails to command the support of parliament, then we will not stand back and allow her to take this country off a cliff.

“No deal is not an option. Labour will not countenance no deal – and nor would many of the prime minister’s own MPs.

“It would be politically unsustainable for any government to deliver a no deal without the consent of parliament.

“There will be opportunities to make the majority against no deal heard. Motions will be tabled, amendments will be pressed and a no-confidence vote can be triggered.

“And let me be clear: Labour will work with all sides to make that happen.”

The opposition could use the passage of legislation required in advance of Brexit to table amendments aimed at ruling out a no-deal departure.

Labour could also use the time it is allocated for opposition day debates to attempt to win support for its position.

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