Starmer denies Labour would abstain on Withdrawal Agreement bill

Shadow Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union Keir Starmer and Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn. Photograph: PA Wire.

Shadow Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union Keir Starmer and Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn. Photograph: PA Wire.

PA Wire/PA Images

Shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer has denied that Labour have considered abstaining on Theresa May’s Brexit bill - telling the House of Commons it will vote it down.

Become a Supporter

Almost four years after its creation The New European goes from strength to strength across print and online, offering a pro-European perspective on Brexit and reporting on the political response to the coronavirus outbreak, climate change and international politics. But we can only continue to grow with your support.

Sir Keir warned Labour opposes passing key legislation designed to implement the Withdrawal Agreement if no Brexit deal has been agreed.

Sir Keir said that Brexit secretary Steve Barclary told MPs in February that it was key to approve a Brexit deal ahead of the Withdrawal Agreement Bill, and asked if a fourth meaningful vote would be held before the legislation is introduced next month.

Barclay noted talks with Labour are ongoing over the Brexit deal and reiterated MPs will have a chance to vote on the legislation after the Whitsun recess.

You may also want to watch:

Sir Keir replied: "I'd have thought it was patently clear that if the prime minister's deal is put for a fourth time, if it's allowed, it will fail just as it has failed three times already.

"But I want to make it clear that Labour opposes the idea of passing the Withdrawal Agreement Bill without an agreed deal - that would put the cart before the horse, and Labour will vote against at second reading on that basis.

"How on Earth does the Secretary of State think that a Bill to implement a deal that isn't before the House can pass in two weeks' time, or is this about keeping the prime minister in office for another week to give her a lifeline for today's meeting of the 1922 Committee?"

A Labour spokesman for Jeremy Corbyn refused to rule out six times abstaining on the bill.

The spokesman told journalists: "We voted to trigger Article 50, we respect the result of the referendum."

They added: "We're not in the business of getting into a car without knowing where it's going."

Become a Supporter

Almost four years after its creation The New European goes from strength to strength across print and online, offering a pro-European perspective on Brexit and reporting on the political response to the coronavirus outbreak, climate change and international politics. But we can only rebalance the right wing extremes of much of the UK national press with your support. If you value what we are doing, you can help us by making a contribution to the cost of our journalism.

Become a supporter

Related articles

You've seen the news, now discover the story

The New European is committed to providing in-depth analysis of the Brexit process, its implications and progress as well as celebrating European life.

Try 13 weeks for £20

Latest Articles

Most Read

latest issue

ANTI-BREXIT EVENTS

Find your nearest pro-European campaigning activities, talks, protests and events nationwide.