Eu: Withdrawal and Future Relationship (Motions)

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:58 pm on 27th March 2019.

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Photo of Keir Starmer Keir Starmer Shadow Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union 3:58 pm, 27th March 2019

I welcome this debate. It is a historic day for this Parliament and for the power of MPs. In that spirit, I will keep my remarks very short, because this is a day for Back Benchers and for those putting forward their case for particular propositions. I believe there are some 47 Members who want to speak.

Labour’s approach today is that we will support amendments that are consistent with the two credible options we have set out on a number of occasions: a close economic partnership based on a customs union and close single market alignment; and a public vote to prevent no deal or a damaging Brexit. We will oppose those amendments that either offer no route forward or set out an approach that is inconsistent with our policy. In that spirit, I can confirm that we will be whipping tonight to support: amendment (K), in my name and in the name of the Leader of the Opposition; amendment (J), the customs union amendment tabled by the Father of the House, Mr Clarke; and amendment (M), in the name of my right hon. Friend Margaret Beckett, which was tabled, of course, after much consultation and support from my hon. Friends the Members for Hove (Peter Kyle) and for Sedgefield (Phil Wilson). I will come on to amendment (D) in just one moment.

Let me start with motion (K), which mirrors the five pillars of the plan that we have set out on many occasions, both in this House and in the letter from the Leader of the Opposition to the Prime Minister in February.