Labour Plots with Tory Rebels to Frustrate Brexit

Single Market
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Labour Party MPs will collude with Tory rebels to force the prime minister into giving Parliament a binding vote on whether or not to reject the final European Union deal (EU) and potentially block Brexit.

Sir Keir Starmer, Labour’s Brexit spokesman, gave Theresa May a list of six demands the EU withdrawal bill must meet to stop his party attempting to frustrate the UK exit from the bloc on Sunday, The Sunday Times reports.

The government is currently trying to quash a potential rebellion amid fears that more than a dozen of the 300 amendments tabled have enough support among Tory MPs to defeat the government.

If the government does not bow to Sir Keir’s demands, Labour is likely to back 12 rebel Tory amendments, including one tabled by the former attorney-general, Dominic Grieve, requiring an act of parliament to enact Brexit.

The demands include that the proposed two-year Brexit implementation period is included in the bill and extra powers must be devolved to Cardiff, Edinburgh, and Belfast rather than Whitehall.

He also wants the bill to entrench the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights and guarantee all EU human rights law, worker’s rights, consumer rights, and environmental standards in the UK.

Parliament must also be given final approval of any exit agreement.

Writing in The Sunday Times, the shadow minister also said he wants the UK to be open to the possibility of paying an even larger so-called Brexit “divorce bill” when it leaves the bloc.

The EU has estimated that the UK owes €32 billion (£29 billion) in budget commitments on top of the €20 billion the prime minister has already offered as part of a two-year transition deal.

“We are not asking for a clear figure [of the Brexit bill] because we know that could end the talks and maybe even bring down the UK government… but they need to commit in writing to honouring their commitments,” a senior official told the paper.

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