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Corbyn urged to back cross party vote against a hard Brexit

Caroline Lucas
Green Party MP Caroline Lucas speaks during the party’s general
election campaign launch in central London February 24, 2015.
Britain will go to the polls in a national election on May


  • Labour urged to back Report Stage amendment which would
    block Theresa May from taking Britain out of the single market
    and customs union.
  • Lib Dem, SNP, Plaid Cymru and Green Party leaders are
    tabling the amendment.
  • Some Labour MPs are becoming increasingly frustrated
    with Jeremy Corbyn’s Brexit policy.


LONDON — The Liberal Democrats, SNP, Plaid Cymru, and Green Party
have urged Labour MPs to back an amendment blocking Theresa May
from dragging Britain out of the single market and customs union.

The Westminster leaders of these opposition parties plan to table
a Report Stage amendment to the EU Withdrawal Bill which, if
passed, would stop the government from removing Britain from the
two institutions as part of Brexit.

This follows a meeting of opposition parties earlier this month
in which leaders agreed to do all they can to prevent a hard
Brexit, which they see as Britain quitting the single market and
customs union as it departs the EU.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn refused to attend the meeting.

However, the other opposition parties hope the amendment will
attract support from enough Labour MPs to put the government at
risk of a significant defeat.

“This amendment is a significant step in the fight against
Brexit, demonstrating the increased willingness of parties to
work together formally rather than just behind the scenes,” Lib
Dem leader Sir Vince Cable said.

“Through the four leaders in the House of Commons, we are
presenting a united front.

“We urge the leadership of a fifth opposition party, Labour, join
us so we can change course from the dangerous Brexit being
pursued by the Conservatives.”

“It’s heartening to see parties working together to halt the
calamitous Tory Brexit plans,” Green Party joint-leader Caroline
Lucas added.

“What happens this year in Parliament will have huge and lasting
repercussions for the country — which is why we’re putting party
differences aside and working alongside each other.

“We urge the Labour leadership to join us in backing this crucial
amendment — and show that they too are willing to put the
national interest first.”

Corbyn is coming under increasing pressure from numerous
Labour MPs to commit to keeping Britain both within the single
market and customs union.

MPs such as Chuka Umunna, Stephen Kinnock and Heidi Alexander
have all urged the party leadership to embrace a softer form of
Brexit. 87% of party members want to stay in the single market,
a recent poll showed.

Some MPs were left frustrated at the party’s most recent
parliamentary meeting after Corbyn reportedly ruled out adopting
a Brexit policy based on staying in the single market and customs

Labour sources told Business Insider that Umunna and “numerous”
other MPs were left disappointed.

However, Umunna did not storm out of the meeting in protest as
suggested in some reports, a source close to the MP
for Streatham told BI.

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