MPs plan cross-party alliance to force ‘softer’ Brexit
MPs are planning to form a cross-party alliance to block any proposals for a ‘hard’ Brexit, according to a new report.
A group of parliamentarians want to amend future legislation to force ministers to listen to business groups and to show EU negotiators that the UK favours a “softer” Brexit, the Independent reports.
Pro-EU Conservative MP Anna Soubry said the discussions between MPs “transcend normal party political considerations”. “It doesn’t have to be about forcing votes, but it may come to that. Certainly, the threat of losing a vote will weigh very heavily on the Government’s mind.”
Ms Soubry said she was in contact with Labour MPs about co-ordinating a cross-party effort. Former Labour minister Chris Leslie said there had been informal discussions, adding: “My door is always open to MPs from any party, because we have got to put the country first.”
One Conservative MP told the paper that the aim was designed to help “bullied” ministers “speak out” against Brexit. Another said the move would show Brussels that Parliament could “coordinate” to ensure policy was more pro-EU. “It would really show how power has shifted if Parliament can coordinate itself – and that’s not impossible,” the MP said.
Sir Vince Cable, the Liberal Democrat leadership hopeful, said: "Informally all kinds of networks are being established and I have been sounded out by several of them. There are a lot of Conservative MPs who may not have put up a flag called Remain but are very, very worried about the more extreme options on the table and would like to keep either the customs union, or the single market, or both.”
It is thought that some, but not all, MPs involved want to keep Britain in the single market and customs union.
The discussions remain tentative until the Government has passed the Queen’s Speech.