Labour to back Brexit bill amendment by Tory rebel Dominic Grieve

Posted On: 
21st November 2017

Labour has said it will back an EU withdrawal bill amendment by Conservative MP Dominic Grieve in order to protect “fundamental rights”. 

Tory rebel Dominic Grieve has won Labour support for an amendment to the Government's EU Withdrawal Bill
PA Images

Mr Grieve has led the Tory rebellion against the Government’s Brexit legislation, tabling a number of high profile amendments aimed at curbing the Bill.

The former attorney general has now won opposition support for a change that would enshrine a new charter of fundamental rights into UK law.

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It would seek to replace current protections that come as part of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, which sets out a range of civil, political and social rights for EU and UK citizens.

Mr Grieve also has the backing of 10 backbench Tory MPs, and with Labour’s support could now defeat the Government in a vote when the Brexit debate resumes in the Commons.

Shadow Brexit Secretary Kier Starmer said: “Labour will not let the Government use Brexit as an excuse to roll back fundamental rights.

“The charter is vital for ensuring the rights of people living in the UK are protected, including the elderly and those from the LGBT community. And yet, ministers want to drop it for the sake of appealing to the extreme voices in the Tory party. 

“This week the Government needs to change course or risk facing a defeat in the House of Commons.”

Campaigners have previously backed the move, with Equality and Human Rights Commission chair David Isaac saying earlier this year: “We have been clear there must be no rowing back on people’s rights after we leave the European Union.

“Rights derived from the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, including important protections for children and older people, must be preserved for UK citizens.”

Liberty director Martha Spurrier meanwhile said: “MPs who believe in freedom, fairness and standing up for their constituents’ rights should vote to keep the Charter.”