Brexiteer Labour MPs 'demand say on future EU talks' as price for backing deal

Posted On: 
16th March 2019

Government ministers are holding private talks with Labour MPs from Leave-backing seats in a last-ditch bid to secure support for Theresa May’s Brexit plan. 

Up to 20 of Jeremy Corbyn's MPs could back May's deal if assurances are given.

The Independent reports that Labour Brexiteers have called for legislation to ensure parliament’s right to shape future relations with the EU in exchange for any backing of the Prime Minister's deal.

Senior ministers, including Chancellor Philip Hammond, also held talks with the DUP on Friday to try and win support for Mrs May’s deal ahead of the latest vote next week.

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The Prime Minister will make a third attempt to get her EU withdrawal deal approved by Parliament on Tuesday.

Some Labour MPs are believed to have asked for more certainty that the deal will pass before they agree to back it publicly.

One Labour MP involved in the talks told The Independent: “Parliament should have an opportunity to be able to express views on all of the different aspects – that was said, it should not be a problem – but it never materialised in writing.

“What colleagues were looking for was something much more definitive from the prime minister.”

Another added: “If we get the assurances we want, then up to 20 Labour MPs could back her when the vote comes back.

“And it means that even if she is ousted by her own MPs, then we have those assurances laid down in law.”

The Government has already suffered two historic defeats over Mrs May’s deal, with the first losing by 230 votes and the second by 149 votes on Tuesday.

On Thursday, 41 Labour MPs defied Jeremy Corbyn’s called to abstain from the vote on a second Brexit referendum, with 24 supporting a referendum and 17 against.

Shadow ministers Yvonne Fovargue, Emma Lewell-Buck, Justin Madders, party whip Stephanie Peacock and parliamentary aide Ruth Smeeth all voted against the deal before quitting their party roles.