Protecting economy and ensuring parliament approves final deal are key in this week's Brexit votes
“This week, Parliament has a chance to decisively shape the Brexit process and to steer the Government away from an extreme and destructive course.
These will be the most significant votes in Parliament since the start of the Article 50 process and they come at time when the negotiations have stalled, and the Cabinet remains split over two unworkable customs options.
I remain committed to giving Parliament a vote on the final deal, and supporting a customs union to protect jobs and our economy.
Labour’s focus will be on two key amendments: on a customs union and strengthening the terms of the ‘meaningful vote’ for Parliament. I will be supporting both of these amendments which are vital to ensure that Parliament takes control of the Brexit process and that jobs and the economy are put first in negotiations.
Labour will also seek to retain multiple amendments which were passed in the House of Lords. These include amendments on issues such as workers’ rights and environmental protections and the Charter of Fundamental Rights.
We will abstain on Lords amendment 51 concerning the European Economic Area (EEA). We do not believe this is the best way to deliver the new single market deal we need to protect jobs and the economy. The EEA is also inconsistent with Labour’s commitments on a customs union with the EU and would not prevent a hard border in Northern Ireland.
It is important that we aim to maintain a meaningful relationship with the Single Market rather than pursue the EEA (European Economic Area) or EFTA (European Free Trade Area) options which are fraught with difficulties for both agriculture and manufacturing.
Labour has tabled a frontbench amendment to this setting out a clear commitment to a new Single Market deal that includes: full access, no new impediments to trade, common rights and standards and protections, underpinned by shared institutions and regulations."