Labour: Expert predicts ‘big silent rebellion’ over Brexit vote
The Labour leader has urged his party to support the Conservatives’ Brexit deal when it goes to a vote today. MPs are largely expected to back the deal – though a number of Labour rebels have refused to do so.
Sir Keir has previously been branded a ‘remainer lawyer’ by Dominic Cummings.
The Labour head now intends to erase that label as he looks towards the 2024 general election.
Sir Keir told the Guardian: “We’ve left the EU and the remain/leave argument is over.
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“In our general election campaign in 2024, we will be a future-looking Labour party and a future Labour government – not one that looks behind us.”
He also appeared to hit out at MPs willing to vote against the Brexit deal, stating that doing so would be “voting for no deal”.
The Scottish National Party, the DUP and the Liberal Democrats have all indicated they will not be supporting the Brexit deal in today’s vote.
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It is still expected to pass through Parliament successfully, meaning the agreement will be ratified in time for the December 31 deadline.
Sir Keir added: “If we come into government in 2024 – and I hope we do – we will inherit this deal. The public in Britain would expect us to make this deal work.”
The Labour leader also claimed it would be “unlikely” that Brexit or the EU would even feature in Labour’s next general election campaign.
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Meanwhile, Prime Minister Boris Johnson is due to urge MPs to take “control of our laws and our national destiny” in a speech ahead of today’s vote.
According to the BBC, Mr Johnson will add: “The central purpose of this bill is to accomplish something which the British people always knew in their hearts could be done, but which we were told was impossible – namely that we could trade and cooperate with our European neighbours on the closest terms of friendship and goodwill, whilst retaining sovereign control of our laws and our national destiny.”
The Prime Minister is also expected to stress he wants the UK to be “the best friend and ally the EU could have”.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and European Council President Charles Michel are expected to sign off the deal this morning.
It will then physically be flown to the UK where Mr Johnson hopes to sign it later in the day.
At the same time, Sir Keir faces calls from senior members of his own party to u-turn and reverse his position on the Brexit deal.
Former Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell is among Labour MPs to have signed a letter calling the Brexit deal “a substantial downgrade of the UK’s relationship with the EU”.
They also claim it represents “a loss of rights and protections for workers, the environment, food standards and many other areas of life”.
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