Home Brexit Labour accuses Tories over refusing to move on Brexit red lines

Labour accuses Tories over refusing to move on Brexit red lines

by Mark Fitt Political Journalist
28th Apr 19 11:13 am

The government has been accused by Labour of still refusing to “move on any of their red lines” in their cross party talks.

Rebecca Long-Bailey, shadow business secretary also hit out at the Conservatives that Labour has not been stalling, and “we’re certainly not dragging our heels.”

Long-Bailey told Sky News’ Sophy Ridge on Sunday, “Honestly I think the discussions so far have been productive, they’ve gone into a lot of detail, there seems to be a willingness on both sides to move towards some form of consensus.

“But as yet we haven’t seen the government move on any of their red lines, we’re having further discussions this week and hopefully we’ll see some movement.”

The shadow business secretary added, “But at the moment we are focusing on the detail, where we stand in relation to our relevant positions, and where potentially we could move to.

“But we want to see hard and fast movement on those red lines as quickly as possible.”

Ridge asked if a second referendum is one of Labour’s “red lines” she said the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and his team were “not being hugely prescriptive on the minute detail of specific elements because we are willing to compromise, and we are willing to be flexible.”

When Ridge asked, whether if any proposed deal met all of Labour’s criteria would they sign it off without an agreement and put it to a public vote, Long-Bailey refused to answer.

However, she added if they were not met then “all options are on the table which includes campaigning for a public vote.”

Ridge then said, this sounds like a second referendum is not a red line for Long-Baileys party, Ridge asked, “correct me if I’m wrong?”

Long-Bailey replied: “No, a public vote in the event of the situation that I’ve just outlined has always been our party policy, now we have to be flexible in where we move on, we’ve got to keep all options on the table and that’s what we’re doing.

“So, until we find out what the final deal vote will be, we are of course pushing the Government to consider the policy option that we have which is a public vote to avoid a damaging no-deal Brexit or a bad deal, and they are considering that.

“They haven’t come back with any confirmation as to whether they’ll move on that red line as they haven’t with a number of their other red lines, but certainly we’re outlining our party policy very, very clearly.”

A former Brexit minister claimed that any deal that is voted through Parliament will cause the government to “collapse” as support from the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) will be lost.

Steve Baker, deputy chairman of the European Research Group (ERG) told the Sunday telegraph, “Any [potential] leader who continues to vote for this deal, who accepts it being put through on Labour votes to deliver Brexit in name only, will need to explain how they are going to achieve a confidence and supply arrangement to prop up their government.

“You will find yourself leading a government which collapses if you ram this deal through over the heads of the DUP. I just cannot see how it would be otherwise.”

He added, “This is not just about delivering Brexit, it’s about keeping Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell away from the levers of power.”

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