Saturday 30 June 2018

Brexitwatch: a potentially important promise from Labour

Last month, I received an assurance from Labour's Brexit spokesperson, Sir Keir Starmer, who happens to be my MP. The party has 6 tests, which are supposed to form the criteria against which it will take a decision on any Brexit deal. Worryingly they had been rubbished at a private meeting by Labour's 'shadow international trade secretary' Barry Gardiner.

After I raised this with Sir Keir, he reassured me that Mr Gardiner had 'retracted' his comments, and 'reiterated: if the PM's final A50 deal fails the six tests, Labour will vote against.'

This appeared very significant. From what we have seen so far, it looks likely that any deal might fail all six tests, but two in particular would seem impossible to pass:

1 That the deal should deliver 'the “exact same benefits” as we currently have as members of the single market and customs union'

2. That it must 'deliver for all regions and nations of the UK'

But I felt I needed to clarify Sir Keir's promise a little, so I emailed him as follows:

Dear Sir Keir,
Thank you for this. Just to be clear. I take it to mean that if the final deal fails ANY of the six tests, then Labour will vote against it?

It has taken me a while to get a reply, but now this has come through:

'Yes, all six tests must be satisfied.
Otherwise, we vote against.'

That seems to be crystal clear. 

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