Tory MPs could rebel on Keir Starmer's Brexit motion
Labour’s Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer will tomorrow challenge MPs to vote on whether Theresa May’s government must publish its Brexit plan before Article 50 is triggered.
In an opposition day debate after Prime Minister’s Questions, Starmer will propose a motion crafted to please Leave and Remain MPs alike. Up to 40 Conservative MPs are rumoured to be considering a rebel vote in favour.
The motion says the House of Commons respects the EU referendum result and does not want to reveal information ‘that could be reasonably judged to damage the UK in any negotiations’ – two arguments used by the government and Brexit supporters against parliamentary scrutiny.
But it says MPs must scrutinise the Brexit process, and ‘calls on the Prime Minister to commit to publishing the government’s plan for leaving the EU before Article 50 is invoked’.
The move comes amid divisions among Labour MPs over the party’s Brexit policy.
Back in October, Starmer – a former Director of Public Prosecutions – released 170 questions for the government on Brexit, none of which were answered.
Here is the full text of the motion:
“That this House recognises that leaving the EU is the defining issue facing the UK;
notes the resolution on parliamentary scrutiny of the UK leaving the EU agreed by the House on 12 October 2016;
recognises that it is parliament’s responsibility to properly scrutinise the government while respecting the decision of the British people to leave the European Union;
confirms that there should be no disclosure of material that could be reasonably judged to damage the UK in any negotiations to depart from the European Union after Article 50 has been triggered;
and calls on the Prime Minister to commit to publishing the government’s plan for leaving the EU before Article 50 is invoked.”
Adam Barnett is staff writer for Left Foot Forward. Follow him on Twitter @AdamBarnett13Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by becoming a Left Foot Forward Supporter today.