‘Rushed’, ‘Nothing new’: Progressives respond to Brexit white paper

Labour, Lib Dems, Greens and TUC are not impressed


Britain’s preogressive parties have slammed the government’s Brexit white paper, calling it ‘rushed’ and with little detail on how Britain will leave the European Union.

Keir Starmer, Labour’s shadow Brexit Secretary, called the white paper ‘a wishlist, not an action plan’. he said:

“For months they have refused to publish a plan or allow proper scrutiny, and when they are finally forced to produce a White Paper it is rushed, limited and not well thought through.

The White Paper offers no certainty for EU citizens living in the UK, no additional detail on how workers’ and consumer rights will be protected, and nothing on how full tariff-free access to the single market will be delivered.”

He said Labour would be pushing for ammendments on the Article 50 Bill next week.

Frances O’Grady, General Secretary of the Trades Union Congress, said:

Green Party co-leader Caroline Lucas added:

Tim Farron, leader of the Liberal Democrats, said:

“All we’ve seen on Brexit this week is a White Paper from the Tories and a white flag from Labour.

Both are now committed to a hard Brexit that will do untold damage to our economy.

No matter how this government dresses it up, tearing up Britain’s membership of the single market will mean more red tape for business and fewer opportunities for future generations.”

The Lib Dems are calling for a referendum on the Brexit deal.

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4 Responses to “‘Rushed’, ‘Nothing new’: Progressives respond to Brexit white paper”

  1. David Lindsay

    If the result of the EU referendum was a vindication of the economic vision of someone like Daniel Hannan, then Leave won in all the wrong places. As, for that matter, did Remain, of which more anon. The same is at least broadly true of immigration. The one specific promise made by the Leave campaign to those who, unlike me, would not necessarily have voted Leave anyway, was that there would be an extra £350 million per week for the NHS.

    But there is no mention of that in today’s White Paper, which has bizarrely been published on the day after Second Reading of the Bill to which it relates. In view of this omission, and having indicated its acceptance of the referendum result by voting for Second Reading, Labour ought to vote against Third Reading. That would constitute a challenge to Conservatives such as Neil Carmichael, who has broken cover today.

    Until 2010, his seat of Stroud was held by the admirable Labourite David Drew, who was still only 4,866 votes short when he sought to recapture it in 2015. I for one would very much like to see Drew back in Parliament. But Carmichael clearly has other worries, and he has good cause to have them. Every constituency in a Remain area, but for which the MP voted for Second Reading last night, is now a Liberal Democrat target seat. Overwhelmingly, those MPs are Conservatives in the South of England. Using the NHS excuse to abstain, at least, at Third Reading might very well be their last hope of remaining in Parliament after 2020.

    It might also be enough to kill this Bill. Thereby requiring the Government to produce one that did indeed honour the result of the referendum: withdrawal from the EU, leading to an extra £350 million per week for the NHS. Or face defeat at the polls overall by the party that would do precisely that.

  2. Gary Hogg

    Liberal Democrats are “Progressives” but SNP are not?

  3. Alma

    Just to notice for UK, there are countries outside EU and countries that joined the EU in the past years. Why are you scared of? There is life after EU!

  4. Craig Mackay

    This pointless White Paper repeats the brave words of Theresa May’s speech but principally demonstrates the curse of the word processor where vast tracts of weapons-grade guff may be cut and pasted to fill out a document. This guarantees it is even less readable than we ever expected. We simply know nothing more than what she had already said apart from the fact that it is clear she and her staff simply haven’t a clue what to do in the next two years.

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