As a group of new MPs who are strongly Pro-European and want to retain as much of our relationship with Europe as possible, we signed amendment G to the Queens Speech which called on the Government to set out proposals to remain within the customs union and single market; subsequently Jeremy Corbyn and other members of the Shadow Cabinet set out amendment L to the Queens Speech which called on the Government to deliver the exact same benefits the U.K. has as a member of the single market and the customs union. This amendment helps clarify Labour’s position for us following the Labour Manifesto that stated that negotiating priorities have a strong emphasis on retaining the benefits of the single market and the customs union.

On the day of the vote on the amendments we as a group met Kier Starmer to further press our case and listen to how the party is progressing on BREXIT. The meeting was very constructive and Kier outlined that what we want to achieve is no tariffs for goods travelling between the U.K. and EU and EU to U.K.; no new red tape at customs and a deal for services as for goods. Keir also repeated the points he made in the House on Monday that we should leave being in the customs union on the table and that we should focus on the outcomes and not the structure. Keir also promised us ongoing engagement on Labour’s position on BREXIT and will commit Labour to protecting and enhancing the competent powers of the UK’s devolved administrations.

We are grateful to the party leadership for listening to us and we are happy to have been involved in these cordial and comradely discussions clarifying the party’s Manifesto position. So this evening we voted to support Amendment L and abstained on Amendment G this best represents a united view that is best able to challenge the Government on their hard BREXIT position.

– Alex Sobel MP (Leeds NW)
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