Commenting on the proposed Brexit agreement, Margaret Beckett MP, Co-Chair of People’s Vote Political Committee, said:
“Boris Johnson thinks he can get this proposal through because he may have secured the backing of the hard right of the Conservative Party. The reality is that the ERG back this plan because they see it as the fastest way still available to get to No Deal.
“The proposal requires there to be a trade deal agreed by the end of 2020. It would be unprecedented and extremely unlikely for this to be achieved. If it is not achieved then the transition period would end and there would be no agreement on our future relationship, i.e., No Deal.
“Boris Johnson has already shown he will use every trick in the book to force his destructive Brexit on the country. And he is once again underlining his disdain for democracy by insisting MPs vote on Saturday when no legal text will be available.
“From what we already know, it is clear this would be a gateway to the hardest of hard Brexits which will fulfil the wildest fantasies of the reckless, the rich and the very right wing who have backed Boris Johnson’s take-over of the Conservative Party. If Steve Baker can vote for this, it is hard to imagine any Labour MP would want to.
“It is straining all credibility to believe that Boris Johnson is sincere in any commitment to workers’ rights and a level playing field on environmental regulation, health and safety and consumer protection. All of that will be dumped the very first chance Johnson gets. His number one focus will be on getting a deal with Donald Trump, not on protecting the low paid or the vulnerable.
“Why else would the ERG have reversed three years of opposition to any deal that contains a backstop or any continued role for the European Court in British affairs unless they thought it was opening the door to their plans to tear up social protection, roll back employment regulations and break up the NHS?
“The biggest myth of all is that this proposal will ‘get Brexit done’. What it will do is open the door to years, if not decades, of increasingly angry and fractious argument at home and abroad. The radicalised supporters of Brexit will press ahead with their domestic agenda of deregulation and tax cuts for the wealthy, while battling in Europe against an EU that will restrict market access to a country that is trying to tear up common rules to protect workers from exploitation and the environment from pollution.
“In short, this is a charter for years of upheaval while our economy suffers from uncertainty and chaos. It is nothing like anything we were promised in 2016 and in the days that come, when decisions of historic proportions are going to be made, it is more important than ever that the demand for a final say – made by the people to the powerful – is heard as never before.
“On Saturday, hundreds of thousands of people will be outside Parliament demanding their voice is heard. It is imperative on all politicians inside Parliament to heed the call for a People’s Vote which is the only democratic way to solve this crisis.”