David Lammy MP, Caroline Lucas MP, Jo Swinson MP and Bridget Phillipson MP will tomorrow (Tuesday) launch a new report, “Shining a Light on Alternative Brexits: Norway Plus, Labour’s Plan and No Deal”. They will call on advocates of each of these forms of Brexit to answer fundamental questions about how and whether their plan could be negotiated and the impact that such a course would have.
The report considers that the two alternative Brexit ‘deals’ being mooted - Norway Plus and Labour’s plan - could not be realised without Parliament accepting the binding withdrawal agreement, including the Northern Ireland backstop, along with a different non-binding political declaration. It is hard to see how MPs opposed to the withdrawal agreement could vote for either plan.
The report sets out five fundamental questions which proponents of both Norway Plus and Labour’s alternative plan must answer, and fifty unanswered questions about a ‘no deal’ Brexit. It is only right that these questions are confronted over the coming days, when the principles of clarity, scrutiny and honesty will be crucial for Parliament to do its job properly.
The report asks advocates of a ‘Norway Plus’ Brexit to explain:
- How long would it take to negotiate?
- Would the backstop still be required?
- How much would the UK end up paying?
- Would the UK continue to apply the EU’s free movement rules?
- Would the UK become a rule taker?
Likewise, supporters of Labour’s Brexit plan must answer:
- Could it really be negotiated before the UK has left the EU to avoid the need for a backstop?
- Would it make the UK poorer?
- What would be the UK’s relationship to the single market?
- Would the UK still follow EU state aid rules?
- Would the UK have any say over its trade policy?
David Lammy MP, leading supporter of People’s Vote, said:
“As today’s report sets out, it is becoming clear that there is no Parliamentary majority for any Brexit option, and the only way forward will be a People’s Vote.
“With the clock ticking ever louder towards March 29th, we now need leadership in the national interest. A further spin of the wheel or roll of the dice is pointless. There is little appetite for another round of fantasy Brexit proposals in which all kinds of false promises are made only to flake apart in negotiations. There will be no patience for another pretence that the UK can have the full benefits of EU membership, end freedom of movement and make its own trade deals.
“What is needed now is for Parliament to demonstrate there is a clear majority against a no deal Brexit and then make an honest assessment of alternatives to the Government’s proposed deal. It is surely right that these are given serious consideration but also that they are subject to the same minimal standards of scrutiny that led so many MPs to conclude they could not support the Government’s Brexit plan.
“When every route to Brexit has been examined and exhausted, it will become clear there is only one way forward – to hand the final decision back to the British public through a People’s Vote. This is not an easy decision to take and we recognise that many MPs will support this reluctantly, but as the days go on and the clock ticks down, more and more MPs will see this as preferable to forcing a Brexit plan through for which the country did not vote.”
Notes to Editors:
- The report – Shining a Light on Alternative Brexits: Norway Plus, Labour’s plan and no deal – is available to download here:https://bit.ly/2RXGgA9