Tuesday 15 May 2018 / 2:45 PM Brexit / Keir Starmer

Labour to demand release of Cabinet customs papers to break Brexit deadlock – Keir Starmer

Labour will tomorrow (Wednesday) force a binding vote in the House of Commons requiring the Government to publish Cabinet papers on the two customs options being considered by ministers to help break the deadlock in the Brexit negotiations.

A motion to be debated by MPs will call on the Government to release to Parliament all papers prepared for the Brexit sub-committee on the proposed customs partnership and maximum facilitation model, including any economic analysis. Unlike typical opposition day debates, the motion will be binding on the Government.

During the debate, Labour will warn that Theresa May’s Government is too weak and divided to negotiate a new customs relationship with the EU, and urge ministers to put the decision to Parliament to end the impasse once and for all. Labour will also accuse ministers of side-lining Parliament by holding private briefings with only Tory MPs about their customs plans.

The debate comes in a week when Tory splits over future customs arrangements have deepened and Theresa May’s Brexit sub-committee once again failed to decide what the Government’s negotiating position will be.

Speaking ahead of the debate Keir Starmer, Labour’s Shadow Brexit Secretary, said:

“The Government’s Brexit strategy is in complete and utter deadlock.

“Nearly two years on from the referendum ministers have still yet to agree what our future customs and trading relationship with Europe will look like after Brexit. Instead, the Prime Minister has wasted months pursing her two fatally flawed customs options and presiding over a Government that is too busy arguing with itself to negotiate for Britain.

“There is a majority in Parliament, business and the trade union movement that supports Labour’s call for a comprehensive customs union with the EU after Brexit.

“If Theresa May is too weak to take that decision, then she should give Parliament the information to let it decide.”