Tuesday 5 June 2018 / 4:32 PM Brexit / Keir Starmer

Labour tables amendments to Brexit legislation to force ministers to secure new single market deal

Labour has today tabled amendments to the Government’s Brexit legislation calling on ministers to negotiate a new single market deal that would protect jobs and the economy.

The amendments would require the Government to deliver in four areas:

• Full access to the EU’s Single Market
• Common minimum standards, rights and protections
• Shared UK-EU institutions and regulations
• No new impediments to trade

The proposal, alongside a new comprehensive customs union, would avoid disruption to the UK’s trading relationship with the EU, protect jobs, rights and the economy and ensure no hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

The amendments underline Labour’s determination to retain the benefits of the Single Market and to ensure that Parliament can decisively shape the Brexit process to protect jobs, the economy and rights.

Labour is tabling this amendment as a more credible and effective approach to the Lords’ amendment, which seeks to bind the UK to signing the EEA – in short adopting the ‘Norway Model’.

Keir Starmer MP, Labour’s Shadow Brexit Secretary, said:

“Labour will only accept a Brexit deal that delivers the benefits of the Single Market and protects jobs and living standards.

“Unlike the Tories, Labour will not sacrifice jobs and the economy in the pursuit of a reckless and extreme interpretation of the referendum result.

“Existing Single Market agreements that the EU has negotiated with third countries, including Norway, are bespoke deals negotiated with the EU to serve the best interests of those countries. We need to learn from them and negotiate our own more ambitious agreement, which serves our economic interests and which prevents a hard border in Northern Ireland.

“Two years on from the referendum it is clear that the Government has no plan for how it will protect jobs and the economy, and guarantee no hard border in Northern Ireland.

“Labour’s amendment, along with a commitment to negotiate a new comprehensive customs union with the EU, is a strong and balanced package that would retain the benefits of the Single Market. Parliament should have the opportunity to debate and vote on it.”