Thursday 23 February 2017 / 5:08 PM 2017 Press Archive / The Latest from Labour

Reports that the Government is considering a concession on parliamentary engagement and a vote on the negotiations are welcome – Smith

Baroness
(Angela) Smith of Basildon, Labour’s Leader in the House of Lords, in response
to reports of potential government concessions on the Article 50 Bill, said:

“Reports
that the Government is considering a serious concession on parliamentary
engagement and a vote on the negotiations are welcome.

“What
happens next is a pivotal moment and will determine the tone and trust in the
weeks, months and years to come on this issue.

“Ministers
have rightly conceded the need for a vote before the deal is concluded and we
welcome that.

“Our
amendment on a vote on the outcome of negotiations has been drafted by taking
note of what happened in the Commons, including ministerial comments, as well
as expert advice from peers in the Lords debates. The Government will have
heard the senior cross bench peer and former Supreme Court judge Lord Hope’s
speech about the need for further
legislation should this Bill not be amended.

“We
believe we would win that vote. The Government of course could try to overturn
it in the Commons.

“But
rather than Ministers just holding to the line that they won’t amend the bill
but will make a statement on the record, it would be a positive and mature
signal for future progress of legislation if having accepted the principle they
write this into the bill.”

Ends