Labour MP Caroline Flint has revealed she has sent a letter to EU chiefs alongside 18 other Labour MPs, pleading for them to agree a Brexit deal with the UK. The MPs warn that a further delay “will solve nothing” and only add to public division and disenchantment with UK politics – a complete contradiction to Jeremy Corbyn’s stance. They want Brexit to be delivered on October 31 as the Brexit debate has gone on for too long already.
Writing on Twitter, Caroline Flint announced that the letter had been sent to the EU, and said: “An orderly Brexit is better than a No Deal Brexit.
“The public are tied of deadlock and want #Brexit resolved.”
The Labour rebels include Gloria De Piero, shadow minister for women and equalities and former shadow housing minister Melanie Onn.
She attached a copy of the two-page letter, addressed to European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, said: “We write as Labour Members of Parliament who wish to see the British EU referendum result honoured without further delay.
“We hope the Commission and the EU27 will engage with all earnest to reach an accommodation with the UK and we urge flexibility on both sides to reach the common goal of an orderly exit and continued co-operation as neighbours.”
The letter indicated the group of Labour MPs would vote in favour of Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal, if the EU were to sign off on it, in defiance of Mr Corbyn.
The MPs said: “If a no deal can be brought back to the Commons in the coming weeks that avoids a no deal Brexit and ensures greater certainty during the UK’s departure, we believe it serves Britain’s national interest to approve it.
“Our votes will be decisive in determining the approval of that deal.”
They said: “This can only be to the mutual benefit of all our citizens and businesses and a strong future relationship with the UK and the European Union.”
But the letter is unlikely to solve the Brexit impasse, as a Downing Street source said chances of striking a deal with the EU is “overwhelmingly unlikely”.
The comments come after Mr Johnson spoke to German Chancellor Angela Merkel on the phone this morning, with Ms Merkel saying there could only be a deal if Northern Ireland stays in the customs union but if not, then a deal is “overwhelmingly unlikely”.
In response, a Downing Street source said: “The call with Merkel showed the EU has adopted a new position.
“She made clear a deal is overwhelmingly unlikely and she thinks the EU has a veto on us leaving the customs union.”
The source added: “If this represents a new established position, then it means a deal is essentially impossible, not just now but for ever.
“It also made clear that they are willing to torpedo the Good Friday Agreement.”
The Head of the European Parliament poured more cold water on Mr Johnson’s hopes for securing a deal, saying that “there has been no progress” in today’s negotiations.
David Sassoli said: “We (the European Parliament) will not agree to a deal that undermines the Good Friday Agreement and the peace process (on the island of Ireland) or compromise the integrity of our single market.
“There are two alternatives to a deal at this juncture: extension or no deal.”
Published at Tue, 08 Oct 2019 20:05:00 +0000