On 1st February, the first vote on the Government’s Article 50 Bill took place in the House of Commons. This is the Bill that will enable the Government to begin the process of negotiating Britain's withdrawal from the EU. This vote followed a non-binding vote on 7th December, in which a majority of MPs, including Michael, agreed that the Government’s plan to trigger Article 50 by March 31st would be backed.
Michael voted in favour of the Bill and it was carried by 498 to 119.
Commenting, Michael said:
“As I have previously made clear, I believe Parliament voted to let the people decide the issue about our membership of the EU in the referendum - it is only right therefore that Parliament abide by the outcome of that referendum.”
This means the Bill will now move on next week to what is called 'the committee stage' where it will be scrutinised by the House of Commons and where amendments can be considered. Labour tabled a number of amendments to ensure the UK gets the best possible deal from the UK’s exit. These included an amendment to secure full access to the single market and protect workers’ rights, another to guarantee the legal rights of EU nationals living in the UK and another seeking to retain existing EU tax avoidance measure that would prevent the UK from becoming a tax-haven.
There are also amendments that will ensure accountability and scrutiny of the Government’s actions. Amendments have been tabled to ensure the progress being made on exit negotiations are reported to Parliament every two months, impact assessments are made of potential trading arrangements and devolved administrations are consulted throughout negotiations.
The full list of Labour’s proposed amendments can be found here: http://press.labour.org.uk/post/156404587259/labour-tables-targeted-amendments-to-article-50
You can read more about my position on Brexit here in my new year column in the Barnsley Chronicle: http://www.michaeldugher.co.uk/i_voted_remain_but_want_brexit_to_give_us_the_best_deal