by derekdeedman on 28 February, 2017
Joe Otten | Tue 28th February 2017 – 11:24 am
A cross party amendment to keep Britain in the Single Market was lost yesterday by 299 votes to 136 after Labour Lords who voted were mostly against, and Conservatives turned out in greater numbers.
Liberal Democrat leader in the Lords Dick Newby commented.
By far the best option for our economy is to stay in the Single Market. Unfortunately Theresa May’s Government is hell bent on dragging us towards a hard Brexit.
Whatever deal May comes back with is quite simply not going to be as good as remaining in the Single Market. That is why we voted to ask her to think again on this vital issue.
It is extremely disappointing that Labour chose not support this amendment despite the costs of a hard Brexit on working people’s jobs and prosperity.
Were any reasons given for this capitulation? It seems that anything less than hard Brexit is to be described as ignoring the referendum. Never mind that the referendum did not specify hard or soft, and that waverers were assured – were promised – that co-operation would continue where it is in everybody’s interests. On any other policy, a decent opposition would not only support amendments to defend the public interest, but would refuse to vote with the government unless those amendments were accepted. The majority in the Lords is failing not only to give any voice to the 48% but is abandoning the wiser half of the 52% too.
It is clear that the Liberal Democrats are the true opposition to the Conservative Brexit Government.
* Joe Otten is a councillor in Sheffield and Tuesday editor of Liberal Democrat Voice
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