SINGLE MARKET VOTE – MURRAY AND WHITFIELD TO VOTE AGAINST HARD BREXIT
Scottish Labour MPs Ian Murray and Martin Whitfield have vowed to back the Single Market in a historic Commons vote secured by Labour Lords last night.
Following the government’s shock defeat by 245 votes to 218 in the upper house, Theresa May will now be forced to give MPs a vote on the European Economic Area.
With Tory rebels confident they have the numbers to help defeat a hard Brexit, the only stumbling block to Single Market membership is now the Labour frontbench.
Ian Murray, MP for Edinburgh South, and Martin Whitfield, MP for East Lothian, have urged the leadership to do what’s right for Scotland and the UK, and protect jobs and defend workers’ rights.
In a joint statement, Ian Murray and Martin Whitfield said:
“This stunning defeat for the government in the Lords shows that the fight against a hard Brexit is far from over.
“Labour peers have forced the Prime Minister to give MPs a vote on remaining in the European Economic Area, and when that time comes we will vote in favour of doing so.
“We know we will be joined by many of our party colleagues from England and Wales, other opposition parties and a number of Tory MPs. If the Labour leadership wants to, we can now stop a hard Brexit in its tracks.
“There is no such thing as a good Brexit, but if we are to leave the EU then the least-worst option – to protect jobs and defend rights – is permanent UK membership of the Single Market.
“We urge our colleagues in Scottish Labour and the Labour leadership at Westminster to stand up for workers and defeat Theresa May’s destructive Brexit.”
NOTES TO EDITORS
Brexit: Peers call for UK to remain in European Economic Area: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-44038476
The European Economic Area is the area which provides for the free movement of people, goods, services and capital within the European Single Market. Membership is open to EU member states or European Free Trade Association (EFTA) countries. Three of the four member states of the EFTA (Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) are in the EEA. Switzerland has not joined but has a series of bilateral agreements with the EU.
The European Single Market is an agreement between the 28 EU member states and members of the European Economic Area (Norway, Liechtenstein and Iceland). It allows the free movement of goods, services, money and people.
The Customs Union consists of all 28 member states of the EU, Monaco, and some territories of the UK which are not part of the EU (such as the Channel Islands). Through separate agreements, the EU is in customs unions with Andorra, San Marino, and Turkey, with the exceptions of certain goods. The Customs Union abolishes all internal tariffs on goods and establishes a common external tariff on goods.