Labour will support Theresa May on the Great Repeal Bill, chief Brexit spokesperson says – Business Insider
LONDON — Labour’s chief Brexit spokesperson in the House of Lords
has suggested that Labour will vote with the Conservative
government on the Great Repeal Bill.
Baroness Hayter said on Monday that Labour has “certainly not
said we will oppose” the bill, despite Labour leader Jeremy
Corbyn last month describing the legislation as “history” and
hinting that he would instruct Labour parliamentarians to vote it
down in a House of Commons vote.
“We will put forward a position in which we negotiate tariff-free
access to the European market and legislate after that,” Corbyn said.
Speaking at an Institute for Government event in central London,
Labour’s shadow Brexit spokesperson in the House of Lords
Baroness Hayter said that the party will focus on “making sure
the government does what it has promised” and ensure “no watering
down”, rather than block the bill from passing altogether.
Last week Labour tabled an alternative Queen’s speech that was
defeated by 323 votes to 297 in the Commons. The amendment
opposed elements of the Great Repeal Bill and was centred on
protecting worker’s rights after Brexit.
Labour’s shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer has
previously refused to be drawn on whether the party would
support the bill, saying that he would wait to study the
legislation, which is still yet to be published.
The Great Repeal Bill was legislation announced by Prime Minister
Theresa May at the Conservative Party in October that will see
all EU law currently affecting UK law transposed into domestic
law. Parliament will be asked to decide which laws out of
hundreds upon hundreds it wants to keep and those it wants to
scrap. The challenge facing parliament was described as the
“largest ever legislative task” in an Institute For
Baroness Hayter added that “the Repeal Bill is putting into law
what is already law,” and that the bigger issue will be “trying
to get the government to have a much more sensible withdrawal.
“[The Repeal Bill] is only a quarter of what will happen…
you’ve got the stack of however many [sic] primary legislation,
you’ll have the withdrawal deal that we’ve been promised a vote
on and then at some point you’ll have some treaties.”
The House of Lords shadow frontbench member also said that the
Lords “will do the job that we do,” asking “nasty little
questions” throughout the Brexit process and that it will be with
the further Brexit bills where Labour “need to hold the
government’s feet to the fire.”