Labour MPs table motion to throw out Article 50 Brexit bill

Total of 18 backbenchers say they support Heidi Alexander's proposals

Saturday 28 January 2017 17:28
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Former Shadow Health Secretary Heidi Alexander
Former Shadow Health Secretary Heidi Alexander

A Commons motion to throw out the Government’s bill to trigger Article 50 has been tabled by a group of backbench Labour MPs.

Proposed by former shadow health secretary Heidi Alexander, the motion has the support of 18 backbenchers.

The motion argues the Government has not safeguarded British interests in the single market.

The Government published a two-clause bill after the Supreme Court ruled that the process to begin Brexit could not be triggered without parliamentary approval.

Mike Gapes, a Labour MP who has supported the motion, described Theresa May’s plans as “masochist madness”.

“Membership of the single market and the customs union were not on the ballot paper and leading Leave campaigners said we could be like Norway or Switzerland,” Mr Gapes told The Independent.

“But this vote will put us onto an escalator for the damaging and irreversible plan. I am not prepared to collaborate with this masochist madness.”

Ms Alexander said that although some had called her a “democracy denier”, the opposite was actually the case.

“When you have the Conservative manifesto claiming that they would ‘safeguard British interests in the single market’, when the words single market didn’t even appear on the ballot paper, and the debate which preceded the vote was so misleading, I don’t feel democracy has been very well served,” Ms Alexander told the Guardian.

Other notable MPs who have endorsed the motion include Owen Smith, Stella Creasy and Tulip Siddiq, who resigned from the Labour frontbench after Jeremy Corbyn urged his MPs to support Ms May’s article 50 bill.

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