Yesterday I responded for Labour to an Opposition Day debate on the current Brexit negotiations called by the SNP. Unfortunately, the SNP used the debate to discuss process issues around the extension of the transition period, rather than the substantial issues at stake in the talks – and framed it as part of their campaign for Scottish independence.
When Parliament was debating the Withdrawal Agreement Bill back in January, Labour warned of the foolishness of the Government tying its hands by committing the date for the end of the transition into statute. But our amendment was rejected and the departure date was locked in law. We are now past the date when an extension could have been sought under the agreement with the EU.
So I used the opportunity to press the Government on their approach to the talks. At the General Election, the Prime Minister promised an ‘oven ready’ deal, based on the Withdrawal Agreement and the Political Declaration. As the Tories try to renege on their commitments, and the talks are therefore stalling, we are pushing them to honour their promises.
See the closing part of my speech below and read it in full here.