This is why Hull MPs face tough decisions in Parliament vote on Brexit today

By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 12 Jun 2018

Hull MPs face a tough call this week as they consider proposed Brexit changes.

Peers in the House of Lords made 15 key amendments to the EU Withdrawal Bill – the piece of legislation which will write the referendum result into British law.

After that series of defeats for Theresa May’s Government last month, Hull and East Yorkshire MPs will have to play their part in deciding whether they stay or go during showdown votes on Tuesday, June 12, and Wednesday, June 13.

Why are the Lords' Brexit votes important?


The Government is facing a series of crunch votes on its flagship Brexit legislation this week

The whole direction of Brexit could change with these votes.

The Government is most concerned about the so-called “meaningful vote” amendment – aka the “stop Brexit” clause – as it could derail the negotiations with Brussels altogether.

Conservative whips are anxious a small group of Tory rebels could help Labour defeat Theresa May and ensure it is Parliament – and not ministers – who take control of the Brexit process if MPs vote down the final exit deal in the autumn.

Such a result could see MPs demand the Prime Minister goes back to the negotiating table or even scrap the plan to leave the EU altogether.

Is that Theresa May’s only concern?


Prime Minister Theresa May is battling to keep Tory rebels onside during the Lords amendment votes

No. Mrs May also faces trouble with a vote to stay in the customs union. A vote is expected to be tight but on Monday night there were talks over a concession which could see the rebels back down.

Other votes, on things like environmental protections and determining the Brexit deadline date, are thought to be less troubling.

The Government has already given way on one of the 15 amendments – it has accepted the demand from peers to write into law that the UK will work closely with EU agencies (such as the European Medical Agency and Euratom) after Brexit.

What is the Labour Party’s role in all this?


Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is attempting to solve in divisions among his own MPs on EEA membership (Image: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire)

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn might be confident he can inflict defeat on the Tories on the meaningful vote amendment but he faces troubles of his own.

His party is split over how to vote on the single market amendment.

The peers in the Lords used an amendment to call on the Government to negotiate, alongside the divorce talks with Brussels, to remain in the European Economic Area (EEA) – the so-called “Norway model”.

It would mean the UK would be able to trade freely with EU member states, with freedom of movement also continuing, but the country would have no say over the rules governing trade or standards after Brexit.

Why are Labour MPs divided over the single market?


Labour's Brexit spokesman Keir Starmer has steered the party towards a softer Brexit

Sources close to the Labour whips office said, despite support among some MPs to remain in the EEA, there would not be enough support to defeat the Government on the EEA amendment given dozens of Labour MPs in leave voting constituencies – such as Hull – held concerns about free movement continuing after Brexit.

Mr Corbyn is expected to demand his MPs abstain on the EEA vote on Wednesday and, in a bid to rein in the rebellion, the Labour leadership has published its own amendment on the single market which it hopes the party can unite around.

It calls for “full access” to the single market, calling it a “more credible and effective approach” than remaining in the EEA.

How will my local Hull or East Yorkshire MP vote?


Hull Labour MPs - Karl Turner, Emma Hardy and Diana Johnson - pictured with shadow health secretary, Jon Ashworth

Mr Corbyn is not expected to have a tough time with his Hull contingent.

Two of the three MPs have jobs working on or for the party’s front bench, meaning they would most likely have to resign if they voted for the EEA amendment.

Karl Turner, MP for Hull East, is shadow transport minister while Emma Hardy, MP for Hull West and Hessle, works as an aide to Labour Brexit spokesman Keir Starmer.

Diana Johnson, MP for Hull North, is free to vote as she wishes in her backbench role. But given her constituency voted to leave at the referendum, the odds of her voting to remain in the EEA are slim.


Haltemprice and Howden MP David Davis and Goole MP Andrew Percy (pictured centre right and far right) campaigned to leave during the 2016 referendum

Migration was a top concern amongst leave voters yet remaining in the EEA would allow migration from EU member states to consider unhindered.

Theresa May is in a similar position when it comes to her Tory MPs – she will not be worried about rebels in the Humber and East Riding.

David Davis, MP for Haltemprice and Howden, has the key role of Brexit secretary while Beverley and Holderness MP Graham Stuart is a trade minister.

Goole MP Andrew Percy and East Riding MP Greg Knight, meanwhile, are both dedicated Eurosceptics meaning both will be happy to vote down any amendments deemed to get in the way of a decisive Brexit.



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