MIL-OSI UK: Sunday shows round-up: Starmer, Benn, Lammy and Cooper on Brexit

Source: Labour List UK

The Andrew Marr Show

Keir Starmer expressed many of the same views set out in his Fabians conference speech on Saturday, including that delaying Brexit by extending Article 50 is now inevitable and that Labour’s policy is in its ‘third phase’. He also conceded that any Brexit deal at this stage would “probably” require a backstop.

  • On Theresa May’s deal: “I have said for two years we will faithfully look at any deal that is brought back, which is what we did on Tuesday.”
  • On compromise and cross-party talks: “If she… said, my red lines have gone, I’m not going to hold a gun to your heads about no deal, that would shift the position incredibly.”
  • On the backstop: “At this stage any deal probably does require a backstop, and we’ve got to recognise that… There are problems with this backstop and we have got to recognise that. But because we are in this stage of the exercise, nearly two years in, the chances now of a deal that doesn’t have a backstop are very, very slim.”
  • On extending Article 50: “It’s extremely difficult to see how the Prime Minister can achieve what needs to be achieved in 68 days and therefore I think it is inevitable Article 50 is going to be extended. And the blame with that lies with the Prime Minister.”

Hilary Benn, Labour MP for Leeds Central and Brexit select committee chair:

  • On reports that in his office on Monday “backbench plotters” will meet to give control of the Brexit process to the Commons: “MPs doing their job are not plotters, they are trying to sort out the mess the Prime Minister has created. We are facing a national crisis and there are many MPs in the House of Commons whose first priority is to ensure that we do not leave without a deal. And therefore finding ways when we come to table amendments this week and debate on the 29th January how we stop that.”
  • On accusations that Commons officials have acted with bias: “To attack House of Commons clerks and suggest they’re part of a conspiracy is a disgrace. Our clerks are resolutely impartial.”
  • On breaking the deadlock: “I think we have to compromise because parliament is deadlocked and the Prime Minister can’t get around that.”
  • On indicative votes: “I’m in favour of parliament voting on a series of options to see if there’s one that can command majority support.”

Ridge on Sunday

David Lammy, Labour MP for Tottenham:

  • On securing a Brexit deal: “I would prefer a soft Brexit, somewhere like Norway, to Theresa May’s botched deal… I could only vote for it on the basis that there was a final say referendum.”
  • On Jeremy Corbyn’s Brexit position: “He’s moving the goalposts and I’ve been very clear on that… It seems to me there is no point in continuing with votes of no confidence, throwing darts and missing the board… I think that Jeremy has been hedging.”
  • On a Labour split: “There is a small group in our party who are so frustrated, who have so much grievance, the fear is that they are going to go off and form another party.  I personally reject that but the danger is, just like 1983, a new party built around basically a relationship with Europe keeps the Labour Party out of power for a generation.”

Pienaar’s Politics

Andrew Gwynne, Labour MP for Denton and Reddish and Shadow Local Government Secretary:

  • On Labour talks with May: “In terms of opening the door to meaningful negotiations with us, all she’s got to do is give us a verbal commitment that she will do everything possible to prevent a no deal.”

Caroline Flint, Labour MP for Don Valley:

  • On the way forward for Brexit: “Get ‘no deal’ off the table, but get Remain off the table as well, so we can focus on what needs to be done. There’s too much shenanigans, too much process, not enough substance going on amongst politicians.”

Westminster Hour

Yvette Cooper, Labour MP for Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford, who has a new bill and an amendment (with Nick Boles) to take ‘no deal’ off the table:

  • On her bill to allow parliament to demand an extension of Article 50: “If we’re still in this paralysis by the end of February, we just have to be sensible and recognise that we may need more time… The plan is to put forward a simple amendment to the Prime Minister’s Plan B motion that there was parliamentary time for [the bill].”
  • On the length of Article 50 extension: “It proposes an extension until the end of the year, but that’s amendable.”
  • On support for her bill: “I’ve talked to the [Labour] frontbench… My understanding is that there are government ministers who also want this bill to pull through.”

Jenny Chapman, Labour MP for Darlington and shadow Brexit minister:

  • On Labour supporting Cooper’s bill: “That’s a decision for Nick Brown and the shadow cabinet… I think there will be widespread for this in parliament.”

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MIL-OSI UK: WATCH: Corbyn prefers Brexit deal to referendum

Source: Labour List UK

Jeremy Corbyn has said that he would “rather get a negotiated deal” than hold another EU referendum.

Appearing on The Andrew Marr Show this morning, the opposition leader said that if Labour fails to force a general election, the party is then “into the consideration” of another referendum.

But he told Marr: “My own view is that I would rather get a negotiated deal now, if we can, to stop the danger of a no deal exit from the European Union on the 29th March, which would be catastrophic.”

Corbyn confirmed that he would not consider supporting the government in the meaningful vote on Tuesday, despite Theresa May’s last-ditch attempts to garner support for her deal from members on the opposition benches.

But his preference for a negotiated deal opens up the possibility that Labour could back a softer deal negotiated by May, such as one including permanent customs union membership.

Although Corbyn recently described no-deal preparations as “Project Fear” and the leader’s office is understood to believe that the Prime Minister would not countenance no deal, he argued today that a negotiated deal must be approved to avoid leaving the EU without a deal.

Corbyn said: “I think parliament did vote for an amendment to the Finance Bill this week, which indicated its opposition to no deal, but it isn’t totally specific on it. We will do everything we can to prevent a no deal exit.”

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MIL-OSI UK: Sunday shows round-up: May’s Brexit deal and 10-year NHS plan

Source: Labour List UK

Andrew Marr Show

Theresa May:

  • On the meaningful vote going ahead: “Yes. We are going to hold the vote.” 15th or 14th January? “That sort of timing, yes.”
  • On progress with the EU, May is “still seeking assurances”.
  • On putting her deal to another Commons vote, May did not rule it out. If the deal is voted down this month: “We’re going to be in unchartered territory.”
  • On letting “the search for the perfect become the enemy of the good”, May warned there could be no Brexit.
  • On a fresh referendum: “In my view there should not be a second Brexit referendum.”
  • On elections and her leadership: “I’m not going to call a snap election, and I’m not going to be leading the party into the 2022 general election.”

Jonathan Ashworth, Shadow Health Secretary and Labour MP for Leicester South:

  • On the government’s 10-year NHS plan: “People are waiting longer under this Tory government because the Tories have been running down the NHS for nine years, starving it of cash, cutting it back, privatising elements of it, failing to get the staff we need… It doesn’t need 10 more years of the Tories.”
  • On Brexit: “We’re not enabling Brexit. We had a referendum… That’s the way the country voted.”
  • On May’s deal: “We are committed to voting against Theresa May’s Brexit deal. Goodness knows whether we’ll actually have a vote on it next week given the speculation in the newspapers again. It wouldn’t surprise me if that’s delayed.”
  • On another deal: “If that’s voted down, it’s incumbent on the government to come forward with alternative proposals and try to renegotiate.”

Ridge on Sunday

Chuka Umunna, Labour MP for Streatham and People’s Vote campaigner:

  • On getting a fresh EU referendum: “I am not going to be disingenuous and pretend that we have the numbers for a People’s Vote.”
  • On the meaningful vote going ahead: “If she doesn’t hold that vote, she arguably will have misled the House of Commons and there will be moves on a cross-party basis from the backbenches to ensure that the will of the House is tested.”
  • On the ballot paper for another referendum: Remain, plus “I do think that you have to have an option on that ballot paper that would please the likes of Peter Bone, that is a hard Brexit”, i.e. no deal. “I would say two or three [options]. I am pretty open minded about it.”
  • On May’s deal being put to a Commons vote several times: “I have consulted with the Clerks of the House of Commons on this – you cannot simply bring the same motion again and again and again… Even if you sought say to bring a different motion through changing one word, if in substance it is the same thing, under the rules of the House of Commons, you can’t just keep bringing it again and again and again.”

Barry Gardiner, Shadow International Trade Secretary and Labour MP for Brent North:

  • On the government’s 10-year NHS plan: “I would have more confidence in their 10-year plan if the five-year plan that they announced in 2014 had actually been delivered on.”
  • On an election: “That is the quickest way of getting a people’s vote – you can have a general election in four and a half weeks.”
  • On a fresh referendum: “It is the responsibility of government to try and unite the country, not to divide it.”
  • On Labour’s preferred Brexit outcome: “If we as a new incoming Labour government were to go to Europe without [May’s] red lines, we know that we could get a different, better deal and that’s what we want to try and achieve.”
  • On being able to strike trade deals as a member of a customs union: “We would have a customs union just like there is in Mercosur in South America where each individual sovereign nation is able to determine whether a trade agreement that they conclude jointly with other countries should go ahead or not.”

Pienaar’s Politics

Emily Thornberry, Shadow Foreign Secretary and Labour MP for Islington South and Finsbury:

  • On a fresh referendum: “It’s our policy that we go for a general election.” But Thornberry also said that if May were replaced by a hard Tory Brexiteer intent on leaving the EU without a deal, Labour would back another referendum.
  • On ‘people’s vote’ supporters: “Some people within the People’s Vote movement seem to think that their purpose is to slap the Labour Party around.”
  • On a vote of no confidence in the government: “We want to do things that are effective… We will be doing it when we expect to win it.”

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