Molly Scott Cato, Bristol's Green MEP, has called on Bristol West MP, Thangam Debbonaire, to use the ‘ray of hope’ offered by the Lords yesterday and vote to keep the UK inside the single market.
Both the government and the Labour Party suffered a humiliating defeat in the upper house last night, when rebels in both Parties supported a cross-party amendment calling for continued participation in the European Economic Area (EEA); 83 Labour peers rebelled against their Party’s abstain position. MPs will now have a vote on remaining in the EEA – effectively a vote on the single market – when the EU Withdrawal Bill returns to the House of Commons in June.
Ms Debbonaire has said she believes the best relationship for the UK to have with the EU is full membership, but that if we do leave, the second best option is full membership of the single market and customs union. However, she is also a Labour Whip, and will be expected to persuade Labour MPs to support the Labour leadership position which is to leave the single market.
Commenting, Molly who is a former parliamentary candidate for Bristol West and Green Party speaker on Brexit, said:
“Peers have offered a ray of hope, not just to remainers, but to hundreds of thousands of people whose jobs rely on our membership of the single market.
“It’s crunch time for Labour. Will the Party deliver the Tories’ hard Brexit, or will they seize this opportunity to block it and genuinely back a jobs first Brexit through supporting our continued membership of the single market?
“As a Labour whip, Thangam Debbonaire has an important responsibility when MPs vote on this issue next month. She has stated her support for the 4 out of 5 constituents in Bristol West who voted to remain in the EU  and has committed to full membership of the single market. I therefore urge her to do all she can to make sure as many Labour MPs as possible vote to keep us in the single market, even if this means she has to resign from the Whips’ office.”