In the key Commons Brexit votes on Tuesday, Caroline Flint honoured her election pledges to oppose meaningless delay to the UK leaving the European Union.
Ms Flint voted for the Labour Jeremy Corbyn amendment, which reflected Labour policy, and backed the Dromey/Spellman amendment which signalled parliament’s preference for the UK to avoid leaving without a deal.
Ms Flint then opposed a range of amendments seeking to frustrate the Brexit process. The Don Valley MP opposed the Cooper amendment which proposed pushing Brexit Day back to 31 December 2019. Ms Flint also opposed the Reeves amendment which sought a two year delay to the UK leaving the EU. Twenty six Labour MPs refused to back the Cooper/Reeves delaying motions, including nine from Labour’s frontbench.
The Don Valley MP also opposed the Grieve amendment which sought to seize control of the parliamentary order paper, which determines what business can be discussed.
Said Caroline: “This week, Parliament rejected No Deal; rejected game playing with parliamentary procedures; and rejected kicking the can down the road. If passed, those amendments would have delayed the UK leaving the EU and delay any real decision on a deal.
“Parliament clearly signalled it wanted a deal and they want it done in the coming weeks. After nearly 1,000 days discussing Brexit, we don’t need another nine months or longer to sort this out. If the Government or the EU needed a few weeks extra to sort final details, most MPs would accept that, but long delays have no purpose other than to frustrate Brexit.
“I campaigned for Remain, but I promised at the 2017 general election, in line with Labour policy, to honour the outcome of the 2016 referendum. Before that, also in line with Labour policy, I voted to trigger Article 50, which set us on course to leave on 29 March 2019.
“I’m determined to work to secure a deal that gives certainty to business, protecting jobs in Doncaster and protects workers’ rights and environmental standards. This kind of deal can bring Leave and Remain voters together, but it involves compromise across the House of Commons. It is the responsibility of MPs of all parties to work together to produce the best outcome possible, following the decision to leave the EU. I hope a deal can be achieved after further negotiations with the EU.”
“Crucially, Theresa May has been drawn into discussion with Labour MPs and trade union leaders over guarantees on workers’ rights; and I am delighted that Jeremy Corbyn has agreed to talks with the Prime Minister. I have always argued that the PM had to reach out to Labour. Without Labour, there is no deal that can be passed in the Commons.
“It is vital that voters can trust parliament to get on with the job and move forward.”
The Don Valley MP explained her reasons for not voting for the Cooper amendment in a newspaper article a few days before the vote.