Caroline Flint issued a challenge to the Prime Minister today to meet with Jeremy Corbyn “in the national interest” to seek to resolve concerns about workers’ rights, health and safety, and future customs arrangements, to avoid a No Deal Brexit.
The Don Valley MP argued that, as both the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition have stated they wish to avoid a No Deal Brexit, it was time to invite the Leader of the Opposition to a “meaningful discussion” about the Withdrawal Agreement.
Speaking after the debate Ms Flint said: “Too many in the Commons wish to make small differences appear like a chasm.
“Both Jeremy Corbyn and Theresa May have said they wish to honour the outcome of the 2016 referendum and end the division in the country. With just 126 days to go before the UK leaves the European Union, it is time for meaningful conversations.
“The Prime Minister has to accept that trading exchanges across the Chamber cannot achieve any progress. It is clear that no agreement can be passed without cross party support, and particularly nothing can be passed without the support of Labour MPs.
“This cannot drag on leaving businesses and voters uncertain right up to Brexit day.”
Read a full transcript of their exchange below.
The Prime Minister has made it very clear that at all costs she wants to avoid a no deal Brexit. My Rt Hon friend, the Leader of Her Majesty’s Opposition, has also reassured Labour MPs that that’s his priority: to avoid a no deal Brexit. Now given there are some 80 Conservative backbenchers who will vote against any deal come what may, in the national interest, will the Prime Minister sit down with my Rt Hon friend, the Member for Islington North, and have a meaningful discussion about how we make sure that, when it comes to workers’ rights and health and safety, we do not fall behind and we secure a sustainable customs arrangement going forward.
Prime Minister Theresa May:
Can I say to the Rt Hon lady, that what we have done in the proposals we put forward in the white paper, what we have done in the political declaration is to ensure that we do look for that free trade area and that appropriate customs arrangement that is going to deliver on jobs for people. And I’m interested that she has indicated that her Rt Hon friend, the Leader of the Opposition, is clear that we should leave the European Union with a deal, because previously he had indicated that he would vote against any deal that the Government brought back.
Watch the full exchange HERE.