Monday, February 26

Labor wants to exploit the tourism department on Brexit



Labour will seek to exploit government division on Brexit today in the final round of House of Commons votes on the Queen’s Speech.

Jeremy Corbyn will call for MPs to back a jobs first Brexit that delivers the exact same benefits as the single market and customs union.

He will hope his amendment to the Government’s legislative programme can exploit apparent Tory divisions on whether to prioritise the economy or immigration in the Brexit negotiations.

Labour’s wide-ranging amendment also reproduces many of the policies in its manifesto and Mr Corbyn urged MPs of all sides to support it, claiming Mrs May had no mandate for continued austerity.

Mr Corbyn said: I’m hoping that some Conservatives would recognise that the writing is on the wall for the economics of austerity and the economics of greater inequality.

I would also hope that the other opposition parties would recognise that what we’re saying actually makes good, sound common sense.

If you want a future that works for all you’ve got to invest in it. You can’t cut your way to prosperity: you invest your way to prosperity.

The Tory minority government has to get through the final vote on its legislative programme on Thursday afternoon.

On Wednesday evening, it defeated a Labour amendment calling for an end to the public sector pay cap by 323 votes to 309, a majority of 14.

Conservative MP Nadhim Zahawi said: “I think the Prime Minister has probably had one of her best weeks in Parliament.

She’s come out fighting. She has the energy and the determination and the commitment to get on with governing the country. To get on delivering a good Brexit outcome.

But there was confusion yesterday after comments from various government quarters suggested they would consider lifting the public sector pay cap, only for the PM’s spokesman later to clarify that their policy had not changed.

To win any vote, the Prime Minister needs to secure a working majority of 320 votes, something she needs the help of the DUP’s 10 MPs to do.

Another amendment that could exploit the minority government’s weaknesses comes from Labour MP for Walthamstow Stella Creasy.

She wants to allow women from Northern Ireland to have abortions in England and Wales on the NHS.

Abortion is banned in Northern Ireland apart from when the woman’s life is at risk or she faces a permanent or serious risk to her mental or physical health.

She told Sky News: “We now have an amendment that’s signed by 105 MPs, one-in-five MPs in Parliament who would like to see this issue resolved.

Because a court case was very clear that the secretary of state has the right to say that those women who are UK taxpayers, if they come to an English or Welsh hospital, can have that service for free, rather than having to pay thousands of pounds as some have had to do.

It is something that will test the alliance with the DUP.

The Democratic Unionist Party would naturally oppose this move but the nature of their alliance with the Government means they would be expected to support it.