Dozens of Labour MPs rebelled against party leader Jeremy Corbyn on Wednesday over the terms of Britain’s exit from the European Union.
Some 48 Labour MPs, including former Labour Cabinet ministers and ex-members of his own frontbench, backed a bid to keep Britain in the single market and customs union after Brexit.
The rebels included Daniel Zeichner, who quit as a shadow transport minister last summer, and former Labour frontbenchers Chuka Umunna, Ben Bradshaw and Chris Bryant.
They joined forces with Scottish National Party MPs, and Liberal Democrat MPs such as former leader Tim Farron. A single Tory MP, Ken Clarke, voted with the rebels.
The amendment to the EU Withdrawal Bill sought “confirmation of continued membership of the single market and customs union before ministers can implement any withdrawal agreement”. It was defeated by 322 votes to 99.
The 48 Labour MPs – about one in five of Labour MPs – voted against the party whip after being urged to abstain in advice from the leadership.
A leaked copy of Labour’s own advice to its MPs said that the amendment “pretends you can ‘guarantee’ the outcome of the negotiations and to remain a ‘member’ of the customs union and single market. It is not a serious amendment and it is not one the Labour frontbench will be supporting.”
Three of the party’s Brexiteers – Frank Field (Birkenhead), Kate Hoey (Vauxhall), and Graham Stringer (Blackley and Broughton) – voted with the Government against the amendment.
James Cleverly MP, the Tory party deputy chairman, said the Labour rebellion showed that the party had “put politics above the national interest”.
He said: “By voting against this Bill, Labour have confirmed they only offer the most chaotic Brexit possible and it’s ordinary working people who would pay the price.”
The vote was one of the last moments of drama over the EU Withdrawal Bill as the vote finally leaves it free to leave the House of Commons after days of debate and head to the House of Lords.
During the debate Justine Greening, the former education secretary who was sacked in last week’s reshuffle, said Brexit would “not be sustainable” if it did not work for young people.
Mr Clarke also claimed future generations risked being made less prosperous if economic barriers wereput up between the UK and EU post-Brexit.
Steve Baker, a Brexit minister, gave reassurances that any deal struck with the EU would not be ratified without the consent of both Houses of Parliament.
The Bill – which was finally passed at its third reading by 324 votes to 295 votes – now moves to the House of Lords where Remain-supporting peers have promised to try to amend it.
David Davis, the Brexit Secretary, said the scrutiny by MPs was a “historic occasion”.
He said: “All of us as elected representatives have a shared interest in making this Bill a success in the national interest.
“In this debate we’ve often heard the very best of what this House is here to do.”
He added: “I believe this House has risen to the occasion in ensuring this Bill continues its journey throughout Parliament in a much improved form.”
Article Source : http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/01/17/dozens-labour-mps-rebel-against-jeremy-corbyn-brexit-bill-finally/