Five Labour MPs have resigned from their roles ahead of a Brexit vote on remaining in the European Economic Area.
The resignations of Junior Ministers Laura Smith, Ged Killen, Ellie Reeves, Tonia Antoniazzi and Anna McMorrin were revealed just moments before the result of a vote on the Lords Brexit Bill amendment, which had called for the government to make remaining in the EEA a negotiating objective.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn released the following statement;
“I would like to thank Laura, Ged, Ellie, Tonia and Anna for their work with the Labour frontbench.”
“I look forward to working with all five in a Labour government that invests in all our communities and gives real hope to our people.”
“I understand the difficulties MPs representing constituencies which voted strongly for Leave or Remain have on the EEA amendment to the EU Withdrawal Bill.”
“The Labour Party respects the outcome of the EU referendum and does not support the EEA or Norway model as it is not the right for option for Britain.”
“It would leave us with next to no say over rules we have to follow, it does not allow us to negotiate a new comprehensive UK-EU customs union and it fails to resolve the Irish border issue.”
“But we are not voting with the Government on this amendment because the Conservatives offer no plan for securing the full tariff free access to the EU’s internal market, which is so vital for jobs and living standards in our country.”
The House of Commons has voted 327 to 126 to reject the proposed amendment.