LONDON (Sputnik) — The UK Labour party will back Conservative party members, who disagree with the current draft law on Brexit, to force UK Prime Minister Theresa May into amending the bill so that the Parliament could have a binding vote on the final deal with the European Union, Labour party member and Shadow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer said in an op-ed on Sunday.
Apart from the binding vote, Starmer's demands published in The Sunday Times newspaper include a transition period requested by May herself; a different approach to the use of so-called Henry VIII powers, which allow ministers to edit the bill without the Parliament's consent; a guarantee of workers' and consumers' rights and environment standards, so that the United Kingdom does not fall behind Europe; a provision implying that powers returning from Brussels will go to regional administrations; as well as inclusion of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights into UK law.
"I believe there is a consensus in Parliament for these changes. And there is certainly no majority for weakening rights, silencing Parliament and sidelining the devolved administrations. There is a way through this paralysis. Labour will work with all sides to make that happen," Starmer wrote.
The withdrawal bill was expected to be scrutinized in Parliament this week, but it was temporarily removed from the agenda. There are reportedly 300 amendments to the bill and more than a dozen of them are supported by some Parliament members from May's party. Taking into account that the general election in June resulted in a hung Parliament, May fears that the bill might be derailed.
Meanwhile, UK Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn has met with top EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier and European Parliament President Antonio Tajani on Thursday, October 19, as the party is seeking alternatives amid disagreements in the Brexit talks. During his speech in Brussels, Corbyn urged May to drive a dovish policy towards the EU.