Cross-party MEPs urge South East MPs in Remain-supporting areas to back Lords amendments to the Withdrawal Bill in joint letter

Green MEP Keith Taylor and his South East colleague Lib Dem MEP Catherine Bearder have teamed up to put pressure on MPs in Remain-supporting seats across the region.

As a whole, the South East region narrowly backed Leave, by 52% to 48%, in the EU referendum. However, the MEPs have written to MPs representing the scores of towns, cities and boroughs across the region that backed Remain, from Oxford to East Hampshire.

The joint letter calls on 28 MPs, including the Prime Minister, members of the Cabinet and prominent Labour, Green, and Lib Dem politicians, to “stand up for those who elected you to represent them” by backing the Lords’ amendments to the EU (Withdrawal) Bill which will be voted on in the House of Commons on Tuesday, 12 June.

In total, the Government suffered 15 defeats on its flagship Brexit legislation in the House of Lords with peers passing a raft of amendments to the bill aiming to soften the impact of Brexit and protect citizens’, workers’ and consumers’ rights, environmental safeguards, freedom of movement and the Good Friday Agreement and peace in Northern Ireland.

MPs will be limited to 12 hours to debate and vote on the amendments when the bill returns on Tuesday.

Keith Taylor, the Green Party’s MEP for the South East, said:

“In an attempt to distract the public’s attention away from the shambolic, chaotic and divided Brexit they have presided over, the Government is trying to railroad a bill that will define Britain’s future through the House of Commons in just 12 hours. The move confirms the Conservatives’ utter contempt for democracy and parliamentary sovereignty, despite all the Brexiteers Ministers’ pre-referendum claims to the contrary.”

“In the face of this assault on the proper democratic process, I’m calling on the scores of MPs, who number among them the Prime Minister, Cabinet Ministers, and Labour frontbenchers, representing Remain supporting areas across the South East to back the vital amendments to the Withdrawal Bill passed by the House of Lords.”

“These letters, first and foremost, promote the best interests of the British people, but they are also a gentle reminder to MPs across the South East that a great many of them were elected to Westminster by constituents that backed Remain in the EU referendum and don’t support the Government’s pursuit of an extreme Brexit.”

 “Greens will continue fighting for the people to have the final say on any Brexit deal. But, in the meantime, to mitigate the very worst effects of the extreme Brexit we’re being dragged towards by a Government and Cabinet devoid of leadership and defined by division and the empty posturing of its individual Ministers, MPs must be bold. That means standing up for fundamental human rights, workers’ and consumer rights, environmental protection, peace and the Good Friday Agreement, freedom of movement and Britain’s membership of the Single Market and Customs Union.”