April 4, 2019 / 1:16 PM / 3 months ago

TEXT-Go "extra step" to get Brexit deal, Labour lawmakers urge Corbyn

LONDON, April 4 (Reuters) - Twenty-five lawmakers in Britain’s opposition Labour Party have urged their leader, Jeremy Corbyn, to go the “extra step” if there is a chance of agreeing a Brexit deal in talks with Prime Minister Theresa May.

The letter dated April 3 is below:

Dear Jeremy

As Labour MPs who believe we must respect the outcome of the 2016 referendum, we wish you well and offer our support during your negotiations with the Prime Minister to secure Labour objectives in the Deal.

We believe that the Prime Minister should have reached out to you a lot sooner than she did. However, these talks do represent a real opportunity for you, on behalf of the Labour movement, to secure vital goals for working people.

The safeguarding of workers’ rights, health and safety, and environmental standards are vital and significant goals, which we hope can be secured. In addition to rights for EU citizens and the vital 21 month transition period, both of which Labour demanded; we have already achieved a lot. If the option of a customs union arrangement could be put before Parliament, we see a Labour Brexit Deal within reach.

At Labour’s conference you sent a message to the Prime Minister saying: “If you deliver a deal that includes a customs union and no hard border in Ireland, if you protect jobs, people’s rights at work and environmental and consumer standards - then we will support that sensible deal.”

We believe you are close to achieving that in the coming days.

At the general election, we were clear about respecting the 2016 vote, and about securing those Labour goals. Therefore, we feel if compromise is necessary to achieve this Deal and avoid fighting the European elections, we should go the extra step to secure this.

Our policy, agreed by members, accepts that the public voted to leave the EU and seeks a deal that secures jobs and rights at work. It does not require a confirmatory ballot on any deal that meets those conditions.

The latest YouGov poll shows that in every English region, outside of London, there is more support for No Deal, than for Remain. This confirms our post bags, which show opinion is polarising and hardening.

Delaying for many months in the hope of a second referendum, will simply divide the country further and add uncertainty for business. A second referendum would be exploited by the far right, damage the trust of many core Labour voters and reduce our chances of winning a general election.

We believe if we achieve these Labour gains now, we will be able to claim great credit for achieving a Deal that can bring Remain and Leave voters together. We wish you every success in the talks, and wanted to let you know our confidence that Labour can achieve a positive outcome.

With regards

Mike Amesbury, Sir Kevin Barron, Ronnie Campbell, Sarah Champion, Rosie Cooper, John Cruddas, Gloria De Piero, Rt Hon Caroline Flint, Yvonne Fovargue, Mike Hill, Mike Kane, Emma Lewell-Buck, Justin Madders, Liz McInnes, Jim McMahon, Ian Mearns, Grahame Morris, Lisa Nandy, Melanie Onn, Stephanie Peacock, Jo Platt, Dennis Skinner, Ruth Smeeth, Laura Smith, Gareth Snell.

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