LABOUR Party MPs, supported by other opposition parties and some Tory MPs, pushed through an amendment to the Finance Bill last night which gives those opposed to a No Deal Brexit the power to shut Parliament down, therefore stopping Brexit in its tracks.
The Amendment 7 passed with 303 for and 296 against.
Jonathan Reynolds, Labour’s Shadow Economic Secretary to the Treasury said: ‘I rise to address the group of amendments relating to the tax and fiscal arrangements of the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union.’
He then pointed to Clause 89, which is the power to make amendments to certain tax laws thus releasing finances to implement a No Deal Brexit.
Labour’s Yvette Cooper, chair of the Home Affairs Committee then rose to move Amendment 7. She said: ‘What this amendment does, is if government wants to implement No Deal, then it must first give Parliament a vote on No Deal and have Parliament’s support.’
What Cooper then laid out is that if this happens and Parliament votes against a No Deal Brexit you would then have a deadlock which could only be resolved by extending Article 50, so postponing Brexit indefinitely.
Cooper continued: ‘This amendment makes it harder for the government to go ahead with No Deal without even going back to Parliament. There are objections to this amendment,’ she admitted. ‘There are some saying that it is irresponsible to hold the government to ransom over No Deal.
‘First of all, this amendment does not affect the normal treasury and government operations. It simply requires the government to get Parliament’s permission to pursue No Deal.
‘Suppose Parliament votes against any deal that is put and also votes against No Deal, and the government desperately still wants to use those Clause 89 powers – in that event it could follow the Part B of the amendment, if it still wants to use those powers it will have to suspend Article 50.’
Robert Jennick, Tory Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury replied: ‘Unless Parliament agrees a deal then we leave the European Union with No Deal on March 29th, that is the law of the land and nothing in this amendment can change that.’