As Supreme Court rules and Brexit vote looms Norwich MP Clive Lewis heads to Brussels
PUBLISHED: 14:49 24 January 2017 | UPDATED: 14:52 24 January 2017
Archant Norfolk 2015
Clive Lewis is in Brussels meeting the European trade union leaders and MEPs today to discuss workers and consumer rights post-Brexit.
He arrived at the parliament as the Supreme Court rules that MPs should have a say over whether Article 50 - the formal process for leaving the European Union - is triggered.
He said he wanted to make sure the Conservative government does not “sell out” on worker, environmental and consumer rights in the Brexit negotiations.
Mr Lewis claimed in a video posted as he arrived that the real decisions about Britain’s Brexit settlement will be made in Brussels by European Union members states, and he was set to tell other left-wing politicians Labour did not want workers rights and the environment “sold down the river” in the negotiations. He said other member states would be calling a lot of the shots. “That is what I am here to do today to make sure the British people, and the people of Norwich, do not get sold down the river by the Conservative government.”
He told the EDP last week that triggering Article 50 - the formal process for leaving the European Union - under Theresa May’s blueprint was not in the interests of the people of Norwich and the country.
The shadow business secretary, who holds a key position in Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s shadow cabinet, said the guarantees and assurances opposition MPs could get between now and March 31 would be critical to many MPs when they decided how to vote if a decision about whether to trigger Article 50 comes before parliament.
But Mr Corbyn has said he will ask Labour MPs to vote to trigger Article 50.
Mr Lewis said: “It is safe to say that I am deeply concerned at the direction that Theresa May and the Conservative government is taking these negotiations, and the developments that are taking place. I am very mindful of what the majority of constituents in Norwich South voted for, which is remain. I don’t think what is currently on the table, given the irreversibility of Article 50, means that signing Article 50 under these conditions is in the best interests of people in Norwich or the country. However it is the job of the opposition to see what we can get between now and March 31 in terms of assurances and guarantees and I think that will be critical to many people when they come to make their decision on this vote.”
“Yes 17 million people voted to leave the EU. But ‘leave’ to what is the six million dollar question and so far the government’s answer is totally unacceptable.”