17th June 2018
Rutherglen Liberal Democrat Councillor Robert Brown offered immediate – but qualified – support to Rutherglen & Hamilton West Labour MP Gerard Killen following his rebellion against the Labour whip in favour of staying in the European Economic Area. Robert Brown was Gerard Killen’s Liberal Democrat opponent at the Genera Election.
The House of Commons were voting on the European Union Withdrawal Bill and, in particular, on the amendments passed in the Lords which the Conservative Government sought to reverse.Robert Brown said:
“Prior to the vote, I wrote to Ged Killen urging him to help stop Brexit and back a more pro-European future for Britain in these important votes in the Commons last Thursday.
The whole disastrous Brexit mess is above Party and I congratulate Gerard Killen for having the courage to defy the Party whip along with some other Labour MPs to make his own decision. However he and his fellow Labour rebels need to go further. If they believe, as I do, that the whole Brexit prices is an unfolding calamity, threatening the living standards of ordinary families, damaging the future funding potential of our public services, then the Labour pro Europeans need to back a People’s vote on the Brexit terms, and give the electorate the chance to forge a new way forward.
The negotiations conducted by Mrs. May’s Government have achieved literally nothing – which is hardly surprising when the Cabinet is divided even over what they want from Brexit. I have frankly not seen such an incompetent Government in my lifetime.
But sadly there is no real Opposition either.
It is increasingly clear the hard Tory Brexit is backed by Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour leadership. It is a tragedy for the country that, at this historic time, there is in effect no alternative government if, as is increasingly likely, Theresa May’s Government cannot deliver either a successful negotiation or a parliamentary majority for whatever emerges from this divided Tory cabinet. Nobody would dream of replacing Theresa May by Jeremy Corbyn just to keep the same uninspired and damaging programme of leaving the EU.
The start point to a rescue plan for our country is to get rid of Jeremy Corbyn and elect a new Labour leader.”