DUP MP Sammy Wilson delivered a furious rant in Parliament against Labour’s attempt to “stick the UK in EU mud” by reinstating provisions giving Parliament a role in deciding whether the transition period is extended. Parliament has resumed scrutiny of the legislation needed to implement the Prime Minister’s Brexit deal. Shadow minister for exiting the European Union, Paul Blomfield was arguing against the one year implementation period afforded for the UK and EU to negotiate a trade deal.
Mr Wilson asked the Labour MP: “Would he accept that for many people listening to the arguments he’s making, this is not a case of a fear of jumping over a cliff, but more a case that the opposition to leaving the EU want to us to have our feet firmly stuck in the mud of the EU forever?
“That’s the reason why he wants a further extension.”
Mr Blomfield shot back: “I thank the honourable member for that intervention because it gives me the opportunity to say that’s absolutely not the case.
“We accept that we are leaving the European Union in three weeks time. End of.”
He continued: “But that’s not the end of Brexit because we are going to have considerable discussion in this place, and the Government will be involved in negotiations over some time to come, over the future relationship.
“It’s the future relationship which is the concern behind new clause four because we have consistently fought to oppose any proposals which risk damaging people’s jobs and livelihoods.
“It was why we voted against the deal proposed by the previous Prime Minister, the right honourable member for Maidenhead, that the current Prime Minister may have voted against for different reasons.
“It’s why we voted against the deal also proposed by the current Prime Minister in the last Parliament.”
The shadow Brexit minister added: “And since it’s introduction in October, this withdrawal agreement bill has only got worse. In our view, much worse.”
Mr Blomfield said Labour accepted their opponents’ decisive election victory had changed the political landscape but still believed this was a “bad deal” for the UK and urged the government to proceed “with caution”.
He told Parliament: “I think members opposite also ought to recognise that although under our electoral system the arithmetic in this place is very clear, the majority of the British people voted for parties that weren’t of the mind of the Conservative manifesto and who wanted to give the British public a further say.”
The Labour MP continued: “And I say that only not to deny the reality of the voting in this place, but that the members opposite ought to have some caution about the way that they approach this issue and claim authority from the British people.
“We believe that this withdrawal agreement is a bad deal for the UK, just as we voted against previous withdrawal agreements and it is worth remembering when members opposite point fingers, that we weren’t alone in that.
“Albeit for very different reasons it was many members opposite including the Prime Minister who voted more than once against getting Brexit done on the terms of the previous PM’s deal and for his own reasons.”
But before Parliament closed for the Christmas recess, MPs gave initial approval to Boris Johnson’s bill by 358 votes to 234.
The Brexit deadline is January 31.
DUP MP Sammy Wilson delivered a furious rant in Parliament against Labour’s attempt to “stick the UK in EU mud” by reinstating provisions giving Parliament a role in deciding whether the transition period is extended. Parliament has resumed scrutiny of the legislation needed to implement the Prime Minister’s Brexit deal.