Brexit White Paper


This month the Government released its Brexit White Paper which sets out the sort of relationship the UK Government wants with the EU after Brexit. It has taken over two years since the referendum for the Government to reach the stage where it can attempt to agree a position on the basics of our future relationship with the EU. However, the White Paper has unravelled within days with Cabinet resignations and concessions on the content of the Paper.

With only a few months left until Brexit negotiations are supposed to conclude, the government is once again in crisis with divisions in the cabinet and Conservative Party out in the open. These proposals look like a failed attempt to put a sticking plaster over a divided Cabinet and Conservative party. They do not represent the comprehensive plan for jobs and the economy that Britain needs.

Two years on from the referendum and the Government still has no credible or coherent plan for Brexit. Labour is offering a clear alternative. Earlier this month Labour pressed the Government to change course by tabling a series of amendments to the Government’s Taxation and Trade Bills. These amendments included measures to require the Government to establish as a negotiating objective the UK’s participation in a customs union with the EU and measures to enhance scrutiny of future UK trade deals. Unfortunately the Government did not accept these amendments but Labour will continue to set out our vision for a Brexit deal that works for Britain.

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Richard Burden

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I was Labour Member of Parliament for Birmingham Northfield between 1992 and 2019 and a former Shadow Transport Minister. I now chair Healthwatch in Birmingham and Solihull, and the West Midlands Board of Remembering Srebrenica. I also work as a public affairs consultant. I am an effective community advocate and stakeholder alliance builder with a passion for human rights. I am a trustee of the Balfour Project charity and of Citizens Advice Birmingham, and a former Chair of Medical Aid for Palestinians.

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