Leigh MP Jo Platt speaks after voting FOR prime minister Boris Johnson's Brexit deal to go forward

Jo Platt MP
Jo Platt MP

Leigh MP Jo Platt has spoken after she was one of the Labour rebels who voted in favour of prime minister Boris Johnson's Brexit deal at the second reading stage.

Ms Platt joined a number of her colleagues wearing the red rosette in choosing to give approval in principle to the idea of a deal between the UK and the European Union (EU) for the country's withdrawal from the 27-member bloc.

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However, she then voted against the programme motion which would have allowed just three days of parliamentary time for the entire Withdrawal Agreement Bill to be scrutinised.

The Labour MPs who voted in favour of the second reading have attracted a good deal of criticism online but Ms Platt sought in a statement to explain her position.

She said she did not want to kill the bill stone dead at its earliest point but to amend it as it passes through parliament.

Ms Platt said: "The new Brexit agreement has serious flaws, but I believe the responsible and pragmatic approach is for this Bill to reach committee stage to allow binding amendments to be put on issues such as a Customs Union, workers’ rights and a parliamentary lock on future negotiations and allow Labour to put forward our sensible version of Brexit that respects the referendum result but protects our rights, jobs, businesses and economy.

"This is honouring my promise during the 2017 election to work constructively in Parliament to secure a sensible Brexit deal whilst preventing a damaging Tory hard Brexit that has no mandate but the Prime Minister is evidently trying to push through.

"I have therefore voted for this Bill at second reading, but this certainly does not mean that I will support the Bill at third reading, the last opportunity to vote down this piece of legislation, or in any future meaningful vote. Indeed, I could not support the deal in its current form.

"However, I firmly believe that we should not pass the opportunity to thoroughly debate and amend this deal before final approval.

"The Conservatives are also trying to push this important Bill through in just three days. This timetable is totally unacceptable and a democratic outrage."

Wigan MP Lisa Nandy and West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper also voted for the second reading but against the programme motion.