Labour could be prepared to vote against Theresa May’s final #Brexit deal, even if it means walking through voting lobbies with Conservative hard Brexiters, with party sources insisting the government cannot force a no-deal situation.
The party has said it will vote against the final Brexit deal unless it meets shadow Brexit secretary Keir Starmer’s six tests on protection of jobs and rights – in practice, highly unlikely.
“We will vote down the deal unless it meets our six tests,” a party source said. “Even if we are walking down the corridor with Tory Brexiters, we are still voting on the lines we have set ourselves.”
The source said Labour did not believe defeating any final Brexit agreement would set a course for the UK to leave with no deal, which they said was made clear by the “meaningful vote” amendment to the EU withdrawal bill.
“She cannot treat a defeated deal as an endorsement of no deal. Two-thirds of the Tory party would oppose it,” the source said.
Speaking in the Commons earlier, the Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, tore into the prime minister’s strategy, saying jobs and investment were now “a sub-plot in the Tory party civil war” after the resignations of David Davis and Boris Johnson.
Writing for the Guardian, Starmer said there was an “irreconcilable divide within the Conservative party” and the impasse could no longer be resolved as an internal Conservative party debate.
“The agreement struck at Chequers last Friday is flawed in many respects, but at least it appeared to be the first realisation by the prime minister that the approach she adopted two years ago was wrong,” he said. “Her red lines began to yield just a bit. But even this modest shift has proved too much for some in the cabinet and the Conservative party.”
In the Commons, May was quick to raise Labour’s own internal divisions with Corbyn. “He talks about resignations, can I just remind him, I think he’s had 103 resignations from his frontbench, so I’ll take no lectures from him,” she said.