London (Brussels Morning) A group of UK lawmakers from the opposition party have signed a statement urging its leader not to back the trade and cooperation agreement between the EU and UK.
“The backdrop to the deal is a profound crisis, marked by the government’s mismanagement of Covid. Recent days have witnessed panic, job losses and chaos at the border, but rather than seek any form of extension to the Brexit transition period, the government has ploughed ahead”, reads the statement from the Another Europe is Possible campaign.
“This deal is a substantial downgrade of the UK’s relationship with the EU, and is designed to open the door to rampant economic deregulation – a loss of rights and protections for workers, the environment, food standards and many other areas of life”, it continued.
The declaration listed the many negative impacts from the deal, including UK citizens no longer having the right to live and work in EU countries and the uncertain future that EU citizens now have in the UK.
It also cautioned that trade deals could lead to the privatisation of the national health service.
“We are witnessing an act of vandalism against our livelihoods, our rights and our horizons”, it warned.
“We call on Labour, the labour movement and other opposition parties not to support the Tories’ Brexit deal when it is put to a vote in the House of Commons”.
Who opposes and who supports the deal
The statement was signed by Labour MPs from across its broad political spectrum, including former shadow chancellor John McDonnell MP and former leadership candidate Clive Lewis MP. Signatories also included high-profile journalists, economists, filmmakers and academics.
Labour backbenchers have also reportedly voiced concern the endorsement will go ahead without legislation being published.
Labour leader Keir Starmer has indicated he will back the trade agreement announced on Christmas Eve. It is expected to gain parliamentary approval after a debate and vote scheduled for Wednesday.
While hard Brexiteers will confirm approval Tuesday after the European Research Group finishes its deliberations, a large rebellion is not expected.
Other parties, including the Liberal Democrats, the Scottish National Party and the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) said it would vote against the deal.
Arlene Foster, leader of Northern Ireland’s DUP said there were still “many negative issues” regarding the Northern Ireland protocol.
European member states have unanimously shown support for the deal.
The European parliament will vote in February 2021 to square off the ratification process for the agreement.