I opposed the UK leaving the EU, and resigned as Shadow Secretary of State for Wales and from the Shadow Cabinet in order to vote against the triggering of Article 50.
The Government is now starting negotiations with no clear plan, contradictory statements and a threat to European partners about counter-terrorism and security co-operation, unless a satisfactory trade deal is reached. This is a high-risk strategy and could potentially result in no agreement at the end of the negotiation period, and us leaving the EU with no deal and at the mercy of World Trade Organisation rules. This would be disastrous.
David Davis, the Brexit Secretary, told a Select Committee that the Government had done no economic analysis of the potential consequences of trading on World Trade Organisation rules. This failure to prepare would be unacceptable if it was a child preparing for a maths GCSE, never mind a Government embarking on the most complicated and high stakes negotiation the UK has ever been involved in.
To shine a light through this fog, and hold the Government to account, the Labour Party has set 6 tests that the Government will have to satisfy if we are to support whatever is finally negotiated.
- Does it ensure a strong and collaborative future relationship with the EU?
- Does it deliver the “exact same benefits” as we currently have as members of the Single Market and Customs Union?
- Does it ensure the fair management of migration in the interests of the economy and communities?
- Does it defend rights and protections and prevent a race to the bottom?
- Does it protect national security and our capacity to tackle cross-border crime?
- Does it deliver for all regions and nations of the UK?
If the Government cannot meet these tests it will have failed the British people.