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Bremain in Spain Comments on Brexit "Progress"

14 May 2018
by eub2 -- last modified 14 May 2018

Bremain in Spain, a group campaigning for the rights of British citizens in Spain and the EU, reacts to the latest Brexit developments in the House of Lords.


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On Tuesday 8 May, the government lost three more amendment debates, making a total of 14 out of 16 victories on amendments to the EU (Withdrawal) Bill at Report Stage in the House of Lords. The most significant development was a surprise revolt among Labour peers regarding the vote on the European Economic Area (EEA) - calling for the UK to retain membership of a single market with common standards and free movement of people, goods and capital.

Sue Wilson, Chair of Bremain in Spain, comments: "I was privileged to attend the final day of the Brexit Bill in the House of Lords and I felt I would witness something special. I was not disappointed. It was anticipated that the third and most controversial amendment regarding EEA/Single Market membership would be a close vote but wasn't expected to pass. After many passionate speeches, most notably from Labour Lords Mandelson and Kinnock, the vote finally came in at 8pm. It was immediately clear that many Labour and Tory peers had defied both party whips and voted in favour of the amendment - 83 Labour and 17 Tory rebels, to be exact."

Wilson continues: "The atmosphere was electric. The surprise and delight from the amendment supporters was palpable. This was witnessed by many Labour MPs who were watching the debate from the visitors' section, as I was. They included Chuka Umunna, Owen Smith and Chris Leslie. As a baroness commented to me afterwards, 'we have just seen history in the making'."

With no formal date confirmed for the Bill's return to the House of Commons, speculation exists that it will not return until the Cabinet has settled its internal squabble over future customs arrangements with the EU.

Wilson adds: "May has sent the Cabinet away to redo its homework and work on the two plans that are causing the split. No deadlines have been imposed, despite the urgency and ticking clock. Both plans have already been rejected by the EU, so this is another pointless exercise that creates further unwelcome delays."

On Sunday, Theresa May pledged to the country that she would "not let us down" and would "deliver the Brexit people voted for".

Concludes Wilson: "May suggests that everyone voted for the same Brexit, when that is clearly not the case. Many voters who favoured Brexit did not want to leave the Customs Union or Single Market but their views are being ignored. Not to mention the millions who voted to remain in the EU. Our wishes haven't been considered at all during this lengthy Brexit nightmare. May then added insult to injury by asking us to trust her. She might add for good measure '...I'm a doctor!' With Labour still sitting on the fence and facilitating the Tory Brexit, we must fight our corner and demand that the decision is returned to the public. We cannot trust the politicians to speak in our best interests. Therefore, we must demand a vote on the final Brexit deal and take back control of our futures. It will take more than a few soundbites for our trust to be restored."

Bremain in Spain is a group campaigning for the UK to remain in the European Union and to protect the rights of British migrants living and working in Spain. Run by a team of volunteers and chaired by Sue Wilson - a resident of the Valencian Community - the group advocates a tolerant and outward-looking society. It believes this is best achieved by the UK remaining a member of the EU. Bremain in Spain is part of the British in Europe coalition of 10 UK citizens' groups across the EU. It is also affiliated to Britain for Europe and European Movement.

Bremain in Spain
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