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What Labour’s support for Cooper’s Brexit amendment means

29 January 2019

12:41 PM

29 January 2019

12:41 PM

Labour is now backing the Cooper amendment. It will whip its MPs to vote for this amendment which would require the Government to request an extension to Article 50 if no agreement can be reached with the EU. The aim of the amendment is to prevent a ‘no deal’ Brexit on March 29th.

However, in a sign of the divisions within Labour over the issue, the party will then seek to amend Cooper to reduce the length of the extension from nine months to three. (Ironically, nearly everyone in Whitehall expects Article 50 to be extended for a few months even if a deal gets through in the next couple of weeks because of the amount of time it’ll take to put the withdrawal agreement into domestic law).

With Labour’s backing, Cooper is highly likely to pass. The only chance the Government has of stopping Cooper is if it can show the Commons that the Brady amendment will pass and so there’s still negotiating to be done. This combined with a reassurance that MPs will get another chance to vote on no deal might be enough to hold it off. But given the events of the past 24 hours, it will be extremely hard for the Government to stop Cooper.


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