Abstaining in the Lords would be a ‘dereliction of duty’
Scottish Labour peer George Foulkes will tomorrow join with party colleagues in the Lords to do what’s right for the UK by voting to keep the country in the European Economic Area.
Peers have been told to abstain on an amendment tabled for Tuesday, but former MSP Lord Foulkes said he cannot back the party’s current pro-Brexit position because it would be a ‘betrayal’ of workers by Labour.
The EEA provides for the free movement of people, goods, services and capital within the European Single Market, with membership open to EU member states or European Free Trade Association (EFTA) countries.
It has been reported that more than 40 Labour peers will vote for the EEA amendment tabled by Lord Waheed Alli.
George Foulkes, a supporter of the Scottish Labour for the Single Market campaign, said:
“I am not prepared to support a pro-Brexit policy that betrays the workers of the UK.
“It would be a dereliction of duty to abstain on this vital issue, and I will be joining with many Labour colleagues in supporting the policy agreed at our UK conference and sending the leadership a message that we must urgently do what’s right for the UK and prevent a hard Tory Brexit.
“We know there is a majority to keep Britain in the Single Market when this issue returns to the Commons, provided Labour stands up to Theresa May and her Brexiteer allies.
“We need a united front to prevent a hard Brexit, and Scottish Labour has a key role to play in persuading the UK party to urgently change course. If we fail to do so, voters will never forgive us.”