The government does not have “a blank cheque” to push through its vision of Brexit, Jeremy Corbyn has said, despite the overwhelming Commons vote for the article 50 bill without a single amendment.
The Labour leader insisted there was very little his party could have done about the bill, given its limited scope, but said he would continue to push for concessions and changes as the Brexit process continued.
“There was a referendum,” he told BBC1’s Breakfast programme. “There was a decision by the people of this country and we support the result of the referendum, and have to carry it out.
“It doesn’t mean we agree with the government on the economy for the future. It does mean we have to build good relations with everybody across Europe.”
Insisting the government had already made concessions over both the fact of the article 50 bill, and over a parliamentary vote on a final Brexit deal, Corbyn said there was scope to shape the process.
“The government does not have a blank cheque to set up an offshore tax haven in Britain,” he said. “All that it has is authority to proceed with negotiations, which is what the referendum was about.”
The bill was passed overwhelmingly, by 494 votes to 122, and will now pass to the House of Lords, where Labour and Liberal Democrat peers will press for concessions on key issues including the status of EU citizens living in the United Kingdom.
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