Cross-party group of British MEPs pen ‘Brussels Declaration’ to fight Brexit

Written by Martin Banks on 4 September 2019 in News
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A cross-party group of UK MEPs has signed a declaration committing to work together to fight Brexit and called on EU colleagues to help 'keep the door open to us.'

MEPs who signed the Brussels Declaration  | Photo credit: Greens/EFA Group


The members, from six political parties, have also called on continental colleagues to support their efforts.

Meeting in Brussels, representatives of the Green, Labour, Liberal Democrat, Alliance, Plaid Cymru and the Scottish National Party, signed "the Brussels Declaration" which states: “We, the undersigned UK Members of the European Parliament, representing England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, declare as follows:

“The proroguing or shutting down the UK Parliament in order to limit scrutiny of the implications of a potential no-deal Brexit is completely unacceptable.”


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“Limiting the opportunity for MPs to debate, vote and crucially, to legislate, cannot be the response to a referendum in which Leave campaigned for the UK Parliament to “take back control”.

It goes on, “In the continuation of the spirit that UK MEPs have worked in since the 2016 Referendum we commit ourselves to continue to work across party lines and declare that it is vital that MPs do likewise.”

“We were all elected just four months ago with clear mandates. We are working together. We call upon our European friends and colleagues to assist domestic efforts in keeping the door open to us.”

The dramatic move comes as MPs in the UK are set to vote on legislation which would extend the Brexit deadline beyond the end of October.

A vote will take place later on Wednesday. This has fuelled frenzied speculation that UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson may then announce a snap general election.

“The proroguing or shutting down the UK Parliament in order to limit scrutiny of the implications of a potential no-deal Brexit is completely unacceptable”

The declaration was signed by Green party members Molly Scott Cato, Alexandra Phillips, Magid Magid, Scott Ainslie, Ellie Chowns, Gina Dowding and Catherine Rowett along with Labour’s Richard Corbett, Seb Dance, Jude Kirton-Darling, Neena Gill, John Howarth, Theresa Griffin, Jackie Jones, Julie Ward, Rory Palmer and Claude Moraes.

From the Liberals, Catherine Bearder, Caroline Voaden, Chris Davies, Phil Bennion, Jane Brophy, Judith Bunting, Dinesh Dhamija, Barbara Ann Gibson, Antony Hook, Martin Horwood, Shaffaq Mohammed, Lucy Nethsingha, Bill Newton Dunn, Sheila Ritchie and Irina Von Wiese.

The Alliance party’s Naomi Long also signed the declaration as did Jill Evans from Plaid Cymru and, from the SNP, Alyn Smith, Aileen McLeod and Christian Allard.

Meanwhile, Labour MEP Rory Palmer gave his assessment of the current Brexit crisis that is gripping the UK, telling this website on Wednesday, “I am pleased MPs voted last night to proceed with today’s motion to legislate against No Deal. This is a pivotal step and the scale of the Tory rebellion tells its own story.”

“The reality is that with a majority not just lost but utterly squandered, Boris Johnson is Prime Minister in name only.”

“At the referendum, Leave campaigners talked of taking back control, Boris Johnson has clearly lost control of events. This is a big moment and I hope MPs now unite again across the Commons to rule out No Deal in law.”

Palmer said, “I’ve been calling for legislation against No Deal for over two years, only those who are utterly hell bent on trashing the UK economy, damaging public services and wanting to see falling living standards would seriously countenance No Deal.”

“We were all elected just four months ago with clear mandates. We are working together. We call upon our European friends and colleagues to assist domestic efforts in keeping the door open to us”

“It has nothing to do with Johnson’s negotiating strategy; there aren’t any serious negotiations ongoing, and everything to do with the hard Brexiteers’ dangerous dogma.”

The MEP added, “Given the arithmetic in the Commons and Johnson’s arctic majority of minus forty, a General Election would be logical and conventional. However, the timing of any such election cannot be allowed to be at Johnson’s timing.”

“It absolutely must be after No Deal is ruled out in law and on a timeframe which protects the national interest not the narrow self-interest of Boris Johnson.”

About the author

Martin Banks is a senior reporter at The Parliament Magazine

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