Published On: Fri, Jul 14th, 2017

Scheming rebel MPs plot to thwart Brexit – and keep Britain stuck with freedom of movement


At least 15 Tory rebels are thought to back a Labour plan to remain in the European Economic Area (EEA) – a number that could be enough to defeat in the House of Commons.

Stephen Kinnock, a Labour MP, said he was seeking to form a “coalition of common sense” with like-minded Conservative MPs to keep the UK in the EEA for an unspecified “time-bound period”.

And he claimed there was a “growing recognition” of the need for the UK to adopt a Norway style deal with the after talks conclude. 

But the plot could see unlimited numbers of EU nationals try to come to Britain, as it would require the UK to remain under the rules of the freedom of movement deal.

Mr Kinnock claims to have had “positive conversations on engaging around a number of issues, particularly the transitional deal and what that might look like” with a number of Tory rebels.

He told the Daily Telegraph’s Chopper Brexit Podcast: “There is a growing recognition now in the economy … that getting the right transitional deal is now the top priority.

“What we need to do is to form a coalition of common sense to secure in particular a sensible pragmatic transition deal which in my opinion should be based on the EEA.

“It is a sensible half way house to give our economy the certainty it so desperately needs.”

Eurosceptic MP Sir Bill Cash clashed with Mr Kinnock on the podcast saying the EEA was “not the right model at all”. 

He added: “The case for the EEA is three-fold. It buys us time to negotiate the final state deal with the EU, it delivers certainty for business and workers, and it allows us to reform Freedom of Movement.

“The EEA has legal precedent for reforming freedom of movement as it exists in the European Union.

“Article 112 of the EEA Agreement allows member states to introduce a quota based system, and I would only advocate the UK entering the EEA if we used Article 112 to reform freedom of movement.”

Ms May has made ending free movement her “red line” in the negotiations, arguing the referendum vote clearly showed the public want to curb EU immigration.

While Labour leader recently fired three shadow ministers who supported an amendment to the Queen’s Speech aimed at keeping Britain in the single market.

The news came as the Government published legislation which will repatriate thousands of Brussels powers to London after Britain leaves the EU in March 2019.



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