BREXIT: What you need to know about the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill

Last week saw the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill progress through Parliament.

Labour has battled long and hard for the Brexit White Paper – and it finally arrived. However, the paper is indicative of the Government’s whole approach to Brexit – shambolic. It was rushed, riddled with errors and even contained spelling mistakes. Absolutely unacceptable as we embark on one of the biggest constitutional changes of our time.

The plan reiterates May’s desire to make the UK a champion of free trade, secure access for UK nationals living in the EU and for continued collaboration with EU partners on issues of science, research and technology. However, the PM failed to outline how she plans to achieve any of these goals.

More worryingly, the White Paper offers no certainty for EU citizens living in the UK, no additional detail on how workers’ and consumer rights will be protected, and nothing on how full tariff-free access to the Single Market will be delivered.

These concerns were furthered when I met with Trade Union Reps from Rolls Royce. Through our EU Membership the Aerospace, Defence, Security and Space industry supports over 340,000 jobs, 10,400 apprentices and produces over £60bn for our economy. The Government has said very little to reassure employees and businesses in this sector.

The European Union Bill still has three days of further debate in the Commons and then it will go to the Lords. Labour has proposed a number of amendments to oppose any threat to rip up existing economic, environmental and social protections – including slashing corporate taxes and public spending. In short, living standards and public services must not be used as a bargaining chip in Brexit negotiations.

That is why the PM will not be given a blank cheque and Labour will work to ensure that any deal upholds our hard fought values.