Brexit: Labour MPs who want PM’s deal should ‘be honest’

David Davies

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David Davies: “At the end of the day this is a great compromise, it works for everyone”

Labour MPs should “be honest” and back Boris Johnson’s new Brexit deal, a senior Welsh Conservative has urged.

Monmouth MP David Davies said: “I know there are Labour MPs who want to back the deal, they just need to be honest with themselves.”

But former Welsh and Northern Ireland Secretary Lord Hain said Brexit would “not be finished with this deal”.

He predicted “years of uncertainty” as Britain begins trade negotiations “with the EU and 70 other countries”.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has claimed he will win what is expected to be a knife-edge Commons vote on the deal on Saturday.

Mr Davies, a leading Welsh Brexit campaigner in the run-up to the 2016 referendum, said: “Labour have got to make their minds up now. Are they against Brexit, in which case let them say so, let them be honest with the public and just say so, or are they going to vote for a deal.

“We’ve had endless stuff about how no-deal will lead to Armageddon. I don’t believe it, if you believe that no-deal will be Armageddon, then vote for this deal.

“There are enough who want to vote with us, I know that privately there are a number of Labour MPs who want this deal to go through. They recognise that people have voted to leave.

“Nobody is going to get exactly what they want. I could write a wish list but no-one will get 100% of what they want. At the end of the day this is a great compromise, it works for everyone.”

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MPs are due to vote on the new Brexit deal on Saturday

But Mr Davies had a warning for MPs not prepared to vote for the deal.

“I would much rather leave with a deal than no deal – but they need to be in no doubt that we’ll be pushing hard for a no-deal Brexit if that’s the only way we can do it and respect the result.”

Plaid Cymru Westminster leader Liz Saville Roberts has led a cross-party letter to Chancellor Sajid Javid urging him to publish the impact assessments of the deal before MPs vote on the agreement on Saturday.

“If Boris Johnson is so confident that this deal is a good one, what good reason could he have for refusing to disclose vital details from the House of Commons?” she said.

“It is unfair to ask members of Parliament to partake in a vote that could have serious ramifications for our country for decades to come, without allowing us the time to fully scrutinise the details.”

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Lord Hain: “I fear for the long term stability and peace progress in Northern Ireland”

Former Labour cabinet minister Lord Hain sees the Brexit deal as “an agenda for a low-standards and low-tax haven – a Singapore-on-Thames”.

Under the deal Northern Ireland would remain in the UK’s customs union, but there would also be customs checks on some goods passing through en route to Ireland and the EU single market.

“I fear for the long-term stability and peace progress in Northern Ireland,” he said.

“Remember Brexit will not be finished with this deal. It’s just the beginning of years of uncertainty as Britain begins to negotiate new trade deals with the EU and 70 other countries.”

With MPs voting this weekend on whether to back Mr Johnson’s deal on leaving the European Union, First Minister Mark Drakeford will visit Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic on Friday.

He will assure business leaders that Wales wants a strong relationship with firms whatever happens with Brexit.

“I will be emphasising the fundamental importance of the relationship which Wales has with the island of Ireland and with colleagues in Belfast and in Dublin as well and how we want to go on working to make sure that those relationships go on being productive and close in the future,” he said.

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