Jeremy Corbyn faces divisions in Labour Party as Repeal Bill passes first vote

Labour divisions over Europe exposed as Repeal Bill passes first vote

There were seven rebels against the whip on the vote in Parliament

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Labour’s voting on the EU Withdrawal Bill has revealed deep divisions in the party after a number of MPs rebelled against the whip.

A total of 20 MPs defied Jeremy Corbyn to either vote in favour of the bill, which facilitates the transfer of EU legislation into UK law, or abstain.

Corbyn had criticised the bill due to the so-called Henry VIII powers it contains, which will allow ministers to interpret the reams of EU statutes as they see fit, without consulting Parliament. 

The party leader had branded the bill a "power grab" and ordered Labour MPs to vote against the bill. However seven decided to vote against his wishes and a further 13 missed the division, although one of those abstentions was due to illness.

A number of parties attacked the seven rebels for being “hand in hand” with the Tories to grant extreme powers to the government.

Others fired back against the MPs who voted in accordance with the whip, like former minister Caroline Flint, who said opponents of the repeal bill were seeking to “thwart” the EU referendum result.