Jim Fitzpatrick: Up to 20 Labour MPs could back Brexit deal

Thursday, October 17, 2019

A Labour MP has predicted between 10 and 20 of his colleagues could defy the party and vote in favour of Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal.

Jim Fitzpatrick told talkRADIO’s Mike Graham that several Labour MPs had regretted not joing him in backing Theresa May’s Withdrawal Agreement earlier this year.

He said: “Only five of us voted for Prime Minister May’s deal on March 29 and several have subsequently said they wished they had joined us and voted for it.

“So those five, if they hold the same view once they get a chance to see Prime Minister Johnson’s deal, and if several others come forward then there could be between 10 and 20 Labour MPs who might vote for the deal.”

Today, Jeremy Corbyn said his party would not support the deal put forward by Mr Johnson, instead calling for a second referendum.

But a number of Labour members - including Mr Fitzpatrick - have previously pledged to back any Brexit deal put before them in the Commons in order to "get Brexit done and dusted".

Mr Corbyn said this morning that the Prime Minister’s plan “should be rejected”, saying "this sell-out deal won't bring the country together".

Meanwhile, Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson said she was “more determined than ever to stop Brexit”.

Mr Fitzpatrick warned that the cross-party opposition to Brexit in Parliament means Mr Johnson needs to “get all of his support lined up” to convince potential supporters from Labour.

He added that “number crunching efforts will be going on all over the place” to work out whether the government can gain enough support elsewhere to withstand losing DUP support: Arlene Foster her party could not support the deal as it currently stands.

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