Labour to scrap May's Brexit plan if it wins election
Britain's main opposition Labour party today unveiled its own Brexit plan, saying it will scrap the ruling Conservative White Paper on the UK's exit from the European Union (EU) if it wins the general election in June.
The central plank of the Labour strategy will be to unilaterally guarantee the rights of EU citizens living and working in the UK.
British Prime Minister Theresa May has repeatedly linked this with a reciprocal EU guarantee of the rights of British citizens domiciled in European countries.
There are an estimated 3 million citizens of other EU countries living in the UK, and about 1.2 million British expats living elsewhere in Europe. Labour's shadow Brexit minister, Sir Kier Starmer, set out his party's Brexit plans for the upcoming June 8 general election in a speech in London on Tuesday. "A Labour government will set out a new Brexit strategy. We will scrap the government s Brexit White Paper and replace it with fresh negotiating priorities that reflect Labour values and our six tests," he said.
He said the White Paper will have a strong emphasis on retaining the benefits of the Single Market and the Customs Union as Labour know that is vital to protecting jobs and the economy. "And we will approach negotiations in a completely different way to a Tory Brexit: negotiating for the many, not the few," he said.
"Where May wants to shut down scrutiny and challenge, Labour will welcome it. We will work with Parliament, not against it. Because on an issue of this importance the government can t hide from the public or Parliament.
"A Labour approach to Brexit means legislating to guarantee that Parliament has a truly meaningful vote on the final Brexit deal." Starmer stressed that while Labour had accepted Brexit, it wanted a deal that would prioritise jobs and workers' rights.
The EU has hardened its position on Brexit talks ahead of a key summit, making new demands on financial services, immigration and Britain's exit bill, a document showed on Tuesday.
They insist that Britain's huge finance industry must also stick to EU rules if it wants easy access to European Union markets. And Britain should give EU citizens permanent residency after living there for five years, they say, in a challenge for the British government which has vowed to limit immigration.
European diplomats agreed the changes at a meeting with the bloc's chief Brexit negotiator ahead of Saturday's Brussels summit where EU leaders will approve "red lines" for two years of