The Labour Party faced an awkward about turn on Monday 28th January with respect to the Governments immigration bill.
Dianne Abbot said, “The Labour party is clear that when Britain leaves the single market, freedom of movement ends, and we set this out in our 2017 manifesto. I am a slavish devotee of that magnificent document: so on that basis, the frontbench of the Labour party will not be opposing this bill this evening,” she said.
However from initially supporting the legislation that ends free movement, the party then contradicted itself. Ms Abbott tweeted that the proposed legislation would “put the cart before the horse” as it intends to create an arrangement prior to the UK’s relationship with Europe being established. A further tweet followed, “Labour wants to amend bill substantially. Today isn’t a final vote!” she added.
However 90 minutes later, amid a backlash on social media, the party altered it’s position and stated that it would instruct their MPs to vote against the bill.
The Liberal Democrats had accused Labour of missing an opportunity to defeat the government, pointing out that two Conservative MPs, Anna Soubry and Ken Clarke, had rebelled.
The Prime Minister has repeatedly said that her Brexit deal will end freedom of movement for EU citizens and that the proposed immigration bill would establish a new, stricter regime.
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