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Triggering Article 50 with Theresa May’s plan is not in the best interests of Norwich, says MP

PUBLISHED: 15:39 19 January 2017 | UPDATED: 17:50 19 January 2017

Clive Lewis speaking at Jeremy Corbyn's leadership rally at Open in Norwich. 
Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Clive Lewis speaking at Jeremy Corbyn's leadership rally at Open in Norwich. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2015

Norwich MP Clive Lewis has said triggering Article 50 - the formal process for leaving the European Union - under Theresa May’s blueprint is not in the interests of the people of Norwich and the country.

The shadow business secretary, who holds a key position in Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s shadow cabinet, said the guarantees and assurances opposition MPs could get between now and March 31 would be critical to many MPs when they decided how to vote if a decision about whether to trigger Article 50 comes before parliament.

It comes as Mr Corbtyn said today he would ask Labour MPs to vote to trigger Article 50 if it comes before parliament.

The Supreme Court is expected to rule on Tuesday on whether the Prime Minister must get the backing of MPs before she can formally notify the European Union that Britain is leaving and open discussions.

Mr Lewis said: “It is safe to say that I am deeply concerned at the direction that Theresa May and the Conservative government is taking these negotiations, and the developments that are taking place. I am very mindful of what the majority of constituents in Norwich South voted for, which is remain. I don’t think what is currently on the table, given the irreversibility of Article 50, means that signing Article 50 under these conditions is in the best interests of people in Norwich or the country. However it is the job of the opposition to see what we can get between now and March 31 in terms of assurances and guarantees and I think that will be critical to many people when they come to make their decision on this vote.”

“Yes 17 million people voted to leave the EU. But ‘leave’ to what is the six million dollar question and so far the government’s answer is totally unacceptable.”

Mr Corbyn said today: “I’ve made it very clear the Labour Party accepts and respects the decision on British people.

“We will not block Article 50. It means all Labour MPs will be asked to vote in that direction next week, whenever the vote comes up.”

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