Brexit row erupts as Labour MP fails to choose between deal or no deal

Brexit: Angela Eagle grilled on whether Labour will back deal

The Labour MP refused to commit to whether the party would vote for or against a Brexit deal as negotiations enter their final days. Ms Eagle hit out at Boris Johnson for not having a deal in place as businesses do not know what will happen in three weeks’ time. Her refusal to say whether Labour would back the Prime Minister sparked fury in the Telegraph’s Tim Stanley erupted for not committing to one side.

Speaking to BBC Politics Live, Ms Eagle said: “I think the choice now is between no deal which would be catastrophic or a very, very thin deal which may or may not be made in the next few days.”

Presenter Jo Coburn asked: “Will Labour support that?”

Ms Eagle continued: “We will have to look and see what it is when it’s done but the fact is there are businesses out there that don’t know the terms which they’ll be trading in three weeks time.

“There are people who are trying to run our economy.”

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Mr Stanley interjected: “So, you’re going to vote for the deal?

“You’ll have a choice between no deal or a deal.

“You’ve said no deal would be worse than a deal so I presume you’re going to vote for a deal or will you just abstain?”

The Labour MP continued: “Let’s see what they come out with and we will commit ourselves when we see what the deal is.”

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Ms Coburn added: “You will commit yourselves or will there be an abstention?”

Ms Eagle said: “We will commit ourselves when we see what the deal is.”

It comes as talks on a UK-EU trade deal will not continue next year, Downing Street insisted after Brussels left the door open to further negotiations.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “We have been clear that the future relationship needs to be concluded by the end of the year and negotiations won’t continue into next year.

“That’s been our position throughout.”


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Number 10 did not rule out MPs being made to sit over the Christmas period to pass any Brexit deal.

Asked if there were contingency plans for the Commons to sit between Christmas and New Year’s Eve, the Prime Minister’s spokesman said: “We believe that should we reach a free trade agreement there is parliamentary time to put it through the House.

“I think we have seen previously Parliament’s ability to pass things at a good speed where necessary and we continue to believe that there is time to do so.”

The spokesman said “time is obviously in short supply” but that the Government wanted to reach a deal “as soon as possible”.

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