Sunday shows round-up: Cooper amendment and another EU referendum

Sienna Rodgers


The Andrew Marr Show

Yvette Cooper was on to talk about her amendment to the government’s Brexit motion, which will come to a vote on Tuesday.

  • On whether Jeremy Corbyn will back her amendment, Cooper said he had not confirmed either way: “I hope that he will support it.”
  • On trying (or not) to block Brexit: “In the end someone has to take some responsibility and say: ‘If the prime minister runs out of time she may need some more time.’ That is not about blocking Brexit – that is about being responsible and making sure you can get a Brexit deal.”
  • On whether the amendment would see Article 50 extended by three or nine months, with the latter complicated by EU elections, she said the bill is deliberately amendable: “It will be up for parliament to decide how long is needed.”
  • On her preferred outcome to the Brexit process: “We’ve got to get a workable deal – for me that includes a customs union – but we’ve got to rule out a ‘no deal'”.

Ridge on Sunday

Angela Rayner, Labour MP for Ashton-under-Lyne and Shadow Education Secretary, told Sophy Ridge that the Labour leadership was still undecided on whether to back the Cooper amendment on Tuesday. The MP, whose seat voted over 63% to leave in 2016, explained her reasons for disliking the idea of a fresh EU referendum.

  • On Labour plans to spend more on scrapping tuition fees than early years, Sure Start and child care: “Coming from a working class background myself, I had the opportunity to go to university for free if I wanted it… It is those who need the maintenance support that come away from university with the biggest amount of debt and I think it’s really scary for our young people.”
  • On backing the Cooper amendment: “Labour will do whatever it takes to avoid a no deal Brexit so if that’s the only option that we have then it is something that we will seriously consider.”
  • On another EU referendum: “I think if we end up with a second referendum then us as politicians have failed the public, we have failed to be able to do our job. I don’t think that people want to see a delay in Article 50, I don’t think that people want to see a second referendum. They want to see parliamentarians working together to carry out what happened as a result of the referendum.”
  • On the arguments for a fresh referendum: “Now I have heard people say they were lied to etc and I’ve pulled Damian Hinds up five times in terms of his dodgy stats and in every manifesto you only get half of it implemented normally so there is always mistruths… I understand people’s frustration but I really don’t see that the UK has moved significantly away from where they were originally on that original decision so I think parliament has just got to get on with it now.”

Channel 4 News

Unite general secretary Len McCluskey spoke against the idea of another EU public vote.

  • “A second referendum is not the preferred option for the Labour Party. That’s why the Prime Minister’s approach at the moment to try and see if there’s a way to conclude a deal.”
  • “Having campaigned strongly to Remain, more money, more resources than anybody else my union put in – we lost… Having lost, coming out of the EU is not the end of the world, providing you conclude an agreement that protects jobs…”

Westminster Hour

Liz Kendall, Labour MP for Leicester West, who supports another EU referendum, explained that she backed the Cooper amendment in order to give parliament more time to debate alternatives.

  • Is the Labour leadership backing the Cooper amendment? “I don’t know, but I hope they do.”
  • On Labour’s official amendment, which mentions a new public vote: “The amendment reflects party policy. Opposition amendments – it’s very hard to get that passed. It’s more likely that it’ll be one of the backbenchers…”

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