Jeremy Corbyn wrote a letter to MPs urging them to support his amendment to the motion being debated today (27 February 2019)
A copy of his letter is available at
The full text of the letter reads:
There is now only one month until the UK is due to leave the European Union on 29th March.
In recent weeks I’ve been speaking to businesses, industry organisations and trade unions to get their views on the way forward. It is their overwhelming view that we need a new comprehensive customs union and close alignment with the single market.
We have all been worried about the job losses announced in recent weeks, the unprecedented concerns expressed by industry and the hard data that shows our manufacturing sector is now deep in recession.
Labour respects the result of the 2016 referendum, but we believe in getting the terms of our exit right. That’s why we are convinced our alternative plan can provide security for all our futures.
Last week, I travelled with frontbench colleagues to Europe to meet EU officials and leaders to discuss the crisis and explain Labour’s proposals. We left with no doubt that our proposals are credible, workable and could be negotiated.
Today we will ask Parliament to vote on those proposals that support the demands of industry and working people – and that are clearly capable of providing a resolution that can bring the country together. I set out our amendment below:
That this House instructs Ministers:
(a) to negotiate with the EU for changes to the Political Declaration to secure:
(i) a permanent and comprehensive customs union with the EU;
(ii) close alignment with the single market underpinned by shared institutions and obligations;
(iii) dynamic alignment on rights and protections;
(iv) commitments on participation in EU agencies and funding programmes, including in areas such as the environment, education, and industrial regulation; and
(v) unambiguous agreement on the detail of future security arrangements, including access to the European Arrest Warrant and vital shared databases;
(b) to introduce primary legislation to give statutory effect to this negotiating mandate;
I very much hope you will consider backing our amendment – which respects the result of the 2016 referendum, and one which safeguards jobs, investment and industry in this country.
Indeed, as already noted by a senior Tory MP, yesterday’s statement by the Prime Minister enabled “MPs to forge cross-party consensus on a new way forward.”
If you would like to discuss our alternative plan further, a member of my team would be happy to talk to you, so please do not hesitate to get in touch with my office.
Jeremy Corbyn MP
Leader of the Labour Party