Tim Farron writes on what’s next for Liberal Democrats now that the Article 50 bill has been triggered.
By Tim Farron Mar 16, 2017 1:03
Today, the Article 50 bill was given Royal Assent – meaning Theresa May is now clear to trigger Article 50 and begin the Brexit negotiations.
This follows votes in Parliament earlier this week where MPs and Lords voted for the final time on the Article 50 bill.
In those votes, our top priority was to preserve two amendments to the bill, which would have guaranteed EU Citizens Right to Stay and ensured Parliament got a meaningful vote on the terms of the deal at the end of the process.
Our priority was to try and keep the two amendments passed by the Lords, to guarantee EU citizens’ Right to Stay and guarantee a meaningful vote in Parliament on the final deal in the bill.
Unfortunately, in the Commons both of the amendments were defeated, 335 to 287 and 331 to 286 respectively. They then returned to the Lords, where our Lords argued passionately that they should be included in the bill and sent back with the original amendments included.
The Leadership of Labour in the Lords refused to support us and voted against and that was that – the Article 50 bill passed unamended.
It was yet another disappointing decision from a Labour party that has now backed the Conservatives plan for a hard Brexit at every single stage.
But our fight will not end here.
I respect the outcome of the referendum, but I have not changed my view that Britain is best in Europe. and we will continue to make the case for Britain in Europe
Both I and the Liberal Democrats will continue to make the case for Britain in Europe and continue to fight this Conservative Brexit Government’s plans for a Hard Brexit.
Labour have shown time and time again that they will not stand up to the Conservatives on Brexit and with the SNP pushing for another independence referendum that risks dragging Scotland out of Europe, we are the only party united in fighting to keep Britain in both the UK and the EU.
We will not stop fighting to keep Britain in the single market, guarantee EU citizens right to stay, protect science and research funding and co-operation, to save the Erasmus scheme and we will never stop fighting for a Britain that is open, tolerant and united.
If you want to help us in those fights, please add your name to these campaigns today: