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June 25, 2019

Labour demands inquiry into costs of no-deal

World

P
Pa
June 25, 2019

LONDON: Labour peers are pressing for an inquiry into the costs and implications of a no-deal Brexit. Baroness Smith of Basildon, Labour’s leader in the Lords, warned that a no-deal Brexit was the “worst possible outcome”.

She told the Lords that as the clock “ticks down,” such a scenario was a “real and frightening possibility”. Lady Smith said the Prime Minister had failed to indicate that the Government would do everything possible to avoid a no-deal Brexit.

Labour has tabled a motion for debate next week to establish a joint committee of the Commons and the Lords to “explore the costs and implications of a no-deal exit”. She said the aim was to help Parliament by reporting back with “hard facts” instead of views and opinions.

Her comments came as peers heard a statement on the recent European Council meeting, and Tory leadership hopeful Boris Johnson came under fire from both sides of the House.Lady Smith said the man most likely to become the next prime minister continued “to display a wilful ignorance, asserting we can leave with no deal in October but still benefit from a transition period and a continuation of tariff-free trade”.

“Either he doesn’t understand the importance of ratifying a withdrawal agreement in order to secure a transition period or he is willing to mislead the country in his quest to enter No 10,” she added. Lord Newby, Liberal Democrat leader in the Lords, said the country now had a potential prime minister “who is the laughing stock of the world” and insisted the only way out of this “shambles” was a second referendum, followed by a general election.

Tory Lord Cormack backed the call for a joint committee and called for a positive response from the Government to what he described as the “gravest crisis our country has faced

in peacetime, perhaps ever”.

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