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Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Can Tory and Labour rebels force a soft Brexit?

With both Labour and the Conservatives pledging in their manifestos to end freedom of movement and to leave the single market, it is difficult to see how we are going to end up with anything but a hard Brexit.

However, as the Independent reports, dissent is stirring beneath the surface of both major parties in a way that could bring about change in the Government's stance.

The paper says that Labour and Conservative MPs have reportedly met for secret talks amid growing pressure on Prime Minister Theresa May to take a cross-party approach to Brexit in light of the hung Parliament following the general election:

The Evening Standard, edited by former Tory chancellor George Osborne, and the Daily Telegraph, both reported that Cabinet ministers have initiated talks with Labour MPs to secure cross-party backing for a softer Brexit which puts business interests front and centre.

A senior, unnamed minister is quoted as having told the Standard: “This is no longer a question just for Government. It is clear to me that Parliament will want to assert its role in a way it did not before.”

After attending the Prime Minister's Cabinet meeting on Monday, Ms Davidson told BBC News: “I'm suggesting that the Conservative Party works with those both within the House of Commons and with people without to ensure that as we leave the EU, we have a Brexit that works for the economy and puts that first.

”There was a real sense around the Cabinet table today, as you would expect from centre right politicians, that that is the primacy we're looking for.“

Ms Davidson suggested the Government may shift its priority from cutting immigration to ensuring a good deal for business and the economy.

All of this is very encouraging but unless Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell change their stance on Brexit it may not be enough to force the Prime Minister into a U-turn.
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