Equity statement on Brexit deal defeat

In response to the government’s Brexit deal defeat, Equity’s General Secretary Christine Payne said:

“The PM’s Withdrawal Agreement did not meet all five of Equity’s key priorities for protecting the professional interests of its members – particularly on guaranteeing workers’ rights and ensuring they keep pace with the EU’s protective framework and on free movement of workers, an essential right for our members.

“While our objectives could be achieved by membership of the single market - or indeed no-Brexit - we have been lobbying hard to ensure they are met as part of a future trade deal; including no hard border in Ireland, that was addressed in the PM’s deal.

“With the decision taken last night, our first priority is to ensure that leaving the EU with no deal is avoided at all costs – which would be a disaster for our members.

“We are keeping a close watch on events. If the PM wins the vote of no-confidence tonight, we will review the alternatives options that may be able to secure a consensus in Parliament and agreement with the EU as they are presented. This process may need more time.

If a way forward cannot be found, the options seem to be no-deal Brexit, a general election or go back to the British people to decide on the best way forward for what our future relationship with the EU should look like.”