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Labour to work with Tory rebels to give MPs veto on Brexit deal

Sir Keir: "I believe there is a consensus in Parliament for these changes." Credit: PA

Labour and Tory rebels will work together to ensure Theresa May gives parliament a veto on the final Brexit deal, Sir Keir Starmer has said.

Writing in The Sunday Times, the shadow Brexit secretary outlined several changes Labour would like to see to the current repeal bill, including giving MPs final say on the exit agreement.

Sir Keir notes that the legislation has yet to be presented to the House of Commons because the government fears defeat at the hands of Tory rebels who also want changes.

It is "clear" ministers cannot proceed with the current Bill, he said, threatening to "work with all sides" to ensure revisions.

Any small revolt by Tories in May’s minority government could derail the bill.

In the article, Sir Keir demands MPs receive "final say on whether to approve the withdrawal agreement and how best to implement it," and calls for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to receive post-Brexit repatriated powers straight away rather than via Westminster.

He also calls for guarantees that current workers' rights and environmental standards are maintained after Brexit, and wants the EU charter of fundamental rights written into UK law.

"I believe there is a consensus in Parliament for these changes. And there is certainly no majority for weakening rights, silencing Parliament and sidelining the devolved administrations,” he writes. "There is a way through this paralysis. Labour will work with all sides to make that happen."

The EU's Brexit co-ordinator called for May to “face down” members of her own party. Credit: PA

Sir Kier outlined his demands a day before Brexit secretary David Davis is due to travel to Paris to hold further talks on the settlement. Last week, French president Emmanuel Macron said the divorce bill could top 40 billion euro (£36 billion), dismissing May’s September suggestion that the UK could offer around 20 billion euro.

At the Brussels summit last week May admitted the final bill could be "many more billions" than her 20 billion euro figure, prompting outrage from some Tory MPs amid demands to walk away with no deal in place.

Guy Verhofstadt, the European Parliament's chief Brexit co-ordinator, called for May to “face down” members of her own party who are reluctant to give concessions to the EU.

"This may require Theresa May to face down Boris Johnson and others in her own party who refuse to accept the reality of the Brexit they campaigned for ... Brexiteers failed to outline the extent of UK liabilities in Europe,” Verhofstadt told the Mail on Sunday.

"Nevertheless, what is clear is that it will not be the taxpayers of the European Union who pay Britain's bar bill."