Last night, Liberal Democrat MPs backed a cross-party amendment to the Queen’s Speech that would have kept the UK in the Single Market.
All 12 of our MPs, along with 89 MPs from other parties backed the amendment – but unfortunately after Jeremy Corbyn imposed a three-line whip on his MPs the amendment was defeated by a majority of 221.
After the vote, he doubled down, by firing four Shadow Cabinet ministers who voted for the Amendment.
Could last night have been different?
Yes, it could. Earlier in the day the Government came close to defeat on two amendments on ending the Public Sector Pay freeze and allowing Northern Irish women use the NHS for abortions. The second vote forced the Government into a concession, in a major victory for Campaigners.
Speaking after that vote, Lib Dem MP, Jo Swinson said “his shows the power of cross-party pressure, which will be even more effective in this balanced Parliament”
If Jeremy Corbyn instructed to back the amendment (which came from one of his own backbenchers!) there’s a real chance the Government could have either been defeated or forced to back down.
On the most important issue of the day, Jeremy Corbyn ordered his MPs to sit on their hands – and we’ll all suffer the consequences.
And if you want to know how daft his decision last night was, well, just look at the host of "characters" who’ve been celebrating it:
Corbyn showing his true Brexit colours. He's almost a proper chap. https://t.co/7hFqiImi0o— Nigel Farage (@Nigel_Farage) June 29, 2017
Good man. Upholding democracy. Decisive leadership. Chukka Uppa - as irritating as thrush and just as hard to get rid of. pic.twitter.com/pANGdlOx82— Katie Hopkins (@KTHopkins) June 29, 2017
We Leavers often break into a chorus of #OhJeremyCorbyn when no one else is listening. We'd never have won without him.— Daniel Hannan (@DanielJHannan) June 25, 2017
Corbyn fires up to six Shadow Ministers for supporting the pro Single Market/Customs Union amendment. Labour solidly a Brexit Party now.— Labour Leave (@labourleave) June 29, 2017
Last night Corbyn sacked MPs for trying to keep us in the single market. Is he rediscovering his anti-EU roots?https://t.co/rgmh0P8Kla— LEAVE.EU 🇬🇧 (@LeaveEUOfficial) June 30, 2017
Why does the single market matter?
The single market means it as easy to trade between London and Berlin as it is between Edinburgh and London.
Within the Single Market, goods, people, services and capital can move freely, meaning there are no lengthy customs checks, borders to cross and goods can move freely and cheaply.
Giving up our membership of the Single Market would be catastrophic for our economy and put millions of people’s livelihoods at risk.
Even if we agreed on a deal allowing access to the Single Market (which the Conservatives haven’t even confirmed they’ll be pursuing) it would mean less investment, fewer jobs and no say over the laws that government our access, compared to remaining fully-fledged members.