Britain’s Labour party suffered major divisions on Europe, with more than half the party’s backbenchers defying the party whip. In a vote on a Lords amendment that would in effect mean staying in the EEA, 75 backbenchers defied party instructions to abstain and voted for the EEA. A further 15, also defying the party whip, voted against.
Sputnik spoke to Bill Etheridge, UKIP MEP for the West Midlands for more on the situation.
Sputnik: following the recent scenes we’ve seen in the commons over the past few days, what does this mean for Brexit?
Bill Etheridge: I think Brexit no longer means independence. I think that the MPs who are supposed to represent the views of the people have taken it upon themselves; that they know better and there are desperate efforts going on from the MPs and the unelected Lords, to try and completely derail the wish of the people and to force us to remain in the group of the EU.
Sputnik: it seems the government is adamant that parliament considers the Norwegian EEA model… if this was the model of Brexit Britain follows what effect would it have on the country?
Bill Etheridge: Any model of Brexit that we follow that is not complete independence, is A) not what the people asked for and B) allows us to be controlled, to some degree, by foreign powers. This is a perfect example of weak leadership, being able to take her own party with her, having to make concessions and good deals and in the process of making deals and concessions the whole meaning of what people are supposed to be voting for is lost.
Sputnik: now neither of us a crystal ball but what are you prediction for the future on upcoming Brexit negotiations?
Bill Etheridge: The Pro-EU side in the UK parliament will gather strength and know that they can bully and take advantage of this weak and timid prime minister. The EU negotiators will give no ground whatsoever because they know they’ve got the British Government on the run and I think the British people will start to protest to get their voices heard again. I think we are in for one of the biggest betrayals in the history of our country.
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