Wednesday 30 December 2020


The UK-EU trade agreement has cleared the House of Commons by a huge margin as MPs backed it 521-73.  It will now go to the House of Lords for a mammoth debate that could run late into the night.  127 peers are lined up to speak.

Despite speculation that a number of Labour MPs would vote against the bill, including Diane Abbott, only one did so - Abbott's hard left colleague Bell Ribeiro-Addy.  Abbott and twelve of her Socialist Campaign Group comrades abstained, along with a number of centrist Remainers, making 37 Labour rebels in total.  Three fairly minor resignations have been tendered from Starmer's front bench as a result of the abstentions.

Helen Hayes (Dulwich & West Norwood) was the most senior resignation.  The Shadow Cabinet Office Minister released a lengthy statement on her website, saying she couldn't vote for such a 'damaging deal' and called the rushed nature of proceedings a 'national disgrace'.

Florence Eshalomi (Vauxhall) resigned as an opposition whip and Tonia Antoniazzi (Gower) resigned as a Parliamentary Private Secretary, sharing her resignation letter on Twitter.  

The 521 ayes in favour were as follows:

Conservative - 359
Labour - 162

The 73 noes against were as follows:

Labour - 1 (Bell Ribeiro-Addy)
SNP - 44
Lib Dems - 11
DUP - 8
Plaid - 3
SDLP - 2
Alliance - 1
Green - 1
Independents - 2

There were two Conservative abstentions - Owen Paterson and John Redwood.

The full list of 36 Labour abstentions is as follows (SCG denotes member of the Socialist Campaign Group).

Diane Abbott (SCG)
Tonia Antoniazzi
Apsana Begum (SCG)
Olivia Blake (SCG)
Ben Bradshaw
Kevin Brennan
Richard Burgon (SCG)
Dawn Butler
Neil Coyle
Stella Creasy
Janet Daby
Geraint Davies
Peter Dowd
Rosie Duffield
Clive Efford
Florence Eshalomi
Mary Foy (SCG)
Helen Hayes
Meg Hillier
Rupa Huq
Barry Gardiner
Diana Johnson
Darren Jones
Clive Lewis (SCG)
Rebecca Long Bailey (SCG)
Siobhain McDonagh
John McDonnell (SCG)
Catherine McKinnell
Ian Mearns (SCG)
Kate Osamor
Andy Slaughter
Lloyd Russell-Moyle (SCG)
Zarah Sultana (SCG)
Nadia Whittome (SCG)
Beth Winter (SCG)
Mohammad Yasin

Jeremy Corbyn and Claudia Webbe - both currently suspended from the Parliamentary Labour Party, but members of the SCG - also abstained.