David Davis was set to address the Commons shortly after midday on February 2. It came as Labour said it would fight to stop a ‘reckless Brexit’ [Image: Jack Taylor/Getty Images].

More interesting than publication of the Tory White Paper will be Labour’s reaction to it.

It is now abundantly clear that all the knee-jerk critics who wanted us to believe Labour would wave the Tory Brexit past Parliament without standing up for the people were completely wrong.

Labour’s plan is – and always has been – to make sure the Tories can’t do whatever they want, but must accept their responsibility to the United Kingdom, to do what is best for all the people, not just the rich.

John McDonnell seems to have suggested abstentions, which is the best Labour can do after voters called for the country to leave the EU.

As a democratic party, Labour must support the will of the people, as demonstrated in the referendum. I know some critics are still holding out that it doesn’t count because the whole electorate didn’t vote but their argument falls because the opportunity had been provided.

But Labour has done that, by supporting, in principle, the Bill that confers power to trigger Article 50 on Theresa May.

We now come to discussion of the practicalities. If the White Paper shows the Tories intend to betray the people, and the Opposition parties are unable to push any of their amendments onto the Bill, then it seems the only option will be to oppose the Bill in its current form or abstain.

Abstention may be the more attractive choice as it says the Opposition parties accept the referendum vote but not the Tory plan.

David Davis, the Brexit secretary, will present MPs with a formal policy paper setting out how the UK proposes to leave the EU, a day after MPs voted in favour of giving Theresa May the power to trigger article 50.

It comes as John McDonnell, the shadow chancellor, promised that Labour would fight against May’s pursuit of a “reckless Brexit” after the party was whipped in favour of giving her the power to trigger article 50.

Jeremy Corbyn’s closest ally said Labour would not give the prime minister a “blank cheque for what others call a hard Brexit and I think is a reckless Brexit”.

“We are all uncomfortable with the position, we campaigned to remain, but we are democrats and have to respect the will of the people,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

Source: David Davis to present Brexit white paper to House of Commons | Politics | The Guardian

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