David Davis set out a White Paper on the Government's Brexit plans
The Brexit Secretary clashed with the Labour frontbench as he revealed the details of a Government’s White Paper on its Brexit plans in the House of Commons.
Outlining the 12-point Brexit plan, Mr Davis told MPs the White Paper “confirms the Prime Minister’s vision of an independent, truly global UK and an ambitious future relationship with the EU”.
He added: “This is based on the 12 principles that will guide the Government in fulfilling the democratic will of the people of the UK.”
But the White Paper was attacked by Labour’s shadow Brexit Secretary Sir Keir Starmer who claimed Mr Davis’ statement had told MPs “nothing”.
Sir Keir also raged at being handed a copy of the White Paper only “a few minutes” before Mr Davis’ statement.
The Labour frontbencher said: “The first fight about Brexit is very clear. It’s about giving this House a role in holding the Government to account.”
Sir Keir called for a vote on the contents of the White Paper, and a “meaningful vote” on the final Brexit deal negotiated by Theresa May during Article 50 divorce talks.
He said this must come before a vote on the Brexit deal in the European Parliament.
I am not going to be throwing people out of Britain and for him to suggest that is outrageous.
Sir Keir also claimed the White Paper offered “nothing that progresses the situations of EU nationals in this country” as he repeated Labour’s demand for the Government to take “unilateral action” on guaranteeing the rights of EU migrants already living in the UK.
Mrs May has repeatedly outlined her aim to offer such guarantees, but only if the rights of British nationals living on the Continent are also guaranteed.
In an angry response to Sir Keir, Mr Davis told the Labour MP: “I've got a track record actually of defending the interests of people who are under pressure.”
He reminded Sir Keir how he had previously teamed up with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn to demand the release of the final British citizen in the US detention centre Guantanamo Bay.
Mr Davis said: “I am not going to be throwing people out of Britain and for him to suggest that is outrageous.”
Theresa May's 12 point Brexit plan
Mon, January 16, 2017
It's finally here!
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Continued cooperation with the EU to tackle terrorism and international crime.
Mr Davis told MPs he wants to see EU nationals guaranteed “all the rights they currently have” after Brexit.
The Brexit Secretary added: “But I also want to see British citizens have their rights too.
“We owe a moral responsibility, a moral debt, to the EU nationals here. But we owe a moral and legal debt to the citizens of Britain abroad.
“And we will protect both.”
Mr Davis also mocked Sir Keir’s demand for a “meaningful” vote on a Brexit deal, telling the shadow minister: “Every vote in this House is meaningful.”
Tory MP and leading eurosceptic Sir Bill Cash praised the Government's White Paper as a document firmly in the "national interest".