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Labour MP considering voting for Johnson's Brexit deal

Graham Stringer believes the EU cannot be trusted to protect workers’ rights in the long-term

A LABOUR MP has said he will vote for Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal on Saturday because he believes the EU cannot be trusted to protect workers’ rights in the long-term.

Graham Stringer, MP for Blackley and Broughton in Manchester, said that he does not trust the EU any more than he trusts the Conservative Party.

He told the Radio 4 Today programme today: “The basis of wanting to be a country independent of EU regulations is that we can make decisions ourselves as a country.

“The Tories may well change the rights of workers but at least we will have the possibility as a Labour Party and trade union movement to put those back, as we have done before.

“When those rights go in the EU they are gone for good. They become more or less unalterable.

“I don’t share this view that the EU is some benign socialist body helping people in work.”

At least six other Labour MPs have said they may vote for Mr Johnson’s deal.

They include Ruth Smeeth, Stephen Kinnock, Kevin Barron, Rosie Cooper, Jim Fitzpatrick and Caroline Flint. Other Labour MPs are undecided.

Gloria de Piero, Labour MP for Ashfield — who campaigned to Remain in the 2016 referendum — suggested that she could support the deal because the majority of her constituency voted to leave the EU.

She was influenced by Unite union member and constituent Graham Norman, who visited her surgery today and “begged” her to vote for it.

Another constituent, Jason Gutteridge, called on her to vote for the deal.

She said: “He is just as much of a socialist as those Labour members who voted to Remain.”

Ronnie Campbell, Labour MP for Blyth Valley, described himself as a “life-long Leaver” in voting against EU treaties over 30 years.

He said he has been asked by shadow chancellor John McDonnell and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn to abstain from voting.

Mr Campbell said he wants to get a “get a deal across the line” but will make up his mind on Saturday regarding how to vote.

Prime Minister Mr Johnson needs 320 votes to pass his deal, in the first Saturday session of Parliament since 1982.

A Sky News analysis had 300 MPs poised to vote for his withdrawal agreement and 298 expected to vote against.

At least 41 MPs were unaccounted for when the Star went to print, including 19 Labour MPs, 15 independents, three Tories and four MPs who lost the Tory whip in voting against a no-deal Brexit.

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