Andy Street: Forget party politics and back Boris's Brexit deal
Labour MPs in the Black Country have been urged to put party politics to one side and support Boris Johnson's Brexit deal.
The call comes from West Midlands Mayor Andy Street, who has urged Labour and Tory Remainers to back the new withdrawal agreement in order to prevent a no deal Brexit.
It comes after the Prime Minister spent a frantic 24 hours attempting to sell his deal to MPs ahead of this afternoon's Commons vote.
But the Mayor's warning may well fall on deaf ears across the Black Country, where the majority of Labour MPs appear set to oppose it.
Reflecting on the deal Mr Johnson agreed with the EU this week, Mr Street told the E&S: "We have been arguing for three years that the will of the people needs to be honoured, and this deal does that while at the same time protecting the interests of West Midlands businesses.
"My message to MPs is to put party politics to one side and get behind this deal. We have all been waiting long enough and this is now an opportunity for us to leave and move on.
"I would be urging all MPs to think about the economic interests of this area and the rest of the country.
"There are around 250 plus Labour MPs and 20 of them are from this region – the region which is the manufacturing and export capital of the UK.
"A lot of them have been very eloquent about the need for a deal and the dangers of no deal. This is the moment they have to decide.
"A deal is on the table. Our Labour MPs – and some of our less willing Conservative MPs – need to support it."
All seven of Labour MPs in the Black Country opposed Theresa May's deal each time it went before the Commons, and they now appear set to vote against Mr Johnson's deal.
They include West Bromwich East MP Tom Watson, who wants Labour to campaign for Remain in a second referendum, and Wolverhampton South East MP Pat McFadden who has described the new deal as a "harder" Brexit than Mrs May's.
Wolverhampton South West MP Eleanor Smith, said: "We can't have a deal which would cause enormous harm to jobs, living standards, and our NHS.
"We can't open the way for the Tories to sell off our public services, deregulate the economy and slash workers’ rights and protections."