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Brexit: Who Is the Independent Group?

One News Page Staff Thursday, 21 February 2019
Brexit: Who Is the Independent Group?by 👩‍💻 Stephanie Boyd

As if matters on Brexit couldn’t get more complicated, it seems this week that a number of UK politicians have decided to take a stance and break away from their main parties – with the UK’s forthcoming divorce from the European Union thought to be at the heart of their decision-making.

Referring to themselves as the ‘Independent Group’, there are now eleven MPs at the time of writing who have defected from both the Labour and governing Conservative Parties as a result of disenchantment with the directions their respective groups were heading in. At the time of writing, the Group comprises of eight Labour MPs and three Conservative MPS, making it a minor coalition of sorts. The Group has also reached out across Parliament in an attempt to appeal to others to join them.

The most recent band of MPs to join the IG are Sarah Wollaston, Anna Soubry and Heidi Allen, who, according to BBC News, criticized the government of letting a ‘hard-line anti-EU awkward squad’ emerge from within the ranks of the Conservative Party. The three MPs are pro-remain as far as Brexit is concerned, and it is thought that they have broken away in the name of seeking a practical way through Brexit negotiation.

Three Tory MPs Join New Independent Group
Three Tory MPs Join New Independent Group [video]

The Group was formed earlier in the week by eight Labour MPs who left as a result of inaction taken against allegations of anti-Semitism in the party, and as a result of leader Jeremy Corbyn’s ongoing handling of Brexit. Corbyn has come under fire from some for what they believe to have been a poor opposition to PM May and her ongoing Brexit discussions. Corbyn, who is thought to be anti-EU according to a number of media outlets, has been criticized for failing to take enough action in opposing the government.

Frustration, it seems, is what has spurred on the Independent Group to be formed. The three Conservative defectors have stated that they will continue to support the government on a number of areas, however, they advised that they are ‘honor-bound to put (their) constituents’ and country’s interests first’ with regard to Brexit. This is a further criticism which has been made by some – that the government’s focus on and handling of Brexit has taken away from the running of the country.

With just over a month left until Brexit is supposedly set to occur – will the Independent Group make waves?


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