During my election campaign last year, I said I could not vote for a Brexit deal that made constituents poorer. I was proud to stick to that promise last night as I voted against Prime Minister’s Withdrawal Agreement.
432 MPs voted against the deal, inflicting the largest Parliamentary defeat for any sitting Government in the history of our democracy.
This was a false choice between a bad deal and no deal. The Prime Minister’s deal was high on ambition and low on substance in crucial areas such as immigration, travel and trade. It would imperil jobs and our ability to trade. Far from putting Brexit behind us it would have meant another two years of negotiations with no certain outcomes.
Many are rightly concerned regarding the threat of a no deal Brexit. This would be catastrophic and must be avoided at all costs. However, I do not feel that this should be used to threaten MPs and the public in to accepting a narrow choice between the Prime Minister’s bad deal and a disastrous no deal. The Government should show responsible leadership and act quickly to rule out a no deal Brexit and protect jobs and business.
Now the Withdrawal Agreement has been defeated, we must have a clear vision to move the country forward.
Unfortunately, the no confidence motion which could have put an end to this incompetent Government was unsuccessful. We must now consider all options, including a new public vote, as per the motion passed at Labour Party conference in September.
It is for this reason that I intend to keep supporting the People’s Vote campaign to ensure the public can have a meaningful say on the final terms of Brexit. This is the only way to regain a mandate on the issue and break the deadlock.
My view has also been informed by the thousands of constituents who have contacted me on this issue. 94% of you have told me you would like a People’s Vote and I am proud to represent your views.
This is not about frustrating Brexit. It is about ensuring the people can shape the process and make a final, informed decision based on a known quantity.
Please do not hesitate to contact me if you would like to discuss this issue.