It is increasingly clear that the Tories’ Brexit negotiations are a shambles. The people need a final say on the Brexit deal – that’s why I am backing a #peoplesvote.
I wrote about this difficult decision in last weeks Yorkshire Post with MPs from across Yorkshire:
We are supporters of a People’s Vote on the final Brexit deal.
We are not looking for a re-run of the 2016 referendum. We recognise that Leave won that campaign and we respect that result. The Government were given a mandate to negotiate an exit from the EU on the basis of Leave’s campaign: leaving would mean a massive budget boost for the NHS, we would be able to keep our trade with the EU while growing it with the rest of the world, and prices would fall.
We can now see none of these things are going to happen. We have not even left, and prices are rising as the pound takes a hammering on the foreign exchanges, our NHS is in crisis as European doctors and nurses leave and we are having to stockpile medicines. Locally, jobs in Yorkshire’s manufacturing, financial services, and engineering industries are under threat as companies cancel investment plans, and contemplate moving to the EU, and we face a £50 billion divorce bill which our children will still be paying when they are pensioners.
It is because none of these things were known about or discussed in 2016 that we think people – and not just politicians in Westminster – should have the right to decide if any Brexit deal the Government brings back is good enough in a People’s Vote.
In Yorkshire, the Brexit risks are very high. We have a big concentration of steel workers here, as well as many people working in the chemical industries, aviation, financial services, food manufacturing, pharmaceuticals and electronics whose jobs are threatened by a botched Brexit. On top of that our public services depend on the tax revenues that come from a strong economy. If Brexit unleashes a recession and a new round of austerity then our already overstretched schools, hospitals and police would be on the front-line.
As Labour MPs we are concerned that Brexit is being used by a minority on the Conservative benches in Parliament to push an ideological agenda that will make things much worse for working people. They want to slash protection for workers and for the environment, taking us backwards on things like holiday pay, parental rights, animal welfare and food quality.
We are also concerned that all the Brexit proposals from the Government put peace and progress in Northern Ireland at risk. Nobody voted for that.
For these reasons we are urging our party at its conference next week to take the next step forward and add its voice to the growing campaign for a People’s Vote.