I am very concerned at the way our withdrawal from the European Union has been handled. I believe the last three years since the referendum have been wasted with Government infighting, incompetence and chaos.
I have repeatedly called for a Brexit plan that can protect jobs and living standards and work for the whole country. However, two Prime Ministers have refused to listen.
Under Boris Johnson we are threatened with a disastrous No Deal Brexit on 31 October. A threat that has, in my view, increased. The country is now fixated on Johnson and his Cabinet both of which refuse to rule out a no deal position. The clock is fast running out in terms of Parliamentary time. Stopping no deal must be our focus and our priority. It will be catastrophic for our country and our communities.
The Government’s independent economic watchdog, the Office for Budget Responsibility, has also warned that No Deal could tip the economy into recession. Those who will pay the price will be working people, their families, and communities in our area and across the country.
This Government is not working for the many. It is serving itself and its own self-interest. That’s why I still believe that the best way to address all the issues we face is a General Election followed by a referendum once we have ruled out No Deal.
The Supreme Court judged that the Prime Minister’s advice to the Queen to prorogue Parliament was unlawful, and that the suspension itself was therefore void and of no effect. This was a unanimous judgment by all 11 Justices of the highest court in our country.
Prorogation between sessions of Parliament in recent decades has typically lasted less than a week. However, the Government wanted Parliament to be suspended for five weeks. Given the situation facing our country as we approach the Brexit deadline of 31 October, I was firmly opposed to Parliament being shut down in this way.
I also believe Parliament’s suspension in these circumstances is an affront to our democratic principles. As the Supreme Court said in its judgment, the Government’s planned prorogation had the effect of frustrating or preventing the ability of Parliament to carry out its constitutional functions without reasonable justification.
At this stage of the Brexit process, I believe Parliament should be sitting as often as possible. I have always believed that Parliament must be fully involved in the Brexit process – from triggering Article 50, having a meaningful vote on the final deal and shaping our future relationship with the EU. We are a parliamentary democracy and parliament must remain sovereign.
The Prime Minister should now ensure that he obeys the law, fulfils the will of Parliament, and takes a No Deal Brexit on 31 October off the table.
At the time of writing this, it is only the Labour Party who are committed to, and capable of delivering a public vote on any Brexit Deal. Labour have committed to a public vote to include both a leave and remain option on the ballot paper.
In any future UK wide General Election, the choice is now very clear. The Tories will not deliver a public vote – they are now the party of leave. The Liberal Democrats have said that in a general election they will campaign to revoke, completely ignoring the democratic result of the referendum in 2016, and the SNP only contest Scottish seats so are incapable of being in Government to deliver that public vote.
To conclude, if you want to have the final say on Brexit, you should vote Labour.