After 20 months of negotiations, I believe the Government’s approach to Brexit has resulted in a bad deal that does not work for our country and is unlikely to be endorsed when it comes before Parliament now in the next few weeks. This is a result of the Government’s failure and refusal to adopt the kind of approach I and the Labour Party have been calling for, that can safeguard jobs and the economy.
As it stands, when the deal comes before parliament, I intend to vote against the Prime Minister’s deal.
If Parliament votes down the Prime Minister’s deal, I believe this Government will have lost its mandate and given the seriousness of the situation, they should do the honourable thing and go to the country in a general election. If that is not possible then all options, including a public vote, must be on the table.
This Tory Government already lost three votes at the start of December and Parliament was then denied the right to vote on the deal. Midway through the five days of debate, the Government knew they would lose the vote, stopped the two days of debate remaining thus preventing parliament voting on the deal altogether. A number of amendments were put in as part of that debate which included the right for parliament to decide what happens next. The Government has stopped parliamentary democracy yet again.
This latest ploy is to simply try and run down the clock and to leave the country with a false choice of Theresa May’s deal versus no deal and this is a significant risk and why the remaining debate and vote must be allowed to take place as soon as possible.
Parliamentary democracy must be restored. Parliament must be allowed to have its debate and vote on the deal. And that is what Labour is continuing to push for.
Calls for votes of no confidence by other parties at this stage are simply stunts and are not going to move forward the debate. Without the support of the DUP, the current numbers simply show that opposition parties would not win this hypothetical vote.
Labour continues to work across the House to build consensus, but this is a time for grown up politics, not stunts, and I want to assure you that I and the Labour party will continue to look to find ways to use Parliamentary procedures to hold this Government to account.