What a week! I’m on my way back from BBC Sunday Politics and I wanted to write to you with an update of what’s happening with Brexit and, as far as I can, to outline what I think will happen next.
The Prime Minister has returned with a Brexit deal that is in danger of pleasing no one as it makes our country worse off:
– It fails to ‘take back control’ as it leaves the UK subjected to EU rules, but with no say, which upsets people who voted Leave in particular
– It fails to protect trade, particularly on services, which concerns Leavers and Remainers alike
– It fails to agree a long term future relationship with the EU, which means we’re leaving in a blindfold with no idea where we’ll end up. No one is happy about this.
Whether you voted remain or leave – and Ilford North voters split right down the middle – I think we can all agree that this isn’t what people were promised.
Since the very beginning, this whole Brexit debate has been about what’s best for the Tories, rather than what’s best for the country. It’s time to put the country first.
I can’t tell you what will happen next. But I can be crystal clear with you about what I will be doing as your MP.
Since the referendum, I have accepted the result and done my best – through amendments in the House of Commons – to try and shape a Brexit that puts jobs and the economy first. Our proposals have been rejected at every step of the way.
I will be voting against Theresa May’s deal. I expect the vast majority of Labour MPs will do the same and we will be joined by every opposition party and a huge number of Conservative MPs.
If – as seems likely – Theresa May’s deal falls and she will not call for a general election, I believe we must have a People’s Vote on the final deal.
I believe very strongly that a People’s Vote is right in practice and in principle. In practice, it is the only way to break parliamentary deadlock in our Hung Parliament. In principle, the Brexit on offer bears so little resemblance to the pie in the sky Brexit that people were promised that it is right to ask people if they really want to proceed on this basis. Remaining must be an option. That’s why I support People’s Vote UK.
It should be very clear now that the Brexit that was promised can’t be delivered. Theresa May put leading Leavers in key positions – people like Boris Johnson, David Davis, Dominic Raab. They all walked out when it became clear that they couldn’t deliver what they’d promised. They attack the Brexit deal, but they’ve got no alternative of their own. Theresa May hasn’t handled these negotiations well, but ultimately the blame lies with Boris Johnson and co. They lied to the country.
People must now be given a choice: would you rather proceed with Brexit now that you know for certain what it looks like, or would you rather remain in the EU?
This decision will affect our country from generations to come. It is too important to be left to a deeply divided House of Commons. This decision belongs to everyone.