I accept and respect the result of the 2016 referendum. I am committed to ensuring that the Government achieves the best possible deal for Warrington South and the UK as a whole. One that protects jobs, the economy and rights.
I understand that individuals across Warrington South are deeply divided on what our future partnership with the EU should look like.
However, the deal that has been presented to us is not one that anyone voted for – regardless of whether they voted to Leave or Remain. And, it is clear to me from the correspondence I have received to date and the conversations I have had throughout the constituency, that many people in Warrington South do not support the Brexit deal that the Prime Minister has put forward.
The Prime Minister’s deal fails to protect manufacturing, it offers no firm protections for services and fails to protect workers’ rights and the environment.
The Prime Minister’s deal falls far short of the tests I have long said I will judge it by, and which she said she was determined to meet. They are based on promises the Government made about the Brexit deal it would deliver. Those six tests are as follows:
- Ensure a strong and collaborative future relationship with the EU
- Deliver the exact same benefits as the single market and the customs union
- Ensure fair management of migration in the interests of the economy and communities
- Defend rights and protections and prevent a race to the bottom
- Protect national security and capacity to tackle cross-border crime
- Deliver for all the regions and nations of the UK.
I believe that the deal we are being offered will leave us in a worse situation than we are currently in. This deal is bad for Warrington and bad for the United Kingdom.
Frankly I do not accept the choice is between this deal or no deal. If this deal is voted down, Labour will work across Parliament to block ‘no deal’.
Leaving the EU without a deal would be the worst possible outcome to this process, with severe consequences across many areas. It would mean an end to the frictionless and tariff-free trade with the EU that our manufacturers rely on. A no deal Brexit would also mean no agreement on how to avoid a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
It is clear that the Prime Minister has completely lost her grip on this issue. Last night, the Government suffered three humiliating defeats, and in a historic move, the Government was found in contempt of Parliament over its refusal to publish the full Brexit legal advice.
As I do not believe this deal is in the national interest, I therefore have no option but to vote against the Prime Minister’s deal in Parliament on 11 December.
I also intend to support amendments that make rejection of a no-deal Brexit clear, and that call on Parliament to use all options to ensure it cannot happen.
Labour’s preference is for there to be a general election but, if that is not possible, we will keep options on the table to prevent no deal – including campaigning for a public vote.