As you can no doubt imagine I have been contacted by 1000’s of constituents regarding Brexit over the last 2 years and in light of this week’s European Elections I wanted to share with you my response to local people’s queries regarding the Elections and the Labour Party’s position. I hope you find it useful.
Thank you for your email asking about Labour’s position on Europe. Labour respects the outcome of the referendum to leave the EU, BUT we cannot accept the terms of the agreement that Theresa May has put before us.
It’s a bad deal and does not provide the U.K. with the close and good working relationship with the EU our country needs.
The Tories have made a mess of the last 3 years negotiations. They are in office but not in power and our country is without an effective Government. That’s why we continue to argue that we should have a General Election. If a General Election isn’t forthcoming, and at this remove I am doubtful that we will have an early election although that could change, given the only two real options currently before us today which are firstly the Prime Minister’s bad deal or alternatively No Deal by default, then Labour says we should have a public vote.
A No Deal would be utterly disastrous for our country and I will do everything I can to try and ensure that No Deal never happens. Those who are arguing that No Deal is what the people voted for in 2016 are being disingenuous and are attempting to re write history.
Therefore the choice before the people in such a confirmatory vote/ 2nd referendum should be either Theresa May’s deal or Remain.
There is a redundant debate raging about a public vote on any “other deal”. There is no “other deal” available to us.
Theresa May is allegedly going to come forward with a “big bold offer” this week. I have no expectation that her offer will shift the dial one iota.
Whilst I think it most unlikely, if out of the blue some “other deal” suddenly emerged, I think the case for any such deal that comes through the process to be put to the people is irresistible.
We in Labour have tried to negotiate with the Government to secure our economy and to secure the good future relationship with the EU that would protect jobs, consumer rights and protect the environment. That has proved impossible to achieve. Whatever little progress we made within the negotiations was immediately undermined by Cabinet members and others.
Putative leaders of the Tory party have made it clear that Labour’s prerequisite of a customs union arrangement and strong single market relationship will not be accepted in any circumstances. Any such deal won’t be agreed by the Tory party and in any event, were that remotely possible, there is no prospect whatsoever of Theresa May’s successor, whoever that may be, doing anything other than ditching any such agreement or understanding at the first opportunity.
My conclusion is that given the limited options we currently have, and given that No Deal simply has to be avoided and that the end of October is not far away, we are in my view heading to a second referendum.
The PMs deal is disastrous and amongst other things, will bring about the break up of the U.K. and in all those circumstances I will be arguing for us to remain the EU.
I recognise that over 60% of the Middlesbrough electorate voted to leave the EU – and that was broadly reflected across much of the North East- but I conduct myself and cast my parliamentary votes in a manner that I genuinely and sincerely consider to be in the best interests of my Middlesbrough constituents and the whole of the country.
This is undoubtedly the most challenging political storm that I have lived through. It is a tumultuous and fragile time.
In the election on Thursday there is a straight choice as to the values to be expressed in Brussels on behalf of the North East of England. The choice is between Labour and the Brexit party of the health privatising, rights destroying, divisive, extremist and hate peddling Nigel Farage.
Voting for other parties will only let Farage in and the thought of his agenda being further promoted fills me with dread.
I was out campaigning this weekend with Middlesbrough’s own Jude Kirton-Darling, our excellent Labour MEP and I know I would infinitely prefer to have Jude representing Middlesbrough and the NE in Brussels than any of Mr Farage’s acolytes so I would urge you to vote Labour on Thursday.
This is a very long reply but I hope you will agree that the importance of the issue warrants a detailed response.
Member of Parliament for Middlesbrough