Since the release of the Withdrawal agreement, I have been contacted by hundreds of local people, expressing many different views both about the deal and how the country can move forward. Firstly, I would like to thank everyone who has taken the time to get in touch. In order to make the right choice, it is vital that I know what people across Brightside and Hillsborough think.
The most overwhelming response from local people, whether they voted to leave or to remain, is that the withdrawal agreement is completely unacceptable. This so-called deal leaves us facing a blind Brexit in which we must leave with no idea of our future trading relationship with the EU alongside the prospect of being subject to a trading backstop which we have no power to end ourselves. This does not satisfy anyone.
This deal is bad for jobs and the economy. It fails Labour’s six tests for a deal and rejects our sensible proposal to form a new customs union with the EU, the most sensible and effective way to give the frictionless trade that business needs. We have a political declaration which is simply a twenty-six page wish list and not a deal which sets out our future relationship with the EU. It is now clear that there is insufficient support in Parliament for this deal. Ploughing on is pointless, Theresa May must abandon her failure and work with us to find a deal which delivers for the Country.
I will work tirelessly with my Labour colleagues over the coming weeks to put right Theresa May’s mess. This starts with voting against the deal in Parliament on December 11th. Labour will be putting forward an amendment to this ‘meaningful vote’ in Parliament. This amendment states that if Theresa May cannot pass her deal, she must resign and call a General Election. We will then fight to elect a transformative Labour Government to negotiate a deal which will protect jobs and the economy.
Politicians cannot overturn the result of this referendum but I have listened to the many people who feel that a public vote may be the only way forward. If we cannot achieve a general election, I believe that we must keep a public vote open as an option to end this deadlock.
I did not come into politics to make my constituents poorer. I cannot and will not accept any deal that causes huge damage to Sheffield and that means that I have to reject any notion that we could leave with ‘no deal’. This would be devastating locally and nationally as analysis from the Bank of England shows.
As someone who campaigned and voted to Remain, I have never seen our Country so divided as it is now over Brexit. My guiding principles are to protect our communities from the economic damage that a hard Brexit will cause and respond to the reasons why people wanted to leave the European Union. There is no simple answer but it is abundantly clear Theresa May cannot do this. Only a Labour government can bring the country together.