This is in response to a letter about Brexit from one of our members.
Thank you for contacting me with your views on Brexit. It is important to me to hear from constituents as the ever-changing situation develops.
Since the referendum in 2016, I have scrutinised all the different options presented for leaving the European Union. My priority has always been to ensure that we negotiate terms that best protect our economy and maintain stable employment, enabling us to give the police, NHS, schools, and all our public services, the support they desperately need, and to tackle the growing poverty in our country.
The deal which the Prime Minister presented to Parliament was simply a stop-gap deal that leaves negotiations on the long-term deal to the next Prime Minister. Based on last night’s TV debate, I wouldn’t trust either of the contenders to negotiate a constructive deal. Boris Johnson clearly lacks the understanding of the detail of the situation – details that will be crucial to businesses wishing to trade and people to travel.
The fact check on the debate sets out a lot of those misconceptions: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-48931052
It has become clear that the Conservative Party will never sign up to a practical deal and the deal that is being contemplated presents a real threat to the economic security of the UK, with both leadership candidates failing to confirm that they would not pursue a cataclysmic no-deal exit.
From all my correspondence, surveys, meetings and conversations with constituents, it is clear there is not a majority who want a hard Brexit that will affect local jobs, much less leaving the EU without a deal. Over the last three years, so much has been clarified regarding both the false promises made during the referendum campaign and the impact a haphazard exit from the EU would have on our future.
It would therefore not be democratic to go ahead with a deal without referring back to the British people in a confirmatory referendum to make sure it is what a majority want, and with an option to remain in the EU.
I have been advocating for a vote on the Brexit deal far many months, since assessing local opinions following the publication of the Prime Minister’s deal and I am pleased that this is now confirmed Labour Party policy.
Faced with leaving without a deal, or with a deal negotiated by the new Conservative Prime Minister that would fail to protect jobs or our rights and standards, I would campaign for us to remain in the European Union, and to seek to reform the EU from within and reform our economy so that they best address the concerns of people who voted to leave the EU.
Whatever the outcome of any new attempts to get a different deal with the EU, a people’s vote is the most democratic way forward. Not only would it ensure that any deal passed by parliament is subject to appropriate public scrutiny, but would also, for the first time, give the public a vote on a tangible, negotiated deal based on more than just smoke and mirrors.
Once again, thank you for contacting me.
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Ruth George MP
Member of Parliament for High Peak
Working for you in High Peak and Westminster