I am strongly of the view that parliament must have a vote at the point when the eventual decision to trigger article 50 is taken, and in that regard, I await the outcome of the Supreme Court case with interest. In order to exercise that vote (assuming it takes place) and to make the best judgment in the interests of my constituents, I want to see the government bring forward its plan, so that I can make a properly informed decision at that time.
On Tuesday, the Prime Minister set out her vision for Britain’s place in the world outside the European Union, confirming that she intends for the UK to leave the single market, to resign from the principle of free movement and to leave the customs union. Her 12 point plan provided some clarity that the Government intend to steer us towards a ‘hard Brexit’, yet leaves us with considerable uncertainty as to how a new ‘strategic partnership’ based on trade and security will be implemented.
I welcome her confirmation that Parliament will be given a final say on the deal the government negotiates, and indeed be given a chance to reject it if we don’t believe it to be in the best interests of our country and our constituents. The Prime Minister also promised to resolve the status of EU nationals in the UK – this issue has dragged on far too long, and she needs to take urgent action to offer reassurance to EU nationals who live and work here, and also to maintain a common travel area with the Republic of Ireland.
The Prime Minister’s threat to ‘change the basis of Britain’s economic model’ if we are prevented from accessing the Single Market following Brexit is highly alarming. This could include turning the UK into a low rate tax haven, and ripping up existing social and environmental protections. I can assure you that my Labour colleagues and I will strongly oppose this throughout the negotiations.
A one-off speech by the Prime Minister is not the same as a plan for Brexit. The House of Commons voted overwhelmingly for a Brexit plan to be published before Article 50 is triggered, and I assure you that Labour will hold the Government to this. As you may be aware, the Supreme Court will rule on whether parliament will vote on the decision to trigger Article 50 next week, and I will write to you with a further update following the ruling.