Many constituents have written to me this week expressing their outrage and dismay at the reckless behaviour of Boris Johnson. His attempt to suspend Parliament to avoid scrutiny by MPs of his disastrous No Deal Brexit is an outrage and entirely undemocratic.
I have always believed that Parliament must be fully involved in the Brexit process, from triggering Article 50, having a meaningful vote on the final deal and shaping our future relationship with the EU. Brexit cannot mean side-lining Parliament and democratic accountability.
If the new Prime Minister is to unite the country after three years of division and uncertainty, he needs to win the support of Parliament, not shut it down. Shutting down Parliament to force a No Deal Brexit on 31 October is disturbing and undemocratic.
The last three years since the referendum have been wasted with Government infighting, incompetence and chaos.
I have repeatedly called for a Brexit plan that can protect jobs and living standards and work for the whole country.
Crashing out of the EU without a deal would be catastrophic. Businesses and trade unions alike have warned of the huge risks of No Deal for our economy and working people.
The Government’s independent economic watchdog, the Office for Budget Responsibility, has also warned that No Deal could tip the economy into recession. Those who will pay the price will be working people, their families, and communities in our area and across the country.
It is for all the above reasons that I am steadfastly against No Deal. The Government cannot plunge our country into the chaos that it will cause because of its own failure. Parliament has voted against No Deal on several occasions and I will work with all sides to put the national interest first and to do whatever is necessary to stop No Deal from happening.
Ultimately, however, three years on from the referendum and with uncertainty causing real damage, the public must be allowed to decide the country’s future. I believe the Prime Minister should therefore put his Brexit plan to a public vote to resolve this issue or hold an election.
Let me be clear – between a disastrous No Deal or a deal I believe to be damaging, I think remaining in the EU would be the best option to protect jobs and the economy.
However, the reasons people voted for Brexit cannot be ignored. We need a Government that will deliver real change and transformative policies, ending austerity and investing in all parts of our country.
I can assure you that I will be working with colleagues across Parliament to hold the government to account and prevent a disastrous No Deal Brexit. As your elected representative in Parliament, I value your views and comments throughout this process.