Afzal campaigning for Remain
Afzal campaigning for Remain

Many constituents have been contacting me about the Prime Ministers’ Brexit deal. On Thursday, the European Council approved a revised Brexit deal reached between UK and EU negotiators. The House of Commons will vote on the deal on Saturday (19 October).

The Prime Minister says the deal provides the basis of a new relationship with the EU based on free trade and friendly cooperation. Unfortunately, I believe this deal is far worse than the deal previously rejected by Parliament.

The revised deal primarily focuses on changes to the Northern Ireland backstop. It does not address any of the concerns I had with the previous deal, on issues such as: customs, our relationship with the single market, dynamic alignment with rights and protections, participation in EU agencies and funding programmes, and security.

In some areas, the revised deal is worse! It explicitly rules out a new customs union and a close future relationship with the single market, which has been a key demand of industry and trade unions. It is also now explicit that there will be new trade barriers with the EU and additional checks at borders.

Provisions on services have not been improved and commitments on rights and protections are now significantly weaker. There has also been no progress on the question of our future participation in security arrangements or agencies.

I fear this deal will pave the way for deregulation and privatisation: putting food safety at risk, cutting environmental standards and workers’ rights, and opening up our NHS to a takeover by private corporations.

I cannot support a Brexit deal that I think will harm jobs, rights and living standards. I believe this deal will unquestionably do that and I therefore intend to vote against it.

If the Prime Minister has confidence in this deal, I believe he should put it to the people in a public vote.

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