When the Government’s shambolic handling of the Brexit process has led us to a position that cannot even satisfy their own ministers, we must look at all options that will help us avoid entering a further period of long and protracted political deadlock.
Theresa May and her Brexit plan is currently at the behest of the rampant Eurosceptic wing of the Conservative Party. Any Brexit craved by Jacob Rees-Mogg and his friends is not one that I could ever be comfortable with.
I respect the outcome of the 2016 poll, but it does not mean that we must blindly accept the Government’s approach or their draft agreement. The people need to be given their voice again.
The political landscape has changed drastically since the referendum and it becomes excruciatingly apparent with every week we come closer to exit day that the promises made to the British public during the campaign are far from the reality of today.
Nobody voted for a Brexit that will see Britain giving away control and leaving people poorer. Whether it’s a no deal or this terrible deal, the result would be the same: a miserable Brexit for the UK threatening business confidence, our NHS and the future of young people.
It’s only going to get worse with the biggest issues unresolved while we follow rules over which we will no longer have any say – and suffer long term damage to our economy.
Unsurprisingly, the draft withdrawal agreement presented to Cabinet has been met with a chorus of criticism from both sides of the Brexit divide and even the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union has resigned, the second in four months.
I have previously vowed to not support any form of Brexit that would be detrimental to my constituents. London voted overwhelmingly to remain part of the European Union and in Lewisham West and Penge this was by a factor of 2 to 1.
A bad deal would be devastating for London. Analysis has shown a no-deal Brexit could see 87,000 jobs go in London alone and the capital’s economic output 2% lower in 2030 than what would be expected under a softer Brexit. This is the harsh reality we now face.
The June 2016 referendum was the biggest democratic exercise in our nation’s history. The only way we can resolve the democratic conundrum and political deadlock of the Brexit process is to go back to the people once more.
By calling for a People’s Vote, I believe the electors should again be extended their democratic right to have their say in the make-up of our future relationship with the European Union with an option to remain.
This vote should not be thought of as running the referendum again, but what we now face is something that wasn’t on the ballot paper in 2016.
The negotiations have been both chaotic and shambolic and the promises of that campaign are a distant memory. We find ourselves at a defining juncture in our history and it is only fair that the people decide on what comes next.