After a lovely couple of weeks in High Peak over Christmas and New Year, it’s back to Westminster at a busy time.
Thank you to everyone who’s let me know your views on Brexit and local businesses who’ve advised me of the practical impacts.
The Government are trying to force Parliament to choose between the Prime Minister’s deal and leaving the European Union without a deal. But neither of these options are popular with voters or businesses in High Peak.
Every forecast shows that our economy would suffer most if we left without a deal, and had to abide by tariffs and rules from the World Trade Organisation.
Initial trials for lorries going through our ports have been disastrously slow and would disrupt our imports and exports – the worst fear of local businesses.
There are concerns about medicine supplies and food, and the government can’t guarantee that flights and ferries won’t be disrupted.
Leaving the EU without a deal is not a prospect that any responsible government should contemplate.
I and over 200 MPs from all parties wrote to ask the Prime Minister to rule out No Deal, but she refuses to do this and has run down the clock on Brexit until the last minute, to try and make her deal the only way to prevent No Deal.
But the Prime Minister’s deal is a bad deal. It doesn’t ensure frictionless trade. Workplace rights and environmental protections can be downgraded, and the ‘Irish backstop’ ties us into a trading arrangement that we cannot exit without other countries’ agreement.
Theresa May’s deal also gives no binding commitments after 2020. So our future relationship would need to be negotiated in full, after we’ve left the EU, and are in a very vulnerable negotiating position.
Neither of these options are a good deal for Britain. They’re not what the vast majority of local people who’ve contacted me about Brexit want to see.
So I’d like to see us seek to negotiate a better deal, with a permanent agreement. This needs to be done whilst we are still in the EU and in a stronger negotiating position. We may have to extend the March deadline, but it would be worth it to get a good deal.
We’d all love to see the disagreements over Brexit behind us. I’d prefer not to need another referendum, but the only way to be sure that the deal negotiated has the support of a majority of people is to vote on it.
I hope that with a clear deal before us, and more information, discussions would be factual and practical. Whatever is decided can be implemented immediately so we can all move forward.
That’s what we all want to see.