'I want a deal, but I will not be tricked into No Deal Brexit,' writes Toby Perkins
Chesterfield MP Toby Perkins wants to update readers on his thinking on the current Brexit situation.
The Labour MP writes: "I want a deal, but I will not be tricked into a No Deal Brexit.
"I entirely appreciate how sick many people are of the entire Brexit soap opera.
"I wanted to update your readers with my thinking on the current situation as we get ready to vote in parliament on Boris Johnson’s ‘deal’ that he promises us will ‘get Brexit done’.
"When I was re-elected in June 2017, I had made a promise to my constituents that I would respect the result of the EU Referendum but also ensure that we left with a deal that protected jobs and businesses, ensured we maintained workers’ and consumer rights and committed to environmental protections. My view has always been that there would be a huge social cost to our country and our democracy by ignoring the referendum result, but that there would also be a huge economic cost to leaving without a deal.
"As such, I have pushed for a deal that keeps the UK in a Customs Union, allowing us to trade freely with the EU and protected the Good Friday Agreement, whilst maintaining close alignment with the Single Market to protect industry standards and workers’ rights. Indeed I have voted that way several times.
"If the Tory Government had negotiated this deal, we would already have left the European Union. This deal would ensure we left the EU, we would no longer elect MEPs to send to the European Parliament, no longer paying into a regeneration fund for projects in Poland or other countries, no involvement in a future EU army and complete control over our borders, whilst maintaining the crucial links we need to thrive in a global economy.
"The debates this week make it clear that Boris Johnson’s deal is no such thing. It confirms our exit from the EU without any clarity about our relationship with Europe beyond 2020. Armed with these ambiguities, the Government ask Labour MPs to vote now and campaign for a customs union later, whilst telling Europhobes that this could mean a No deal Brexit after 2020.
"This also jeopardises the United Kingdom, with Northern Irish businesses operating on a different basis to the rest of Britain, contrary to the promises the Prime Minister made just weeks ago- a deal that Scottish separatists are already also asking for.
"So, let me make it clear. I stand by my promise to support a Brexit deal that sees us remain in the customs union, secures our future trading relationship and preserves the United Kingdom, but this is not that deal.
"The proposed deal is a betrayal of the people of Northern Ireland, puts the United Kingdom union in jeopardy, provides a green light to cut workers’ rights and environmental protections, and provides a ‘trapdoor’ to a No Deal Brexit.
"Hopefully, Parliament can force the Government into a ‘softer’ Brexit deal, such as the one I have been advocating since the referendum, that helps bring the country back together and ensures we can finally get Brexit done and start to focus again on all the other issues currently affecting our country."