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[2nd day]

Part of European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill – in the House of Commons at 3:15 pm on 1st February 2017.

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Photo of Madeleine Moon Madeleine Moon Chair, Defence Sub-Committee 3:15 pm, 1st February 2017

I welcome that information, because my hon. Friend is someone whose integrity and contributions in debates I always take note of, and I am deeply pleased that he will be joining me in the Lobby.

We are voting today, with the White Paper promised for tomorrow; it was not in place before this debate. We have no risk assessment, no financial assessment and a total lack of clarity on the Government’s policy. We have nothing bar the thin promise of the sunlit uplands—this is not in the Prime Minister’s gift anyway—of a passporting and tariff-free agreement that means that costs will not rise for financial services, or for my Ford engines plant and for Tata Steel next door in Aberavon, both of which send over two thirds of their output into Europe.

I intend to keep voting no until I see a position that is the best we can obtain for this country. I am ashamed at the way we have abandoned EU citizens and their families, who give their lives, their love and their settled future to the UK. I have a wonderful German daughter-in-law and an extended German family. I have many friends who are MPs across Europe and members of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly and who are deeply saddened by the words and threats emanating from the UK Government.

I accept the outcome of the referendum. We are leaving the European Union, but that does not mean that I am willing to vote for the Conservative party to lead this country into a treacherous, uncertain future. There is a Gramsci quote that, depending on the translation, says that the old order is dying, the new one is struggling to be born, and in the interregnum monsters are abroad. They most certainly are. We are voting before we know the outcome of three European elections that will influence the deal we finally face. And then there is Trump’s America. Can we trust any part of our economic security to an America that has just had Trump’s inauguration speech: support for torture, a ban on Muslims entering the US, anti-climate-change rhetoric, the clear statement of “America first”, and the commitment to end trade agreements that are not in America’s best interests?

I am voting as I am particularly because I do not trust this Government taking me to the right place. I trust the British people; I do not trust this Government.