Only a few days to go: We’re raising £25,000 to keep TheyWorkForYou running and make sure people across the UK can hold their elected representatives to account.Donate to our crowdfunder
Absolutely. I appreciate my hon. Friend’s comments.
I voted to remain. As I spoke and listened to my friends and colleagues, it was difficult and occasionally emotional as I explained that I felt that it was my duty to respect democracy and vote in favour of triggering article 50. Batley and Spen voted 63% to leave. The people have spoken and I must listen. However painful this is now, we are leaving the European Union. It is my duty to listen to everyone, to move on from the labelling of people as leavers and remainers, and to get the best deal for everyone.
Batley and Spen was once a powerhouse of manufacturing. Men and women left school and went to work in the mills, but things move on and now we are celebrated for beds and biscuits. The mills are now shopping centres, offices and flats; in some cases, they have fallen into disrepair. Jobs for life have been replaced by the gig economy, and far too many of my constituents are on low pay and in insecure work. People have not seen a significant improvement in their standard of living for decades. The have been left behind by globalisation, and I have no doubt that financial insecurity and a sense of abandonment contributed to the leave vote. That said, my constituents did not vote to give this Government a blank cheque. They did not vote to lose jobs, to have their rights at work watered down or to lose maternity and paternity pay, human rights or LGBT rights.
There are lessons to be learned from the creative industries, in which I formerly worked, and their voice must be heard in the upcoming negotiations. In evidence given to the Culture, Media and Sport Committee in October 2016, Directors UK told us that the UK is the third largest supplier of films and the second largest producer of television in the world. In the fast-paced area of video games, we are constantly at the cutting edge. The creative economy accounts for one in every 11 jobs. However, it is fair to say that a vote for exiting the EU was not what the industry at large wished for. A survey conducted by the Creative Industries Federation ahead of the referendum found that 96%—