Future Relationship Between the UK and the EU

Part of Domestic Gas and Electricity (Tariff Cap) Bill – in the House of Commons at 6:39 pm on 18th July 2018.

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Photo of Owen Smith Owen Smith Labour, Pontypridd 6:39 pm, 18th July 2018

I am criticising, in large measure, a small part of the Conservative party that is currently holding the Treasury Bench to ransom, but I would absolutely condemn the actions of Labour Members who failed to support the amendments this week and so allowed the Tories not to put in place some of the backstops that would mitigate the gravest risks we face—the risks of capital flight, job losses and massive borrowing being hung around the necks of our children; the risk to our manufacturing industry; the risk that our pharmaceutical industry, in which I worked for many years, will be unable to supply medicines; the risk of losing prosperity and security; and the risks in Northern Ireland. How can we countenance allowing any return to violence, which the Chief Constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland warned would be the consequence of a hard Brexit? How can we countenance being so reckless as to allow that to happen?

We have to fight this at every turn. I hope that my right hon. and hon. Friends on the Front Bench will listen and understand that there is no such thing as a good Brexit or a “jobs first” Brexit. We have to acknowledge that there is just the hard Brexit now being proposed by Members opposite. We have to stand up for the only way in which we can reconsider this—a people’s vote. Trust democracy, trust the people, and ask them to choose between this sovereignty fantasy and the reality and prosperity we need.