Exiting the European Union: Meaningful Vote

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:43 pm on 11th December 2018.

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Photo of Geraint Davies Geraint Davies Labour/Co-operative, Swansea West 4:43 pm, 11th December 2018

We are in a painfully predictable situation. We all knew, when article 50 was triggered, that there was a time limit. That is why I voted against it. We all knew that there would be French and German elections that would get in the way of negotiations, and then the Prime Minister called her own election, so there was less and less time. The then Brexit Secretary said that everything would be fine and that we would easily negotiate a deal that would give us exactly the same benefits as we have.

Here we are, two and a half years after the referendum and the deal is not yet cooked, so we are putting it back in the oven for a few more days, with a bit of salt and sugar, hoping it will come out and everyone will eat it. However, the reality is that some people want more salt and others want more sugar. The deal, whatever it is, will not be agreed in this place. The hard Brexiters—the loony-tunes, let’s-Brexit-without-a-deal people—will never agree it. The hardcore remainers will not agree it, saying that we are better off with what we have.

I believe that Brexit is a betrayal of Conservatism because it gets rid of the best trading model in the world. It also gets rid of the United Kingdom Union because if we exit without a deal, there will necessarily be a hard border, otherwise there will be nothing to prevent migration. It will simply not work.

Brexit is a betrayal of socialism because, inherently, it will mean a smaller economy—a smaller cake to be divided more equally by a future Labour Government. It will mean that a subsequent Tory Government could reduce workers’ rights and environmental rights beneath EU standards, and socialists should oppose it.