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

Exiting the European Union: Meaningful Vote

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:49 pm on 11th December 2018.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of James Frith James Frith Labour, Bury North 4:49 pm, 11th December 2018

I made it clear to my constituents that I would not be supporting the Prime Minister’s deal. The deal locks us into purgatory, and a few added pages in the appendix will not change that. Whether we said yes or no to Brexit, nobody voted for this.

How can we believe anything this Government say? Yesterday played out the Prime Minister’s contempt for Parliament and for the people we represent. It is their Parliament she smothers and ignores. Her humiliation now risks becoming the country’s humiliation. In what possible scenario do her latest actions help us negotiate a better deal, as we step closer to a no deal? But I fear a more cynical move in the Government’s motives. After running the clock down, and two years of excluding the country from making a deal together, the Prime Minister refuses to express the realities of Brexit compared with its rhetoric and will not say when the meaningful vote will be—or, indeed, whether it will be either meaningful or a vote. Threatening no deal if it is not her deal is a confection. Such an approach is straight out of a mis-selling scandal; it is, “Take this now or lose everything. Now or nothing. No other choice”, but it will not wash.

Far from taking back control, the Prime Minister stands in the way of control. Britain said yes and no to Brexit. Some 3,000 leavers and remainers in my constituency have taken my Brexit survey, with an 80% combined view that the public or Parliament should have a final say on the deal, compared with just 11% for the Prime Minister. I understand sentiments such as, “Why aren’t we there yet?” or, “Get on with it”, but this is too important to lose patience with. It is too important to be told, “Time’s up, everyone out.” The Prime Minister has not united the country because she cannot unite it with the approach she has taken on the one job she had. She should bring her deal back to Parliament next week, conclude the vote and have Parliament decide what is next, including whether we should ask for further instruction from the people. If she cannot sell her deal, it is not worth buying, but all efforts now must be to activate this place, our Parliament, to protect against a no deal.