UK’s Withdrawal from the EU

Part of Business of the House (Today) – in the House of Commons at 3:40 pm on 14th February 2019.

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Photo of Jack Dromey Jack Dromey Shadow Minister (Work and Pensions) (Pensions) 3:40 pm, 14th February 2019

Poverty drove my parents to emigrate from rural Ireland to this country. This country gave them everything. I never thought when I was a snotty kid in Kilburn that I would ever end up as a Member of Parliament. I am proud of our country—it is truly Great Britain—and it grieves me to see it facing the biggest crisis since 1945 as a consequence of a self-inflicted wound as we drift towards an abyss. If we plunge into that abyss without a deal to protect the British national interest, our country will be the poorer for a generation to come.

On 29 January, the House spoke. The truly honourable right hon. Member for Meriden (Dame Caroline Spelman), whom I praise in the warmest possible terms for her outstanding integrity, and I tabled an amendment that said “No to no deal”. The House spoke, and that led to the commencement of constructive all-party negotiations. Today we heard not one word from the Secretary of State about progress in those negotiations as he pandered unashamedly to the European Research Group, whose members are oblivious to the consequences of their actions.

When it was put to Mr Rees-Mogg that there would be difficulties for the automotive industry—including the Jaguar plant in my constituency—in relation to frictionless trade in particular, he said, “Frictionless trade? Fake news.” So he knows more about how to make cars than those who make cars. Conservative Members pretend that they know more about how to build ships and planes than those who build ships and planes, and that they somehow know more than the head of counter-terrorism, who warned of potentially serious consequences for the safety and security of our citizens if we crash out with no deal.