Leaving the European Union

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:50 pm on 26th February 2019.

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Photo of Gareth Snell Gareth Snell Labour/Co-operative, Stoke-on-Trent Central 12:50 pm, 26th February 2019

For the record, and this will not be a surprise to anybody, let me say that I will not, shall not and cannot vote for a second referendum, regardless of how much lipstick is put on it in what it is called. I think that in their heart of hearts both the Front Benchers from my party and the Government know that a majority does not exist in this House for a second referendum. That is a distraction from the main purpose of our job, which is to find a deal. I have spoken to the Prime Minister about workers’ rights, funding for our towns post-Brexit and what we need to do to find a way through this. Some of my colleagues have labelled those things as bribes, but they are wrong; what we are trying to do is find a constructive way forward. So in the spirit of that constructive dialogue, the Leader of the Opposition wrote to the Prime Minister to set out changes to the political declaration—not the withdrawal agreement–that would make the deal acceptable to the Labour party. May I ask the Prime Minister to seriously consider and reflect upon those, because the only way she will get a majority in this House and the majority to implement the legislation going forward is if there is a deal that is supported by the sensible mainstream bulk of both parties?