Uk’S Withdrawal from the EU

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 6:18 pm on 27th February 2019.

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Photo of David Lammy David Lammy Labour, Tottenham 6:18 pm, 27th February 2019

I will not, because of the time available.

If we do not stop a no-deal Brexit, a whole generation of families will be impoverished. “Project Fear” will become project reality. The Government’s own assessments, forced out last night, estimate that no deal will make our economy up to 9% weaker over 15 years. Food prices will rise and customs checks will cost British businesses £13 billion per year. This will make the 2008 recession seem like a blip. Hundreds of businesses and thousands more jobs will leave the country. The Governor of the Bank of England has warned that house prices will crash by up to a third. Sainsbury’s, Asda and Co-op told us that no deal will leave our shelves empty. The Health Secretary could not rule out medicine shortages causing early deaths. Britons living in Europe will lose their rights overnight. We will fall out of the EU’s crime-fighting agencies and lose the European arrest warrant. No-deal Brexit is a dereliction of the first duty of a Government, which is to keep the public safe, so I suggest to the Government that they should say tonight that they would vote against that no deal.

Crashing out of the EU without a deal would be the single greatest failure of this Government and of any Government in modern British history: a failure of leave campaigners to deliver the utopia they sold to voters in 2016; a failure of Parliament to stand up for our constituents; and, most of all, a failure of the Prime Minister to put the country before her party and her narrow self-interest. By refusing to rule it out herself, she is deliberately causing confusion, pain and panic. The Prime Minister has made a Faustian pact with the hard-right mob in her party who want to dismantle the EU’s social protections at any cost.

Brexit is a con by multi-millionaires to convince the poor that the metropolitan middle class has screwed them, knowing full well that the financial crisis is the fault of their own gambling on the markets and that Brexit is a chance to double down on it again. The Brexiteers have enough capital to profit out of this disaster, so I will call them out. Mr Rees-Mogg has already moved two investment funds to Ireland. John Redwood has campaigned for a hard Brexit while advising investors to pull their money out of the UK. Lord Lawson of Blaby has applied for French residency, Nigel Farage has got German passports for his children, and Sir James Dyson has moved his company headquarters to Singapore. Mr Speaker, leave really did mean leave for these men.

Let me say this directly to those who told us that Brexit was about taking back control. You do not have control when you are living in destitution. You do not have control when you cannot find work. You do not have control when your rights are sold off and dismantled for profit. There is no dignity in poverty, only shame. So shame on the ERG for what they are doing to this country. Shame on the Prime Minister for failing to say “no. And shame on anyone who would vote to make this country poorer. We should take no deal off the table.