European Union (Withdrawal) (No. 6) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:32 pm on 4th September 2019.

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Photo of Joan Ryan Joan Ryan Independent, Enfield North 4:32 pm, 4th September 2019

I strongly support the Bill before the House and have long believed that a no-deal Brexit would be disastrous. Resolving this issue and stopping our country crashing out of the EU is of the utmost urgency, as I believe that the Prime Minister wants no deal. All the actions of the current Prime Minister support that view as does everything he has said since becoming Prime Minister. He is sending our country hurtling towards no deal. This is a prospect no one voted for, or campaigned for, in 2016. It is simply wrong to be playing with people’s lives, jobs, businesses and wellbeing in this way.

At Brimsdown in Enfield we have the second largest industrial estate in London. It is a vital part of our local economy, with 8,000 people employed in 240 companies on site. Many of these companies trade throughout the EU. If we crash out with no deal and these companies get hit by tariffs on their exports, Brimsdown and Enfield will suffer.

The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster yesterday promised to help firms hit by no-deal tariffs but gave no full details on how that would work in practice, nor is he willing to publish estimates of the impact no-deal tariffs could have on various sectors. How much financial support would be made available to companies? How long would that support last for? Which businesses would and would not be covered by Government subsidy? There are so many questions and never any answers.

In Enfield we also have very high levels of deprivation that are growing apace. We have nearly 40,000 children living on or below the poverty line, but a no-deal Brexit or a general election are not going to stop this nightmare; they would exacerbate exponentially the problems my constituents are facing.

We hear much about the technicalities of all this every time it is debated, and particularly today. Those who want a no-deal Brexit or any kind of Brexit at any price want to talk all the time about technicalities. I want to see Members of this House take real responsibility for the impact that a no-deal Brexit would have on our constituents, particularly the most vulnerable of them. It is an abrogation of our responsibility as their representatives to go down this road, and let us be clear that a no deal will just be the start. I believe that the only way out of this mess is to go back to the people with a people’s vote on Brexit, but at the very least we must take the catastrophe of no deal off the table now. I urge all Members to support the Bill today.