Brexit - David Drew MP's response to your many enquiries
I have had hundreds of enquiries from constituents regarding Brexit. They do not all say the same thing – many are calling for another referendum, some would like us to support Theresa May’s deal for fear of ending up with no deal, still others are angry that Brexit is not going the way they would like.
The deal currently on the table is the most uninspiring piece of writing. I have read the entire document and it doesn’t hold together on many counts. It would tie us into the sphere of the EU but with few guarantees on workers’ rights and environmental protection.
The proposed Northern Ireland/Republic arrangement of a temporary customs union and access to the Single Market is hopeless. And there are many other areas where it will be difficult to migrate from the transitional arrangements to something permanent. It depends on reaching a free trade agreement but there is no indication the EU will be prepared to let us have this.
Labour does not accept that the choice is between ‘the government's deal’ or 'no deal'. We will work across Parliament to prevent a 'no deal' outcome. As always, the priority must be to support jobs and our economy and guarantee rights, standards and protections across the board.
If Parliament votes down the government’s shambolic deal, as seems likely, this will represent a loss of confidence in the government. The best way forward will then be an immediate general election. This will give us the opportunity to start rebuilding after eight years of austerity and achieve a better outcome for the country.
If we do not get a general election, Labour supports other options remaining on the table, including campaigning for a public vote. However, it really is not clear how we can reach that stage as a second vote needs to be voted for by parliament. And there is a very real risk of polarising the country still further. The reality is that we would need to change the dynamics of the debate so that Leavers have a reason to change their mind.
You can listen to my interview on BBC Radio Gloucestershire here.