Julie Elliott MP: Time Government resolved ‘this political fiasco’

Prime Minister Theresa May making a statement in the House of Commons, London, where she told MPs that the "meaningful vote" on her Brexit deal had been deferred.
Prime Minister Theresa May making a statement in the House of Commons, London, where she told MPs that the "meaningful vote" on her Brexit deal had been deferred.

This week the Prime Minister took the unprecedented step of not allowing Parliament to vote on her much-opposed EU Withdrawal bill – after MPs from all parties condemned the damaging deal.

Then, instead of attempting to address the fall-out from this fiasco, she opted to return to Europe for further talks; despite already admitting there is ‘no room for renegotiation’.

The whole situation has descended into a chaotic farce.

Tragically, it is a farce which could take a terrible toll on jobs, businesses and even the health of people in Sunderland.

It is obvious that the Prime Minister is unable to negotiate a deal that benefits the UK or protects the jobs and livelihoods of those in the North East.

She initially wasted months of precious negotiation time by calling a General Election last year and, in the end, has presented a flawed Withdrawal Agreement.

It is an agreement so damaging that her own MPs are prepared to vote against it.

It would make Britain poorer and threaten jobs and security.

It is a deal I could not, and would not, have voted for.

Worryingly, time is running out for our firms to adapt to any deal.

Indeed, the North East Chamber of Commerce has stated the ‘endless uncertainty is stifling opportunity, investment and employment’.

Just this week the Office for National Statistics reported there has been a 0.9% decline in manufacturing in recent months, as well as a 6.6% decline in the automotive sector.

However, when I questioned the Treasury minister on Tuesday about what is being done to provide the certainty businesses need to invest, as well as future job security, he offered little help or hope.

In addition to this, the Government continues to threaten the country with a No Deal Brexit.

This would be catastrophic for the UK – disrupting or blocking supply chains on foods and vital medicines.

This is why I believe we must have a People’s Vote on the deal.

If there is no majority in the House of Commons on this issue, then I believe it is legitimate to put the question back to the people.

A Hard Brexit or a No Deal Brexit are not credible options. It is time for the Government to take steps towards resolving this political fiasco – rather than just delaying matters yet again until it is too late.