Parliament and the country should not be forced into the choice the Prime Minister is offering – that we should vote for any deal, however bad for Britain, or risk crashing out.
The Prime Minister has come back from Brussels with a withdrawal agreement that is incoherent and has no detail on the future relationship with the EU. I am also very concerned about the impact on Northern Ireland.
So far, we know we will have a vote on whether or not to accept the withdrawal agreement. It is the Labour Party’s policy to vote against the agreement. I cannot in all conscience support a deal which is so bad for Britain.
There will be a vote on the deal on 11 December, after five days of debate.
I have signed Hilary Benn’s amendment to the Withdrawal Agreement Motion, which opposes the current deal proposed but rejects a no-deal Brexit. The amendment would allow the House of Commons to express its views about what should happen next if the PM’s deal is defeated on 11 December.
Many people in Hackney have contacted me about a People’s Vote. I share my constituent's frustration about the lack of choice on the future of our relationship with Europe.
It is, however, very difficult to secure a vote on the deal and it is highly unlikely to get majority support in the House of Commons at this stage. If Parliament fails to agree a way forward, we have failed in our role and voters should be allowed a say on the deal. So while I support the idea it will not be easy to achieve. More MPs are likely to back a vote on the deal if Parliament reaches an impasse but at that stage there is also the prospect of a vote of no confidence in the Government (if all opposition MPs – including the DUP and some Conservatives – vote together).
For those of you interested in procedure, please see the links below to a short, useful and clear summary by Professor Vernon Bogdanor; the long but useful transcript of evidence by the Clerk of the House to the Brexit select committee (he will advise the Speaker on Parliamentary procedure around the meaningful vote); and a report from the Constitution Unit at UCL about the mechanics of a People’s Vote.
House of Commons Library - Brexit flow chart https://commonslibrary.parliament.uk/parliament-and-elections/parliament...
Brexit Select Committee -http://data.parliament.uk/writtenevidence/committeeevidence.svc/evidencedocument/exiting-the-european-union-committee/the-progress-of-the-uks-negotiations-on-eu-withdrawal/oral/92186.pdf
Mechanics of a People’s Vote - https://www.ucl.ac.uk/constitution-unit/publications/tabs/unit-publications/The_Mechanics_of_a_Further_Referendum_on_Brexit