Brexit

In the 2016 referendum, I voted to remain in the European Union, as I have always believed it is better to remain and reform rather than to leave. In 2017, I was elected on a pro-remain platform and have always been consistently clear about my Brexit position.

I believe Brexit is bad for Britain and bad for my constituents – a ‘no deal’ scenario would be catastrophic with research showing 1400 jobs would be lost in Bristol North West. This is why I have long argued that the choice facing our country cannot simply be between a bad deal or no deal. I do not believe the Government has the right to subject our country to chaos on the basis of campaign built on lies, fear and illegal funding. I believe with what we now know, the people should decide on our future relationship with the EU.

My work so far.

23d October 2019 – I hosted a Facebook Live online Brexit Briefing. You can watch the briefing here.

Alongside a Brexit: October 2019 survey, I have also hosted three local Brexit Briefings during October to get my constituent’s views on the decisions facing me as your MP.

22nd October 2019 –  I voted against progressing the second reading of the EU (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill and against concluding the Bill’s debate within 3 days. I believe Boris Johnson’s deal is even worse than the deal offered by Theresa May (which I also voted against, as it wasn’t good enough) – to try and push a bad deal through in 3-days was purely an attempt to avoid the legitimate debate and scrutiny of Parliament.

19th October 2019 – On so-called Super-Saturday – the historic Saturday sitting of Parliament – I voted in support of the Letwin amendment. The Letwin amendment says Parliament will withhold approval of the Johnson deal (in a simple yes/no vote) until the Withdrawal Bill implementing Brexit has been passed. This amendment was designed to prevent a no-deal exit by default because the government’s deal may not have had enough time to be put through Parliament before the 31st October deadline. The government then pulled all other votes and were forced to accept they would not get the Jonhson-deal through before the 31st October deadline. Later that day, the Prime Minister formally requested an extension from the EU to Article 50’s deadline of 31st October – to 31st January 2020 – as required by the Benn Act which I had previously voted to support.

17th October 2019 – I voted in support of permitting amendments, if selected by the Speaker, to be voted on during the Saturday 19th October sitting of Parliament. This paved the way for the Letwin Amendment to be tabled (see 19th October).

15th October 2019 – I voted against transferring powers to set certain technical environmental regulations from the EU to the UK on the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.

26th September 2019 – I voted against adjourning the House of Commons for a period covering Conservative Party Conference – this is because I believe we should be getting-on with working through the Brexit chaos, negotiating with the EU and not allowing the PM to divert attention to a Queen’s Speech, which – given he has no majority in Parliament – is nothing more than a party political broadcast.

9th September 2019 – I voted to support the release of the Government’s ‘Operation Yellow Hammer’ no-deal planning documents. I abstained for the second time on the vote for an early Parliamentary General Election. This is because I will not support an election that could result in the UK crashing out of the EU without a deal during an election period (during which Parliament is dissolved and therefore has no ability to hold government to account).

4th September 2019 – I  voted to support the Benn Act – which will require the Prime Minister to seek an extension from the EU to Article 50’s current deadline of 31st October (until 31st January 2020) unless MPs have approved either a new deal or to withdrawal with no deal.

I abstained on the vote for an early Parliamentary General Election. This is because I will not support an election that could result in the UK crashing out of the EU without a deal during an election period (during which Parliament is dissolved and therefore has no ability to hold government to account).

3rd September 2019 ⁠— I voted alongside (now ex-) Tory rebels and other Opposition MPs to take control of the Parliamentary ‘order paper’ and prevent Boris Johnson’s headlong rush towards the no-deal precipice – this vote paved with the way for the so-called Benn Act (see 4th September and 19th October).

2nd September 2019 — I signed an open letter alongside 150 Labour MPs, urging Boris Johnson to reconsider his shameful decision to suspend Parliament, denying MPs vital time to shape the Brexit process in our constituents’ interest. This is the behaviour of a tin-pot dictator and Parliament must unite against it.

During October, I hosted four Brexit Briefings for constituents to offer their views on the decisions I faced. You can watch the online Briefing here.

During September, I spoke at a pro-remain rally in Bristol:

August 2019 – After a fall in the UK’s GDP, I commented on the threat of no deal. After interventions from the former Chancellor, I also commented on suggestions the Johnson government are trying to force through a no deal by making demands the EU can’t met, thereby removing any chance of a future deal.

In mid-August, I signed a cross-party letter to the Prime Minister calling on him to recall Parliament prior to early September. After a meeting of opposition parties in late August, I signed the Church House Declaration.

After the Prime Minister’s announcement that Parliament would be prorogued for 5 weeks in the run-up to the Brexit deadline, I shared my concern at this reckless and undemocratic action. I was interviewed on ITV Westcountry, BBC Points West, spoke to the Bristol Post and Bristol 24/7 about my concerns.

You can also watch my Brexit: Prorogation of Parliament – Facebook Live special here.

July 2019 – I met with Airbus, GKN and Unite the Union to discuss no-deal and the enormous impact it would have on the aerospace industry, its supply chain and thousands of my constituents employed directly or indirectly by the sector. On 18th July, I voted to stop the new Prime Minister from proroguing parliament between 9th October and 18th December to force through a ‘no deal’. This vote was successful with a majority of 41.

12th June 2019 – I voted for the House of Commons to prioritise consideration of motions (on 25th June) reference the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. This motion was defeated 298 votes to 309.

May 2019 – I was interviewed by the BBC following Labour’s results in the EU elections. I said we need clear, honest and progressive politics that make the case for remain and reform.

26th April 2019 – Alongside 90 MP and MEPs, I wrote to Labour’s National Executive Committee demanding Labour back a People’s Vote confirmatory referendum in the European Parliament election campaign.

6th April 2019 – Alongside 80 other Labour MP’s – I wrote to Jeremy Corbyn, re-stating our support for our official party policy of securing a public vote on Brexit.

3rd April 2019 – I used the first ever paternity leave proxy vote to stop a ‘No-Deal’ Brexit – the vote was concluded as 313-312.

29th March 2019 – I voted against the Prime Minister’s deal: Meaningful Vote 3.

27th March 2019 – I voted for a public vote and to avoid a no deal Brexit. As a compromise, I voted to give indicative support for credible single market+customs union options.

23rd March 2019 – I joined 1,000,000 people on the march for a People’s Vote

12th March 2019 – I voted against the Prime Minister’s deal: Meaningful Vote 2.

29th January 2019 – I worked with MP’s across all parties to oppose a ‘No Deal’ Brexit.

No deal is a disaster for this country – I will keep fighting it (BBC Sunday Politics, July 2019)

‘Britain has gone from being one of the fastest-growing economies to one of the slowest. It is blindingly obvious that the main reason is Brexit’

28th January 2019 – I spoke out against the divisive Immigration Bill, and supported Freedom of Movement.

23rd January 2019 –  I signed amendments to the PM’s Brexit motion which: rules out ‘No Deal’; Calls for a People’s Vote; Supports indicative votes and supports a debate on Citizens Assemblies.

6th December 2018 – I spoke in a debate before the first Meaningful Vote, about how damaging Brexit would be and that the public should have a final say.

4th December 2018 – I voted for the Grieve Amendment, giving Parliament a final say if the Prime Minister’s agreement is rejected.

22nd November  2018 – I asked the Prime Minister how she intends to consult with the British people without calling a general election or People’s Vote.

7th November 2018 – I called on the Prime Minister to give MP’s clear and concise information on her withdrawal proposals.

‘This referendum campaign was fought on the basis of an illegal campaign’

23rd October 2018 – I led a debate on data and Brexit focusing on smart phone apps, online shopping and cross border policing working over Brexit.

22nd October 2018 – I asked the Government whether it was cheaper to just remain the EU.

6th September 2018 – I spoke in parliament highlighting how  science is under threat because of Brexit.

5th September 2018 – I challenged Dominic Raab about the illegalities of the 2016 referendum.

3rd July 2018 – I questioned the Government about Trade post Brexit.

27th June 2018 – I questioned the Government in UK Participation in EU projects after Brexit.

With what we know now, we need a Peoples Vote.

22nd June 2018 – I spoke to the BBC about the risk of Airbus leaving the UK due to Brexit.

16th May 2018 – I asked the Government about Brexit and Northern Ireland.

19th Feburary 2018 – I visited Honda to discuss Brexit and skills.

8th November 2017 – I asked the Government about a post-Brexit NHS Crisis.

24th July 2017 – I asked the Education Secretary what assessments had been made regarding education funding post Brexit.

19th July 2017 – I asked the Chancellor what assessments had been made on how Brexit will effect our Public Services.

11th July 2017 – I called for a judge-led enquiry into the illegalities of the Referendum.

I have been consistent. I believe Brexit is a disaster.