Since the referendum in 2016 I have tried everything I can think of to deliver a Brexit deal that works for both remain and leave voters. First of all, I advocated for Parliament having a say on the Brexit deal, to make sure it served the interests of all of our country. Next, I pushed for a Common Market 2.0 deal. I then supported Theresa May’s Brexit deal on all three occasions, despite my reservations, because it was a good deal that would have secured an orderly exit. Most recently I have prioritised fighting against a damaging and dangerous no deal exit which would cripple our economy and humiliate the country.
Some in the Conservative have opposed every single one of these compromises. At every opportunity they have closed the door on compromise and sought to deliver only the hardest, most damaging Brexit possible.
As the debate goes on, Brexit supporting politicians have moved from suggesting a Britain has relationship with the EU similar to Norway to advocating trading with our closest neighbours on WTO terms – something which during the referendum the Leave campaign described as “Project Fear”. We now have a Government happy to shut down Parliamentary scrutiny while denigrating judges as politically biased. If this political climate continues, I fear for the future of our country.
Many constituents have written to me in the past about a second referendum on our EU membership and I have now come to the conclusion that that they were right, a second referendum is the only way out of this mess. I voted in the past for a referendum during Parliament’s Indicative Votes in March, however at that point it was not my preferred option. It is now the only remaining tool in our belt and MPs have a duty to vote for it in order to avert disaster. While I remain willing to vote for a deal, I will also be a strong voice for a Peoples’ Vote either attached to a deal, or to avert no deal.
I received a huge number of letters calling for a Peoples’ Vote and each and every one has helped me reach this decision. Each of these letters has persuaded me that there is only one way out of this political crisis – to trust the people.