As most people are dreadfully aware, the Brexit crisis drags on and on. Many of us are frustrated and angry. I know I am.
The prime minister continues to threaten a horribly damaging no-deal Brexit, to steamroll us into finally accepting her bad deal. It’s Hobson’s choice.
This intractability is causing painful uncertainty, which damages jobs and our economy. Divisions between those wanting to remain and those wanting to leave, are deepening, not healing.
I’ve had hundreds of letters and e-mails, asking me to resist No deal.
Some tell me they voted leave in 2016, but, after seeing what a dog’s dinner the government have made of Brexit, feel they were lied to. They, and others, want to know we’ll have a vote to confirm their support of any proposed deal.
Reflecting the way West Ham voted during the referendum, and the views of those writing to me, I supported calls for a vote to confirm any deal and action to prevent no deal.
I joined Stephen Timms to support what are called “indicative votes,” to find which way forward a majority of MPs can agree. I voted to support a public vote on any Brexit deal, but I also supported a customs union on its own, an arrangement like Norway’s that combines the single market with a customs union, and an option to cancel the whole process, if that’s what it takes to prevent no deal.
These votes may be the only way to stop the government from continuing with their bad Brexit deal.
We are making progress and last week passed a new law to prevent the government from a no deal, without the support of Parliament.
It’s a fast-changing situation. What will happen next week, and beyond, nobody can predict.
There is still hope we can find a way to stop Brexit from damaging our country for years to come.
Only then can we return to what really matters: reuniting our communities, tackling poverty and inequality, solving the problems in our NHS, schools and social care; and rebuilding our country fairer and more prosperous than ever before.