As someone who passionately campaigned for Remain, I am alarmed by the Conservatives’ shambolic approach to the Brexit negotiations.
The negotiations are meant to be nearing their end, but after two years of in-fighting and incompetence, the Conservative Government still lack a credible plan for Brexit.
It is clear that a Conservative hard Brexit would be harmful not just to Battersea, but to people and businesses across the country.
According to independent economic analysis published by the Mayor of London, a “no deal” hard Brexit could see as many as 87,000 fewer jobs in London by 2030.
A no deal also threatens the rights of the 26,000 EU citizens living in Wandsworth – 12,000 of whom live in Battersea.
This is unacceptable but major challenges in the negotiations remain unresolved. For example, the Government has no clear plan for a transitional arrangement and it has recklessly ruled out a customs union with the EU. This means the Prime Minister is risking a cliff-edge for our economy and she has failed to provide an explanation of how frictionless trade or preventing a hard border in Northern Ireland will be guaranteed.
But Government ministers are now saying that a no deal presents “countervailing opportunities”. We deserve so much better than this.
Since I was elected to Parliament in June 2017, I have voted against the Conservatives’ hard Brexit, including by voting for measures on a customs union, Single Market access, and to strengthen Parliament’s meaningful vote.
In the upcoming votes I will continue to uphold the Brexit deal red lines I was elected upon: To retain access to the Single Market; to protect the rights of EU citizens; to preserve environmental and employment rights; and to strengthen Parliament’s say on the final deal.
To avoid a hard Brexit we should keep all options on the table – including giving the public a say on the final deal – but most fundamentally I believe we need a Government with radically different priorities in its approach to Brexit. We need a Government that works for the many, and that is why I believe we need a general election and a transformative Labour Government.