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"Yesterday the Prime Minister confirmed the “Hard Brexit” she’d been hinting at for months.

No membership of the Single Market, no clarity on the Customs Union, no guarantee of the rights of the thousands of EU nationals who have made Hornsey & Wood Green their home and the chilling threat of Britain becoming a tax haven if negotiations don’t go our way.

I fear a scenario where slashing corporate tax rates, ripping up workers’ rights, human rights and environmental protections would see Britain enter a devastating race to the bottom. It goes against everything I believe and have fought against all my political life.

It says it all that Nigel Farage excitedly tweeted about “real progress” and said the PM is using “words and phrases I’ve been mocked for using for years”.

I don’t want our Prime Minister aping the language of UKIP and scapegoating immigrants for pressure on public services that has in reality been caused by seven years of damaging Tory cuts. Since this whole debate began we’ve seen a disturbing increase in race hate crime. Unsurprisingly the leave campaign’s promise of an extra £350 million per week for the NHS has long since been abandoned.

The Prime Minister seemed very confident about the great future she sees for our country, but this is in stark contrast to statements she and her chief Brexiteers Boris Johnson, Liam Fox and David Davis have made previously about the importance of the single market and the risks we face if we leave. I worry about her optimism because there are always two sides to every negotiation.

Instead, I fear the road ahead will be very hard and communities like ours that have already borne the brunt of seven years of austerity will see yet more threats to jobs, services and workers’ rights.

One of the few positives in the Prime Minister’s speech was her assurance that Parliament will have a vote on the final Brexit deal, something Labour has been fighting hard for since the referendum result.

Hornsey & Wood Green secured the highest “Remain” vote in the country, with people here overwhelmingly believing it isn’t in our national interest to leave the EU.

I share that view and In December I voted against triggering Article 50. Over the coming months I will continue to meet with constituents regularly and hold events so I can continue to represent your views in Parliament on this defining issue."

Catherine West

Catherine West MP's statement on PM's "Hard Brexit" speech

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Catherine West MP was in Parliament this week to personally challenge the Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt MP over the growing crisis in the National Health Service.

The current crisis our NHS faces is unprecedented. Our health service is on its knees with one third of hospitals having declared they need urgent help to deal with the number of patients coming through their doors.

A&E departments have turned patients away more than 143 times between 1 December 2016 and 1 January 2017. In one day last month 15 hospitals ran out of beds with elderly patients languishing on trolleys in corridors, sometimes for over 24 hours.

Instead of dealing with the crisis, on Monday Jeremy Hunt suggested that the four hour A&E target may be downgraded and no longer apply to minor injuries.

Responding to Jeremy Hunt’s statement on NHS performance, Catherine West raised the case of a local doctor who had contacted her in despair at the situation. You can watch her intervention here:

http://parliamentlive.tv/event/index/6eda3191-6f6f-4e7c-8e6a-8c3f40918f69?in=17:38:06

Catherine West MP said: “The crisis that we have seen unfold in our NHS over recent times is absolutely appalling. The Tories have consistently missed their own targets on A&E waiting times and instead of improving the service Jeremy Hunt is simply moving the goal posts.

“Labour is calling on the Government to bring forward the £700m of social care funding planned for 2019/20 now and to pledge a new funding settlement for health and social care in the Budget in March.

“Once again Jeremy Hunt is proving that you can’t trust the Tories with the NHS”

Catherine West MP challenges Tory turmoil over the NHS winter crisis

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Catherine West MP

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