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

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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 MP

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Catherine West

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