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Catherine West MP's statement on "why I couldn't support the Government's position on Brexit"

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Catherine West MP said: "Today, MPs were given our first opportunity to vote on whether the Government should invoke Article 50 by the end of March. Doing so would formally start the process of the UK leaving the European Union.

Since the referendum, I have said publicly that I will vote against Brexit in Parliament. As a result, I wanted you to be the first to know that today I voted against triggering Article 50.

I did this because five months ago, the people of Hornsey & Wood Green voted overwhelmingly to stay in the European Union. In the months since I am even clearer in my own view that leaving Europe isn’t in our national interest.

Not only the risk to jobs and livelihoods, which I could never vote for, but the protections the EU provides against discrimination in the workplace, the environmental advances and the cross border European measures to keep us safe from terrorism and people trafficking. We’ve kept peace with our neighbours since 1945 due in a large part to the cultural and economic ties the EU partnership has brought.

I’m not prepared to vote away all that progress.

Further, we still have no idea of the Tories plan for Brexit and what it will mean for our country, our economy and our communities.

Theresa May saying Brexit will be “red, white and blue” doesn’t answer how it will affect worker’s rights and social freedoms or what it will mean for the thousands of EU citizens who have made Hornsey & Wood Green their home. It doesn’t answer how the people who have already borne the brunt of six years of Tory austerity will be affected by the impact on the economy. The independent Office for Budget Responsibility has said Brexit will cost £58.7 billion over the next five years.

As your MP, I will continue to stand with my constituents and oppose Brexit in Parliament."

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Catherine West MP

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