I didn’t get the opportunity to vote against Theresa May’s terrible Brexit deal as she pulled it on Monday afternoon in the face of certain defeat. So, when I was successful in the ballot for Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday, I asked her a very simple question – which is worse, no deal or no Brexit.
It’s staggering that she still refuses to rule out the cliff-edge destination of no deal.
My concern is that she’s now trying to run down the clock and will bring her bad deal back to Parliament at the latest possible opportunity to try and bounce MPs into supporting it or crashing out of the EU with no deal. This cannot be allowed to happen. The welcome ruling from the European Court of Justice that the UK can unilaterally revoke Article 50 provides the chance to, at the very least, put the process on hold to prepare for a public vote if and when Parliament rejects Theresa May’s deal.
One of the many things that would be thrown into jeopardy with no deal is the future of the 42,000 EU citizens who call Haringey home. Together with Cllr Joseph Ejiofor and Haringey Labour, I presented my petition, signed by over 2,000 local residents to Downing Street this week, calling on the Government to guarantee that EU citizens’ rights will not be affected in the event of no Brexit deal being agreed. It’s shameful that this hasn’t already happened and people who continue to give so much to this country have been left in limbo and used as bargaining chips for over two years.
As Patron of Justice for the Rohingya Minority, I chaired a packed meeting in Parliament this week. We discussed the role the UK Government and the international community can, and should, play in pursuing those behind the genocide and ensuring they are answerable to the International Criminal Court.
The decision to prosecute the “Stansted 15” human rights activists who peacefully intervened to stop a deportation flight is deeply worrying. Two of the 15 are my constituents and I’ve been following this case very closely. Despite opposing the use of the draconian anti-terrorism law, the S15 were tried under the legislation and convicted. I objected strongly to this as standing up for asylum seekers should not be viewed as an act of terrorism and co-signed this letter in The Guardian calling for the 15 to be spared prison and for the Government to end its shameful deportation charter flights and hostile environment.
In the constituency, I had the honour of presenting certificates at JAN Trust’s ceremony to congratulate the graduates of their 2018 skills empowerment classes. I spent a useful afternoon talking to police in Hornsey about the work they’re doing in the local community and went along to Studio 306’s open studio in what was the old Wood Green Post Office. They’ve got some wonderful gift ideas, with proceeds helping to support people with mental health challenges www.studio306.co.uk. Shop local and pay them a visit this Christmas.
Finally, I’m delighted that Seema Chandwani was elected on Thursday in West Green, and I know she’ll be a fantastic addition to the Haringey Labour team.