Parliament returned this week and the Prime Minister brought back the exact same, flawed Brexit deal she pulled before Christmas. All she’s done in the one-month pause is waste more time and create yet more uncertainty. It’s completely unacceptable to try and blackmail MPs into supporting her terrible deal by threatening “no deal”. I backed Dominic Grieve’s successful cross-party amendment that will reduce the amount of time the PM has to bring a revised plan back to Parliament to three days if, as appears likely, her deal is voted down. It’s crucial because we can’t waste another month hoping for some miracle as we creep ever closer to 29 March.
I was also one of over 200 MPs who signed a letter demanding the Prime Minister rules out a catastrophic “no deal” that would devastate jobs and industry. It’s shameful that she has continued to talk up “no deal” and waste millions of public money on preparing for it – including £50,000 on “Failing Grayling’s” farcical trial traffic jam. I’ll support every effort in Parliament to prevent it and voted for Labour Yvette Cooper’s successful amendment to the Finance Bill which would limit the Government’s fiscal powers without the consent of Parliament.
It’s all a complete mess and the debate is getting angrier and more divisive. The appalling abuse shouted at Anna Soubry MP and journalist Owen Jones outside Parliament are worrying examples of a growing intolerance to difference of opinion. It’s vital that people aren’t left fearful of expressing their views on this critical issue for the future of our country.
With the Brexit debate dominating events in Parliament, my advice surgery on Friday was a stark reminder of the real issues affecting people in Hornsey & Wood Green that this Tory Government is ignoring. The chronic housing shortage, rising violent crime, savage benefit cuts that have left people struggling to live and feed their families. I also met with the Chair of the Wood Green Business Improvement District to talk about improvements to Wood Green high street and the local area.
Over the weekend I took part in London CND’s annual conference and you can read my speech here.