What a week in Parliament.
One where the lies and unachievable promises of the Brexit campaign caught up with the reality of the deal on the table. The Prime Minister’s deal would have left our country poorer and governed by rules we no longer had a say in making. I’m not surprised it fell to a historic defeat of 230 votes, but I am disappointed that none of those same Tories supported Labour’s vote of confidence on Wednesday.
How can anyone have confidence in this Government and this Prime Minister? It’s outrageous to read reports that Theresa May is even considering amending the Good Friday agreement that has kept peace in Northern Ireland for 20 years to stop the Tory Party splitting. Power needs to be given back to the Commons to decide the next steps and I will continue to push for a further public vote. There has been lots of talk this week about different ways forward, such as a Norway-plus model, but I’m not sure there’s a Parliamentary majority for any option. Another referendum isn’t something I look forward to with any enthusiasm, but with gridlock on such a fundamental subject for the future of our country, I see no other way.
While this shambles continues, our vital public services are in crisis. I took part in the Local Government debate on Tuesday to highlight the scandal of £4 billion going into a “no deal” planning black hole while our children’s centres, libraries and important council services are all desperately at risk. I also drew attention to sexual health services which have been particularly hard hit.
I visited St Ann’s Hospital on Friday to meet the Chief Executive and senior staff, visit some of the inpatient wards and learn of the new and improved wards which patients are looking forward to when the new St Ann’s Mental Health Services open in 2021.