Brexit and Article 50

December 9, 2016 at 4:18 pm / by

This week in Parliament, MPs were given the opportunity to vote on the Government’s intention to begin formal Brexit negotiations by the end of March 2017.

We were also given the opportunity to vote on Labour’s motion, intending to force the Government to publish a plan for negotiations and to formally recognise that it is Parliament’s responsibility to properly scrutinise the government over Brexit.

While I agree passionately with many elements of the Labour motion, unfortunately I could not vote for it. I refuse to vote to encourage the triggering of article 50 before we see the plan the government has for our exit. Like many, whether they voted for Remain or Brexit, I have outstanding questions over key issues like access to the single market and customs union, workers’ rights, climate change, financial passporting, overseas British nationals, counter-terrorism and trading rights (to name but a few).

In the EU Referendum, 75% of my constituents voted to Remain. As their representative, this left me with little doubt as to how to vote on any motion to leave the European Union. At the same time, I’ve taken time to meet constituents who voted for Brexit and invite others to contact me. There are many reasons why individuals voted for Brexit and I want to understand their priority issues in my area, so that I can understand how else to support them and how else their concerns might be addressed.

I represent my constituents in Westminster; I do not represent Westminster in Hampstead and Kilburn. I will always listen to their views when it comes to voting, especially on pivotal issues, as I always have done.

The Government’s management of the EU referendum – and with it our economic and cultural future – has been utterly dismal. I hope that the government now see that there is a clear, cross-party demand for scrutiny on Brexit, and we will continue to judge them by their actions.