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Commons Brexit Vote

Updated: Jan 1, 2021

Mohammad Yasin MP writes:

"I promised not to vote for a Brexit deal that was not in the interests of the people of Bedford and Kempston, but I also could not allow an even worse and hugely damaging no deal, so today I made the choice to abstain on Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal which falls well short of what his party promised the British public.

We were promised the exact same benefits, frictionless trade; that it would be the easiest deal in history and that the United Kingdom would remain on the same footing with the EU. On those measures alone, he has failed.

After nearly 5 years of bitter political argument and vast expense, the choice Parliament was given today was backing a deal which under any honest reading is a substantial downgrade of the UK’s relationship with the largest trading bloc in the world with significant consequences for businesses, jobs, workers’ rights and protections, food standards, our freedom of choice and our economy, or no deal.

MPs have been given one day to wave through one of the most important pieces of legislation in our history that was only published yesterday, implementing a 1,200-page treaty agreed just six days ago, which comes into force tomorrow.

If the Prime Minister had been really proud of his deal, he would have given Parliament time to scrutinise it properly and allowed businesses and the public time to adapt and prepare for the big changes and mountain of paperwork ahead.

Anyone hoping that this will mark the end of Brexit, is going to be disappointed because baked into the deal are 4-year review processes and fishing renegotiations.

And there is still much to be decided. There was more left out of the deal than was in it - It neglects services which make up 80% of our economy and weakens our security measures, there remains no settlement on the future of Gibraltar and it paves the way for the fragmentation of the UK.

But we are where we are. This thin deal is better than no deal - it is Johnson’s deal: he and his Government will own it, and the promises they make and break. But after years of uncertainty we now at least have a foundation to build on. My Labour colleagues and I are focused on improving and building on this framework and standing up for British interests.

This government must now get into action and properly support British industries adjust to new trading rules, build up local supply chains and expand into new markets, instead of casting them to one side as they have over recent months. We are focused on making this the best country to grow up in and to grow old in. The biggest challenges facing our country and planet require co-operation and international solutions, and a Labour government will work to make the best of a bad deal to achieve this."

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