My record on Brexit

The Referendum in 2016 was a democratic vote, which demanded the result should be respected.

It was also an instruction to the Government to act on this basis to negotiate the terms for Britain leaving. This was – and remains – the duty of Government, as only governments can negotiate Britain’s withdrawal from or acceptance of international treaties.

Britain’s exit should have been done and dusted by now. But for more than three years, the Tories have failed to negotiate a good enough deal to command support in parliament or in public. So the country remains in deadlock and ever more deeply divided.

Labour – in Opposition and with around 60 fewer MPs than the Tories – has consistently argued for a better Brexit deal than the terms the Tories have tried to agree, that gets us out of the EU but does not cut us off from Europe. This is also what I have argued for, both in public and in the Labour Party.

I believe there is a good Brexit deal to be done in both UK and EU interests, and the EU chief negotiator has said if Britain proposed a Brexit deal along the lines Labour advocates then they’d respond immediately and favourably.

I have indeed rejected the bad Brexit deals that both Theresa May and Boris Johnson have so far negotiated but I have actually voted for a Brexit deal more times in Parliament than Boris Johnson, as I’ve tried repeatedly to secure terms for Brexit which safeguard British jobs, manufacturing supply chains and workers’ rights. This is what I – and Labour – pledged to do when I was last elected in 2017 as our MP.

After 10 years of deep Tory cuts, there is so much at stake in this General Election beyond Brexit. But on Brexit, the central question is how each Party plans to lead the UK through the chaos and bring people together again.

Whether people voted leave or remain, real change is needed at this election to rescue the NHS from year-round crisis, rebuild public services after ten years of Tory cuts, raise skills and real wages, deal with the housing crisis and boost investment in jobs and business growth in the North.

None of this will happen if we get another 5 years of Boris Johnson and the Tories.

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