MP: The “Chaotic Mess” that is Brexit

Guest blog by Ruth Cadbury MP

To say that Brexit has been a chaotic mess is an understatement. It is the inevitable consequence of an ill thought out, unnecessary and ultimately corrupted referendum called by David Cameron to appease the extremists in his own party.

From the word go I have said that there is no deal that is better for the UK than the one we currently have as a member of the EU, with a seat at the table, sharing the benefits and splitting the costs, and remaining a full member of the largest trading bloc in the world. I therefore campaigned in the 2016 Referendum to Remain. I voted, sadly contrary to my own party whip, against triggering Article 50 as I felt then that there was insufficient clarity on the nature of Brexit. Subsequent events have proved those of us that took that view to be right. Most recently I have voted against Theresa May’s worst-of-both-worlds “deal” on both occasions that it has come to Parliament.

Judging by the Referendum result locally, the election result here in 2017, and the correspondence I’ve had all along; the majority of my constituents support my stance. But even if they didn’t I would address such an important issue in the context of what I believe is best for the whole of the country, as have many of my colleagues who represent seats that voted Leave in 2016 yet also continue to say the remaining in the EU is the best outcome for all. Furthermore all credible economic analysis shows that it will be people who have most to gain from a Labour Government who will lose most through the inevitable uncertainty and downturn that Brexit will mean; those working in manufacturing sectors, or in low-paid and casualised workplaces, those in regions away from London and large cities, and those who depend most on robust and well-funded health, social care and public services.

Moving to the increasingly relevant issue of a second referendum, I came round to supporting the principle when it became clear that it would be the only way of getting round the deadlock in Parliament, and I have consistently supported the campaign since. However, that view does not YET have the majority of Parliament. The timing for a full vote on it is important. That is why I did not support the Independent Group’s amendment on People’s Vote last week.

As I write this, the Speaker appears to have put a brake on the Prime Minister’s strategy of continuously bringing back her deal. She has been calculating that as we near the cliff edge she can persuade enough hard line-Brexiteers, including the DUP, that any other option risks no Brexit, and that enough Remain supporters will come to the view that any other option risks no deal. There are a number of models of Brexit that are less economically damaging than a hard, or a no-deal, Brexit but all come with down-sides and I will be consistent in voting against the Prime Minister’s deal even if slightly amended when it comes back to Parliament.

There is, however, one alternative compromise option that would enable me to consider going into the aye lobby. This is if Parliament passes what has come to be known as the Wilson Kyle amendment, to which I have added my name, and which has the full support of the Labour leadership in the House. It enshrines the principle that the people have the right to compare the Brexit facts with the promises made in 2016, and says that any final deal agreed by Parliament must be subject to confirmation in a further referendum. If in this referendum the deal is not ratified, then the UK would remain in the EU.

I would welcome the views of constituents on the issues around Brexit – and indeed any other issue. Please email me on: ruth@ruthcadbury.org.uk

Ruth Cadbury Member of Parliament for Brentford & Isleworth; also representing Chiswick, Osterley and Hounslow. You can sign up for my occasional updates here.