I support my constituents who voted 4 out of 5 to remain. To protect the interests of my constituents, it is essential that the whole country sees for itself what the government’s plan is, and its expected defects.

A plan is needed to stop unnecessary uncertainty and speculation over the government’s aims. It needs to focus on protecting jobs, the economy and living standards. It should prioritise full tariff-free access to the single market and the free movement of people around the EU, with no dilution of workers’ rights or environmental protection.

A vague plan will not be good enough, and Labour will measure any published negotiating strategy against five tests:

• Does it answers key questions such as whether the UK will seek to remain within the customs union and the EU single market?
• Does it give enough detail for MPs, including on the Brexit select committee chaired by Hilary Benn, to scrutinise the government’s approach?
• Does it provide enough information for the independent Office for Budget Responsibility to make detailed economic forecasts?
• Will it address the concerns of the devolved administrations in Scotland and Wales?
• Does it ‘have enough detail to build genuine consensus’?

I have always said, and will continue to say, that I cannot vote for Article 50 if the government has an inadequate or non-existent plan for Brexit.

I have consulted my constituents widely and will continue to do so, in polls, meetings and emails. I will continue to stand up for the industries, the jobs and, above all, the people of Bristol West.

Published 11/01/17

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