People in Bristol West continue to ask about my position on Brexit and I’m happy to let you know where I stand.
I voted and campaigned for the UK to remain in the European Union.
I still believe that the best relationship that the UK can have with the EU is full membership.
As your MP I’ve always worked hard to represent the people of Bristol West. You voted overwhelmingly to remain. Over the past three years I have met, spoken to, or emailed tens of thousands of you. An overwhelming majority of you have told me you still want to remain in the EU. I agree.
This is why I voted against triggering Article 50. I voted three times against Theresa May’s Brexit deal and in October I voted against Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal. That’s because these deals would be damaging for jobs, rights, peace, and the environment.
I wanted to try every parliamentary device possible to stop Brexit because another public vote could be divisive and non-conclusive. Since it has become clear that we have reached an impasse we are going to need to go back to the public for a final say.
I’ve voted in Parliament twice for second referendum/confirmatory vote in spring of this year. I’ve whipped support for it, as a Labour whip. I support it and I’d campaign for Remain.
Were it not for Labour MPs, the UK would have left the EU already. As a Labour whip I have worked to ensure that MPs voted several times to extend Article 50 and keep us in the EU so far.
Labour policy is for a further public vote, with Remain on the ballot paper. A Labour government would negotiate a better deal on Labour values of protecting jobs, rights, peace, and the environment. We would do this within six months and we would then put that deal to the people, with remaining in the EU as the other option. I would campaign for us to remain.
Other parties who claim to speak for remainers have been unclear if they would put the Tory deal or no deal as the other option in a referendum.
I’d never want to risk our economy, our rights, and peace with our neighbours by putting a Tory deal or No Deal on a ballot paper.
It’s important to remember that having a second referendum does not mean that Remain will win. We could lose. In that case it is important that the Leave option on the ballot paper is one that will do the least possible harm to our economy, rights and protections.
Some of the parties who claim to speak for remainers actually campaigned FOR the 2016 referendum to take place. They campaigned for something to happen which was always destined to end in division, misinformation and more, and now claim exclusively to speak for remainers.
I’ve never stopped campaigning for us to remain in the closest possible relationship with the EU and, if re-elected, would be proud to continue to do this for you in Parliament.