This week has been yet another where Westminster is consumed with Brexit, debates these debates were not about blocking or trying to frustrate Brexit, the matter of Parliament voting to leave the EU, which I voted for, was decided back in March 2017.
The main areas of debate this week were in relation to a ‘meaningful vote’, and the European Economic Area (EEA).
The meaningful vote was to ensure that our Parliament, not Theresa May and her divided inept Cabinet, is sovereign in the final deal.
It would’ve also ensured that no deal is off the table for once and for all.
I voted for a meaningful vote because I feel we must stand up for the principle of parliamentary democracy and not allow the government’s failure in the Brexit process to be a licence for the UK to crash out of the EU without an agreement.
This vote, after potential Tory rebels were tricked into believing some form of the meaningful vote would be implemented, was lost and we are now in a situation where far from the will of the people being implemented by Parliament, it will be implemented by Theresa May and her Cabinet.
As I write this the vote on the EEA has yet to be held, however, I will not be voting for membership of it, leaving the EU means leaving the single market and customs union.
I support the negotiating of new arrangements with our European partners that work for our economy, reflects the referendum result and prevents a hard border in Northern Ireland.
An EEA arrangement is bespoke for those countries who negotiated it 25 years ago – we need a deal that’s fit for Britain now and in future years to come.
I spoke in the Article 50 debates last year, in it I stated clearly that I respected the views of my constituents, I also spoke about my own family’s experience, who worked in the shipyards alongside economic migrants from Europe.
They hated seeing them being exploited, they wanted them to have rights, and the same terms, conditions and pay that they had, but instead they continued to be exploited, to such a degree that the yard owners could pay them so little that it was no longer a good business model to have people like my family members employed there. In short, they lost their jobs.
The referendum was a chance for people like members of my family to vent their hurt.
It also showed that for too long, politicians had been ignoring the struggles of those like my family.
It also showed that for too long the benefits of the EU were not sold to people. The European Parliament was shrouded in mystery, leaving a vacuum for UKIP to sell an alternative narrative of what the EU did and does for us.
The Referendum result was decided in 2016, it unleashed a level of vitriol and hate in our county that I have never witnessed before, a second referendum will only seek to further damage the now fragile fabric of the UK.
The biggest risk to our country right now is Theresa May’s Government, and that is where my attention will be focused on.