Many constituents have contacted me expressing their concerns over the triggering of Article 50 following the referendum result and how important it is that the Government fights for an agreement that prioritises jobs, the economy and living standards for our citizens.
I share these concerns and regardless of my position before and during the referendum campaign, I have been consistent in stating that as a democrat I accept and respect the result.
I do not believe that there should be a second referendum and the process of exiting the EU should not be frustrated by voting against the triggering of Article 50.
I understand my position may not be one that all constituents agree with and for them I would like to give assurances that this does not mean I will be simply accepting what the Government places before us, but I will be robustly speaking up for us at every stage.
I recognise that how the UK exits the EU is the most important decision for our nation in a generation, and that is why Theresa May must allow proper scrutiny and accountability of her plans for Brexit and avoid a deal with member states that puts jobs and the economy at serious risk.
The Prime Minister is now suggesting that the UK could leave the Single Market after previously stating that access without tariffs or impediments is essential for Britain.
The Government must demonstrate how its objectives can now be achieved outside the Single Market and how it will ensure that all sectors and regions of the economy can thrive.
A perfect example of this is Nissan’s decision to re-evaluate their investments when the new trade deal with the EU has been agreed.
Any decision to withdraw from the Single Market will put thousands of jobs in the North East at risk.
It will make us less attractive as a destination for global investors and will affect our position as a leader in advanced manufacturing that is recognised globally.
It is also important that there is a clear commitment to protect workers’ rights, human rights and environmental standards as well as there being continued close collaboration with the EU with regard to security, science and research.
Yesterday’s Supreme Court result was a significant defeat for the Government.
After wasting taxpayers’ money in the courts, the Government have been told unequivocally, that only Parliament and not Theresa May has the power to instigate Article 50.
After pressure from Labour at this week’s Prime Minister’s Questions, Theresa May conceded to publish her plans in a White Paper, a government policy document which sets out key proposals for future legislation.
Parliament is also awaiting the Government’s bill that will trigger Article 50 talks which will be the beginning of a long process.
In the many debates that will now follow, I will press for the best deal possible for my constituents; a deal that protects jobs, the economy and upholds living standards and one that does not sweep away hard fought-for social and economic protections.