Following the Supreme Court’s ruling, the Government must now seek the approval of Parliament before it can trigger the formal Article 50 process of leaving the European Union.
The Government has now introduced the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill, also known as the ‘Article 50 Bill’, to Parliament that would give it this approval. I will be voting for triggering article 50.
I accept the result of the referendum on the 23rd June 2016 concerning the UK’s membership of the EU and I therefore intend to vote for this Bill at its Second Reading in the House of Commons. It is clear to me that Britain’s future now lies outside the EU and our job is now to get the best deal possible for the UK.
Triggering Article 50 is just the start of the process for the UK to withdraw from the EU. It is important as negotiations go forward that we get a deal which includes tariff-free access for UK goods to the EU, which is particularly important for the North East’s economy, and that we protect those employment rights which have been gained from Europe.
I also feel that in order to give stability to EU nationals living here and UK nationals living in EU, the Government should seek an early resolution for the protections of their rights.
It is vital that the UK secures the best exit deal from the EU in the negotiations that will follow the triggering of Article 50 – one that protects jobs, living standards and workers’ rights – and I do not believe the Government should be given a blank cheque for the high risk approach it has chosen to take.
I will support amendments to the Article 50 Bill designed to ensure that the Government sticks to a number of principles throughout the exit negotiations. These will include securing full tariff-free and impediment-free access to the Single Market, protecting workers’ rights and confirming the legal status of EU citizens currently in the UK.
I will also support amendments to ensure effective parliamentary scrutiny of the progress being made on negotiations, and to provide a meaningful vote on the final deal before the Government agrees it with the EU.
I am also aware of a number of campaigns expressing support for continued membership of the EU and calls for there to be a second referendum. However, I do not agree with the need for a second referendum.
It is important that Parliament holds the Government to account throughout the negotiation, and seeks to ensure the Prime Minister secures the best deal for the whole country.