I have appreciated hearing from thousands of people across our constituency with different views on whether we should remain or leave in the EU.
Firstly, I would just say that nobody voted in that referendum expecting politicians in Parliament to then overturn that decision. We asked the British people to settle an important constitutional question, as we have done many times before, and they have had their say.
It would send a very dangerous signal to people, many of whom felt they had been ignored for a very long time, if they and their views were treated with disdain by the political class and told that democracy didn’t matter because we’d do what we liked anyway and nobody cared for them or people like them.
At this moment in history when the consequences of a political elite out of touch with the majority of working people is being played out in America, politicians saying that their view is worthless and that their voice doesn’t matter would be extremely dangerous.
As someone who campaigned to remain, I of course am deeply worried about the direction that this Brexit is taking and that is the fight that is to come now.
The argument now is about the form of Brexit not whether or not we are going to leave.
I will fight tooth and nail to ensure that Brexit is not used as an excuse to negotiate away our rights, protections and close trading relationship with the EU and collaboration with our EU partners.
Labour’s 6 tests for the final deal are:
- Does it ensure a strong and collaborative future relationship with the EU?
- Does it deliver the “exact same benefits” as we currently have as members of the Single Market and Customs Union?
- Does it ensure the fair management of migration in the interests of the economy and communities?
- Does it defend rights and protections and prevent a race to the bottom?
- Does it protect national security and our capacity to tackle cross-border crime?
- Does it deliver for all regions and nations of the UK?
We have demanded a meaningful vote on the final deal and that vote will be in Parliament. If the deal does not meet these tests I will vote against it.
And on promises made during the referendum which infuriated many of us, in this election I am not going to let the Tory & UKIP candidates forget that they promised our straining NHS £350m a week, and I am not going to let them forget that Boris Johnson came up here and wrote to the local papers promising the funding which the EU gave to Yorkshire would be replicated. If both those are not delivered then I will be very clear that they have lied and it will be impossible to trust their promises.
Britain did not vote on the terms of exit and the Tories cannot have a blank cheque in the negotiations to come; any deal has to be in the interests of people in Sheffield not in the interests of the Tories’ hard right backbenchers.