Harriet Harman

Member of Parliament for Camberwell and Peckham. Mother of the House of Commons

People's Vote

Like the overwhelming majority of people in Camberwell and Peckham I wanted us to stay in the EU and indeed I campaigned locally and across the country for Remain. Despite the strong Remain vote in Southwark, unfortunately the result of the Referendum was, by a small majority, to leave. I remain deeply disappointed about this and am increasingly concerned that our fears about the impact of Brexit far from being exaggerated, understated the devastating impact that Brexit would have on jobs, our economy, employment rights, the environment and our security.

There are only weeks until the Brexit talks are meant to conclude but the Government still have no credible plan, no viable solution to the Irish border and there appears to be no support in Parliament for the Prime Minister’s Chequers proposals.

If Parliament votes down the Prime Minister's Brexit agreement or she cannot reach an agreement with the EU, I believe we must keep all options on the table including a public vote.

However, after the mistakes and mishaps of the last two years, I believe we should be prepared for the possibility that the Prime Minister may fail to deliver the Brexit agreement that our country needs.

I am committed to judging any Brexit agreement against Labour’s six tests that were set out by the Shadow Brexit Secretary in March last year.

When or if there is an agreement for Parliament to vote on, I do not accept that it should be a 'take it or leave it' choice between what may be a bad deal or crashing out of the EU without an agreement. I believe a No-Deal Brexit would be catastrophic and the Government does not have the right to plunge our country into chaos because of its own failure.

This is why, if any agreement is voted down by Parliament, my preference is for there to be a general election - to try to get a Government that can negotiate the best agreement for our country. However, if a general election is not possible, all other options for breaking the impasse must be kept open including a public vote.

As your elected representative in Parliament, I welcome your views and comments throughout this process. Thanks once again to all those who have contacted me on this issue.

 

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