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Opinion: The Brexit deal must protect our future

PUBLISHED: 08:00 17 June 2018

Jon Cruddas

Jon Cruddas

Archant

I don’t think I can ever recall a more wretched and divided government than the current Tory one.

Not a single day seems to go by without one or other of this self-serving rabble stabbing someone else in the back – usually Boris Johnson on Theresa May!

Of course the Brexit debate throws up strong emotions whichever side of the fence people are on. But most people in communities like ours just want to get on with it.

That’s exactly what we on the Labour benches are doing. While it would be preposterous to suggest we don’t have some differences, at least we are pulling together as a whole.

This week MPs were asked to vote on amendments to the EU Withdrawal Bill suggested by the House of Lords.

In particular, the European Economic Area Amendment set out a very specific way to achieve a new relationship with the Single Market by remaining in the EEA, the so-called Norway Model.

But to my mind there were real drawbacks to this model and I was determined to vote to get the best deal for the people of Dagenham and Rainham.

That means ensuring the Brexit people voted for in my constituency is delivered, but not at the expense of workers’ rights, our rights as citizens, or at a cost to environmental protections.

The alternative Labour amendment, which I backed, set out a framework to build a close future relationship with the EU, without creating a race to the bottom on workers’ rights or sabotaging future investment in the UK economy.

Importantly it also offered a viable solution to prevent a hard border in Northern Ireland.

We have a massive amount of investment scheduled for Dagenham and Rainham in the coming years, with the new film studios, thousands of new homes, new infrastructure including schools, medical centres, and other business investment.

It is vitally important that we establish a deal that protects our future. That is why I supported Labour’s Brexit plan which respected the Brexit vote, and the views of my constituents.

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