In recent days my inbox has seen an influx of people sharing their views on Brexit; reject Theresa May’s Brexit plan; support Theresa May’s Brexit plan; vote for a ‘People’s Vote’; get on with it and just back Brexit; or get on with it and just dump Brexit…
Is it possible for me to make a decision that satisfies all of these people? Sadly, that doesn’t seem likely. But I will do all I can to get the best possible outcome for the people of Dewsbury, Mirfield, Denby Dale and Kirkburton.
Unfortunately, as I write, Theresa May’s government is in chaos because of her own failings and inability to negotiate a deal in the national interest.
Brexit is without doubt one of the most difficult and divisive issues of our time and, whilst I’m losing no sleep over the disintegration of Theresa May’s destructive Conservative government, we’re still faced with the real challenge of clinching a deal that both respects the outcome of the referendum and protects local people from economic disaster.
I voted to remain in the EU, but I still believe it is important to recognise that a great many people who voted for Brexit did so because they felt that for years they have been economically and politically marginalised. I’ve said before and I’ll repeat – the genuine concerns of those people have to be listened to.
The problem is this – the deal is a miserable failure after two years of botched negotiations.
We’ve been presented with a template for a blind Brexit – which I cannot support.
To explain, the ‘deal’ is in two parts – a withdrawal agreement that includes half-baked proposals for a backstop, and a political declaration that is incredibly vague and opens the gate to a hard Tory Brexit.
So, Theresa May has written to the public, appealing for support for her Brexit deal.
But again, in this, her hypocrisy shows through on issues from migration and control of our borders, which she wants people to believe though she utterly failed on this as Home Secretary; to the broken promises over control of our fishing industry and the missing millions promised for health and social care.
I do not take the decision to vote against May’s Brexit deal lightly. But I will not vote for a plan that offers only a shopping list of items to be confirmed, not a real trade deal.
There may still be a long way to go to achieve Labour’s alternative plan to safeguard jobs, rights and standards and bring power and investment back to our region.
But the decision that will soon be put before Parliament is too important and far-reaching to give up now. I will not risk a future of perpetual trade talks that is defined by May’s pitifully bad deal.
This is a vital moment for our future; I will do all I can in Parliament to fight for the best decision for the social and economic future of Dewsbury, Mirfield, Denby Dale and Kirkburton.
As always, if local people have any issues they want to raise with me, or if I can help in any way, please get in touch.
Email paula@paulasherriff. org.uk, call 01924 565450 or write to Paula Sherriff MP, The Old Dewsbury Reporter Building, 17 Wellington Road, Dewsbury WF13 1HQ.