Boris Johnson’s own analysis of a no deal exit states “low income groups will be disproportionately affected by any price rises in food and fuel”. The document also warns of potential fuel shortages and price rises stemming from border disruption and even ramifications for our already fragile social care sector which is particularly vulnerable to inflation.
Of course, these are potential risks and not certainties of a no deal exit - no Government could predict with certainty every outcome. However, what we do know is how fragile our local economy is and whether it was deindustrialisation or austerity, towns like ours have always been the first and hardest to be hit by economic impacts. With a Conservative government in charge we just all know that they will not have our local interests at heart when implementing such a policy.
We also know their record for throwing the least well off in the country under a bus when it comes to economic policy. Remember their austerity implementation and ‘we’re all in this together’? Well that has led to 22% of the public living in poverty, nearly 33% of children living in poverty and the UN stating that it inflicted “great misery” on the public with “punitive, mean-spirited, and often callous” policies that were all influenced by a political desire to undertake social re-engineering rather than economic necessity.
It’s just in their nature to blindly neglect or even consider the impact on communities like ours because they have no experience of the circumstances that we are in.
So let me be clear that for me calling out No Deal is not about stopping Brexit but making the point that no deal not only has no mandate but also that it is not the quick, simple route out from the chaos that many believe and hope that it is.
The Vote Leave campaign stated we would get a deal and should take our time and get it right (I agree). I was then elected in 2017 on a manifesto that very explicitly ruled out no deal. But nevertheless, I have no hesitation believing that the Conservatives will happily follow a course of action with no mandate that they know to hit the least well off so hard.
As a Labour MP who always places the wellbeing and living standard of our working people first, I cannot sit idly by when there is a safer, less disruptive path that did achieve a mandate of 52% across the country and 63% locally.
This analysis underpins the importance to end the chaos and disruption by striking a deal. Revoking or No Deal would both cause years of more arguments, division and negotiations.
The only way we will settle Brexit and move on is by forming a consensus around a sensible deal that both Leave and Remainers can live with to reunite the Brexit divisions – surely, we should forge our future relationship with the EU now, before we leave, rather than cutting all ties, losing our negotiating hand and enduring major economic and social disruption whilst we rebuild our relationship all over again from scratch whilst the poorest in our society are suffering the cost.
I understand and share everyone’s deep frustration and anger that Brexit has not been settled but rushing into a course of action without cool and measured heads could inflict serious damage and disruption we will regret and end up seriously paying the price for.