Lewisham MPs to vote against triggering Article 50

All three of Lewisham's MPs, including Heidi Alexander, Jim Dowd and Brockley MP Vicky Foxcroft have confirmed that they will vote against triggering Article 50 when the issue reaches the House of Commons.

The borough of Lewisham voted strongly in favour of remaining in the EU, so our MPs are representing their constituents, however futile the move might be. And since Labour doesn't have a coherent approach to Brexit, it's not as if they have anything to lose by taking this stance. 

Heidi Alexander has put forward a Commons motion to throw out the government’s bill to trigger article 50. The proposal is very unlikely to pass but Alexander has written an article for the Huffington Post, explaining her move. She says:

"Along with 18 other Labour backbenchers, I have tabled an amendment which sets out the key reason as to why I believe there are fundamental problems with the Government’s approach.

"I might be accused of being a democracy denier but I can’t sign up unconditionally to the UK leaving the European Union and the Single Market. 

"Triggering Article 50 is one thing, pulling us out of the Single Market is another - but that is precisely what Theresa May wants to do."

Unfortunately, here, I think Alexander is wrong. Britain voted leave. The EU won't compromise on the terms of Single Market membership and they have made it clear that they want to turn Britain into a cautionary tale for other wantaway member states. Consequently, everything that has happened since June 23rd has been a logical inevitability. 

Britain has to be willing to walk away completely, use every source of leverage during the negotiations and explore every alternative - from becoming "Big Switzerland" to cosying up to the USA. Alexander continues:

"I can’t stand by and watch big firms, which employ many of my constituents, announce they are scaling down operations here in favour of countries such as France or Germany - HSBC, UBS, Lloyds of London."

Some banks will move some jobs. That too is inevitable. But this scenario was very well-rehearsed during the referendum and the British public decided it was a price worth paying - many even felt this was an argument in favour of Brexit. 

We will be leaving the EU and the single market. Those worried about the impact of this decision should be focused on how to develop a plan to mitigate and perhaps even capitalise on our departure. Visas, employment rights, the terms of trade, industrial strategy and the funding gaps left by the withdrawal of EU subsidies. These are the issues now. 

2 comments:

John said...

Wow. You are so wrong ...

You confuse Britain with the UK. You propagate the pernicious lie that "Britain voted out".

As to the idea that "Britain has to be willing to walk away completely" ... well, I laughed out loud.

Shame on your Brockley-centric self. Personally, I'm with Hedi (sic) and the other MPs, Scotland, Northern Ireland, etc., and will do what I can to fight this shameful "brexit" all the way.

Anonymous said...

Hello.

I'm with John.

We must all do something to stop this undemocratic madness. The lies underpinning the so-called brexit vote mean the advisory referdum result is a heap of doo-doo!

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