My update sent to constituents on 22nd June 2018:
Following my Brexit Update earlier in the week I thought it would be useful to update you on the meaningful vote amendment which was debated in Parliament on Tuesday.
I also did a Facebook Live this afternoon to explain some of the issues. You can watch the video here.
As you will be aware, Dominic Grieve, the Conservative MP who has been leading a group of pro-European Conservative MPs on this issue, conceded to the Government and voted against his own meaningful vote amendment. This was hugely frustrating as he had enough Conservative MPs backing him to defeat the Government and force a meaningful vote for Parliament in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
Dominic Grieve argued that a written statement issued by the Brexit Secretary David Davis underlining the role of the Speaker and Parliament was enough to reassure Grieve that MPs would be able to have a voice, if not a meaningful vote, on the final deal. Although MPs will technically have ‘a voice’ there is no mechanism to send the Government back to the negotiating table. The Government can simply take note of Parliament’s vote and ignore it. Whether that means there will be a meaningful vote is to be determined.
Today Airbus have stated they will pull out of Britain in the event of no deal Brexit. Tens of thousands of people across the UK have jobs which are totally dependent on Airbus and I fear this is just the tip of the iceberg.
So we can see there are real and dangerous consequences to the Government’s approach to these Brexit negotiations and I am gravely disappointed that Dominic Grieve rejected the opportunity to give Parliament more of a say in the process.
Following my update on devolution from earlier in the week we have since had the debate on the Scottish Government and Parliament refusing consent on the EU (Withdrawal) Bill.
You can watch my contribution to the debate here. In short, I argued that the UK and Scottish Governments have to work better together. At the moment both sides see it in their political interests to fight with each rather than resolve the issues thrown up by the withdrawal bill.
The following day we discussed inter-governmental relations in a Westminster Hall debate. My contribution focused on making sure details of meetings between the UK and Scottish Governments are readily available to the public. You can watch it here.
The EU (Withdrawal) Bill has completed its passage through Parliament and will now receive Royal Assent. However, there are big votes in Parliament on the Government’s other Brexit related Bills coming up (Trade Bill, Customs Bill, Immigration Bill and the EU Implementation Bill) and I shall continue to keep you updated on these. I will, of course, continue to make the arguments for a Peoples Vote, the Single Market and the Customs Union.