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Mismanagement of negotiations with the EU has left us a laughing stock

04 April, 2019

Tulip Siddiq: ‘I have no faith that MPs, left to their own devices, can find a way through the current mess’

• THE debate over how to implement the EU referendum result was always going to spark huge division. However the mismanagement of negotiations has left our country as an international laughing stock.

In the past week I cast two sets of “indicative” votes. These votes were instigated by backbench MPs of all stripes, exasperated by the government’s failure to achieve consensus and were intended to find an agreeable way to proceed. These efforts also failed.

Once again, I voted in favour of retaining a customs union with the EU, for Labour’s planned approach and for revoking Article 50 in its entirety. Similarly I voted against Brexit “on WTO terms” (the “no deal” scenario) and against iterations of Brexit that reduce the rights and protections that we currently enjoy.

By failing to agree on any of the options, I appreciate how farcical parliament appears to the general public. I have lost count of the number of emails from constituents demanding that the issue is returned to the people, precisely because “politicians have failed” and because “parliament is facing an impossible stalemate”.

And who can blame them? The chaos in parliament is causing serious harm to businesses across the country, with stockpiling surging, investments on hold, and thousands of manufacturing jobs already lost. Lives are in limbo, and the cliff edge is fast approaching.

In voting against triggering Article 50 two years ago, I was making the point that Britain was woefully unprepared to set the clock on our exit from the EU, and so it has proved. I will continue to fight for the general election or people’s vote that Britain so desperately needs to break the impasse.

My constituents elected me to do what is best by the country, and I have no faith that MPs, left to their own devices, can find a way through the current mess.

Labour, Hampstead & Kilburn


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