MPs have returned from their Christmas break, but on Brexit nothing has changed. The Department for Transport appointed a ghost company to run non existing ships and tried (and failed) to stress test ‘no deal’ plans by staging a traffic jam on the M20. Too little too late. In the meantime the Prime Minister is still expected to loose a vote on the Government’s proposed deal in Parliament next week. Time to take back control.
Today the City of London’s full Council meeting (Court of Common Council) is debating a motion tabled by Sir Mark Boleat to support the call for a People’s Vote. I am proud to be one of the supporters of this motion as I believe the City Corporation needs to send a clear signal that a ‘no deal’ Brexit is unacceptable.
The referendum of 2016 gave the Government a narrow margin to negotiate our departure from the EU. But settling the question of what kind of future we want has clearly failed.
Parliament is deadlocked. Britain is divided.
This is because there has never been an attempt to be straight with voters on the difficult choices and complex trade-offs involved in delivering Brexit.
In 2017 I was elected with the promise to stand up for businesses, City workers and residents in the Ward of Cheap and ensure the City Corporation fights for the best deal possible.
But in each of the scenarios modelled by the Bank of England, the financial services sector will contribute less to the UK economy.
Today the message from businesses is loud and clear: prevent the chaos and damage of a no-deal Brexit.
Earlier this week London First for example called for Article 50 to be revoked or a referendum to be held should Parliament reject the Prime Minister’s deal.
And our constituents are clear: 68% of Londoners support remaining in the EU and 72% are backing a public vote.
This is why I believe a referendum, bringing people back into the process, to decide on the future relationship we want, is the only way to avoid a damaging crashing out and resolve the deadlock in Parliament.
And yes, this is democratic. Democracy is not a single event.
Asking people to make a decision based on real options, rather than vague visions and empty promises, will ultimately strengthen the democratic basis for the path we choose as a country.