Matt Rodda Member of Parliament for Reading East
With just weeks to go until Britain leaves the EU, the Government has failed to put forward a viable solution to prevent a hard border in Ireland or a credible plan to deliver a strong future relationship with the EU.
The last 24 hours have been dramatic and events are likely to develop further in the next few days and weeks.
I listened to Theresa May’s statement in Parliament and it is clear that she has delivered a poor deal and that her party is bitterly divided by Brexit.
She faces a potential leadership challenge following pointed criticism from Euro sceptics and the resignations of key members of the cabinet. She faced considerable opposition in the Commons and I thought it was telling that it took nearly an hour for a Conservative MP to stand up to support the Prime Minister during a three hour session when she presented her proposals.
Labour will not give the Tories a blank cheque to drive through a destructive Brexit deal. That’s why we set out six tests at the start of the Article 50 process. If those tests are not met, Labour will vote against Theresa May’s Brexit deal in Parliament.
I have never accepted this is a choice between Theresa May’s deal and no deal. No government has the right to plunge the country into chaos as a result of their own failure. If a deal is voted down by Parliament, that cannot be a mandate for no deal.
In those circumstances, Labour’s priority is for there to be a general election and the opportunity to sweep away this failed Tory government.
If a general election is not possible, all options should be kept on the table to break the impasse and avoid a catastrophic no deal – including campaigning for a public vote.
Labour has set out an alternative Brexit strategy alongside our plans to upgrade the economy and invest in every community and region. Labour has repeatedly called for the Government to negotiate a strong new relationship with the EU that includes a new customs union, a single market deal, that safeguards rights and protections and prevents a hard border in Ireland.