Working for the best Brexit

Some issues coming before Parliament are of such importance that they take on an historic significance.

Thursday, 9th February 2017, 3:55 pm
Updated Tuesday, 28th February 2017, 11:49 am
MPs have voted in favour of triggering Article 50 in the House of Commons. Picture by Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA Wire

And so it was this week when The European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill – triggering Article 50 to you and I – was being debated.

I voted to Remain, I campaigned to Remain. I wish the referendum outcome had been different, but it wasn’t.

I respect the result, just as I would have expected a different result to be respected.

We need to know what a Brexit deal might look like, and the European Union has clearly said that substantive discussions can only happen once Article 50 has been triggered.

We argued that the government should bring forward a White Paper setting out its position and a meaningful vote for Parliament on any deal before it is concluded.

The government was forced to concede on both points.

Parliament must also have a role in ensuring any Brexit deal focuses on the economy and jobs, rights at work and environmental protections.

Feelings run high on both sides.

For some MPs the referendum result in their area was clear cut – one way or another. In North Tyneside the result was much closer, and in Tynemouth closer still.

However, the decision to trigger Article 50 was not made this week, it was made on June 23, 2016, by the British people.

Now the work starts in getting the best deal for everyone, regardless of how they voted.