“Brexit means Brexit” is a phrase that could well come to define the tenure of Theresa May as Prime Minister. Now I don’t often agree with what Mrs May says, but on this occasion I have to.
Last June the people of Great Britain voted to leave the EU, albeit by a slender majority.
Whilst campaigning as a reluctant ‘Remainer’, I accepted the vote as reflecting the democratic wishes of the public, and as such, respect the decision made.
Eight months on that is still my view, which I believe means that we have to now ensure Britain gets the best possible Brexit deal we can for everyone in this country – not just the rich and wealthy, and the ‘Fat Cat’ financiers of the City, but the ordinary man and woman in the street.
Last week the House of Commons paved the way for the start of the process to trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty by an overwhelming majority, and shortly afterwards the government published a White Paper setting out how it proposes the negotiations should go to achieving a Brexit deal.
Many hours lie ahead going through the details of the White Paper with a fine tooth comb, and whilst the Labour Party has said we will not frustrate the Brexit process, we will be seeking guarantees and, where necessary, amendments to get the right deal for Britain in our view.
I know that the many constituents who have contacted me share my concerns about Brexit and I will be taking their views into consideration during the Parliamentary debates I attend.
Leaving the EU is by no means going to be an easy task. Many months of difficult negotiations lie ahead of us as we try to get the best possible Brexit deal for Britain.
However, we have to remember that Brexit was not a vote to turn our back on Europe and our nearest neighbours. Rather, we should now view Brexit as a vote of confidence in the UK’s ability to succeed and prosper in the wider world.