On June 23rd, 2016 the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union. The outcome of the referendum was the result of a divisive and dispiriting campaign and the failures of the former Prime Minister David Cameron who gambled with our prosperity for his own party political purposes.
I have always been a staunch supporter of the European Union and campaigned for the United Kingdom to remain a member last year. Of course like many of my constituents I was disappointed by the result, however, I and the Labour Party voted in Parliament to hold the referendum and it would, therefore, be undemocratic for us to obstruct the decision made by the majority of the British public. No political party can stop the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the European Union, but we can work to ensure that we secure the best possible exit terms.
The Conservatives have called this election in order to capitalise on the divisions that have that the referendum has created, and to draw attention away from their abysmal track record in office. The government has told the British public little of what it desires to achieve from the negotiations but all signs point towards a 'Hard Brexit', with Britain crashing out of Euratom, the Single Market, and the Customs Union. If the Conservative candidate sneaks though the backdoor in Leeds North East they will give Theresa May a blank cheque to pursue a Brexit that is reckless and unreasonable. The Labour Party is determined, however, to secure a 'Soft Brexit' that puts our economic and security interests first.
I am deeply concerned that Brexit will cause severe damage to the economy, and inevitably lead to the deregulation of the labour market and of environmental protection. I, therefore, pledge to vote against any deal that comes before Parliament that damages our national interest or the lives of constituents.