Single Market Must Be Central To Any Brexit Deal

The Single Market must be central to any Brexit deal: it would mean close economic ties but leaving political union. When I questioned the Prime Minister on the importance of Single Market membership for workers' rights, the integrity of the union and for the services sector, she suggested there is another way to protect Services (80% of economy), but refused to share her cunning plan! Then said we should leave to Tories to protect workers’ rights! Continue reading

A Stand-Alone Customs Union Would Be A Disaster For The British Economy

Politics Home In many ways the two high-quality Indicative Votes debates on the UK-EU future relationship showed our Parliament at its very best. We knew what was at stake. The priority, most of us agreed, was to avert the catastrophe of No Deal Brexit, so it was incumbent upon all of us to help get a majority for at least one Brexit option. The unwritten rule was that each MP should not only vote for their preferred option, but for all the options they could live with. In this spirit Conservative MPs outside the cabinet were given a free vote, Labour MPs were whipped to support three options, and for a fleeting moment it looked like British politics was about to re-discover the lost art of compromise. Continue reading

There Needs To Be A Viable Leave Option On The Ballot Paper Versus Remain

During the second round of indicative votes I intervened in the debate to say that if we do have a confirmatory vote then a viable leave option needs to be on the ballot paper.   Continue reading

Hierarchy Of Chaos

The chaos that has been unleashed by the Government's handling of Brexit has been laid bare for all to see, so in the Commons chamber I challenged the Tories on the way their voted during the indicative votes. Continue reading

Indicative Votes: Common Market 2.0

When Parliament had it's opportunity to debate alternative Brexit deals, I set out the arguments for Common Market 2.0 in the House, as lead sponsor of the amendment. Common Market 2.0 brings together Leavers and Remainers, and three different parties. Common Market 2.0 can get us out of this crisis and reunite our divided country. Continue reading

Why Common Market 2.0 Beats The Backstop

Co-written with George Freeman Brexit has locked our politics in a devastating state of paralysis. Public trust is falling, the government is gridlocked and the nation is divided. This can’t go on. The Prime Minister has found herself tied up in knots as all her ill-advised red lines, and EU Referendum promises, prevent her from delivering a deal that can get through Parliament. Continue reading

Division has paralysed our politics - it's time for compromise

House Magazine There’s no doubt that Britain is a great country with so much going for it; economically, democratically, and culturally. But we are more divided than we have been at any time since the Second World War; young versus old, city versus town, graduate versus non-graduate. Continue reading

Common Market 2.0 Is The Fastest Route To Brexit

Chatham House speech about the Common Market 2.0 plan Thank you Tom, Nick, Robin and everyone at Chatham House for organising this event. Thanks also to my fellow panelists today. We’re a motley crew, but it has been a pleasure and a privilege to work with you, and I am truly proud of the way in which we have left our party political tribalism aside, to work in the national interest. And thank you all, ladies and gentleman, for coming along today, early in the morning, for what I hope will prove to be an informative conversation about our proposal. We call it Common Market 2.0; Michel Barnier likes to call it Norway Plus. But either way, we think it is the best way forward that can win parliamentary support, and begin to reunite our deeply divided country. Continue reading

Committee For Exiting The European Union Hears From A Panel Of Legal And Policy Experts

The Committee for Exiting the European Union heard evidence from a panel of legal and policy experts on Parliament’s role over the next few months, including what legislation Parliament needs to pass ahead of withdrawal to provide for a functioning statute book with or without a deal, including an EU (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill. Continue reading

Second Referendum Supporters Must Be Upfront With The Public

House Magazine No single party has been responsible for the steady erosion of trust in politics that we have seen over recent decades. From New Labour’s invasion of Iraq on a false prospectus to the Lib Dems’ tuition fees deception to the litany of Tory broken promises on everything from industrial strategy to immigration targets, the trust gap was already dangerously deep and wide well before June 2016. Continue reading