Last week MPs in parliament finally voted to approve a Brexit deal. Jon Cruddas MP, who was elected in 2017 and 2019 on a mandate to respect the outcome of the referendum, voted in favour of the deal. His full statement can be found below.
We were told that getting a trade deal with the EU would be easy. The deal we have been presented with is desperately thin and there are massive gaps and failures. 80% of our economy is now based on services and yet financial services don't feature. The negative reaction of Britain's fishing fleet and industry shows that we have not taken control of our waters as promised. Whilst it is a relief that our trade with the countries of the EU will not face tariffs nor quotas, there will be extra costs and bureaucracy imposed on businesses, so frictionless trade it is not.
Let there be no misunderstanding, this deal with all its shortcomings belongs to this Prime Minister and his Government. I will continue to stand up for local people and businesses and draw attention to the deficiencies of this agreement and the harm done.
But the choice before Parliament was a simple, if a very unappealing one; to vote for a thin and inadequate deal or vote no deal which would be disastrous for our economy, local businesses and jobs. So I voted for the deal.
Having a deal with our largest trading partners means that in the future a Labour Government will build upon the current arrangements to strengthen environmental protection, improve consumer standards and extend the rights of workers.
Over these last terrible months when so many families have endured losses we have seen some of the best of Britain with our vital health and care workers, the workers that have kept society going and the inspiring efforts of so many people who have come forward to volunteer across Dagenham and Rainham. I am in no doubt that we can build a strong future for Britain outside the EU but that will require a competent Government that properly recognises and rewards those people who will bring about that brighter future.