Alison McGovern, Luciana Berger, Louise Ellman and I are calling for a’People’s Vote’ on the UK’s final deal. Together withLiverpool Mayor Joe Anderson we have signed a joint open letter calling for Theresa May’s final deal with Brussels to be put to the public. This letter comes a week after a similar one was signed by five Labour MPs in the North East.
We think that a bad Brexit deal would be catastrophic for Labour’s northern heartlands and the NHS.Tory ministers do not have “a mandate to force a bad Brexit deal on the people of Merseyside”. Even with a free trade deal GDP growth could be 8% lower in the North West which “would be catastrophic for already-stretched public services including our NHS”.
The House of Commons is set to get a vote on Mrs May’s deal later this year.
But the Merseyside MPs said ‘Whatever you think of Brexit, there’s no denying that it’s a big deal, and we believe that the ‘people are therefore entitled to have their say on the deal before irrevocable steps are taken.’
Read the full text of our open letter below.
The Letter in Full
Liverpool and the whole Merseyside region has a proud, outward-looking history. Partly that’s because Liverpool is famously a port city, always looking outwards to the rest of the world rather than inwards. But it’s also a result of the experiences the city and the region has been through, going from a place of great wealth and renown, to being abandoned to decline to now enjoying a cultural renaissance.
Liverpool is a fiercely pro-European place. The whole region received a boost in 2008 as European Capital of Culture, not only in terms of financial investment, but also the fantastic experience of seeing tourists from around the world flock to Merseyside to experience everything we have to offer. We are celebrating the tenth anniversary of that great time this year. The significant level of European investment into Merseyside has also been critical to the rejuvenation of our region. The EU supported us when our own Tory Government left us to “managed decline”, something which has not been forgotten or forgiven on Merseyside.
The majority of Liverpool and other parts of Merseyside voted to Remain in the EU during the 2016 referendum. We knew that the problems faced by our country, our city and our region, including the ever-increasing wealth disparity between North and South, would not be solved by leaving the EU. On the contrary, the vast majority of those problems would be made much worse by Brexit. However, we do accept that a narrow majority of the country as a whole voted to Leave, so the Government does have a mandate to try and negotiate a Brexit deal.
What Ministers absolutely do not have is a mandate to force a bad Brexit deal on the people of Merseyside. We’ve already seen the Government’s own analysis showing that, even if the Prime Minister can negotiate a free-trade deal with the EU, the North West would suffer an 8% hit to GDP growth. That would be catastrophic for already-stretched public services, including our NHS.
That’s why we’re joining our Labour colleagues in the North East in calling for a People’s Vote on the final Brexit deal. Whatever you think of Brexit, there’s no denying that it’s a big deal, and it is only now that the full implications of any Brexit deal are becoming apparent. People are therefore entitled to have their say on the deal before irrevocable steps are taken.
For further evidence -; and no matter if you’re a Red, a Blue or a Tranmere fan -; we need look no further than the wise words of the Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, who said “let’s sit together again. Let’s think about it again and let’s vote again with the right information -; not with the information you’ve got around the Brexit campaign.” We agree with Jurgen, and we believe there should be a People’s Vote.