I recently met some Stockport business leaders who talked about their frustrations over the confusion and uncertainty around Brexit.
They represented a spread of businesses from services to manufacturing and they were all worried about the knock-on effect on local jobs, investment and business.
There have been three tortuous years of Brexit negotiations whilst Theresa May tried to get a deal with the EU that would not disadvantage the UK’s economy after we left. And still, there is no deal. And now she has resigned as Prime Minister and Boris Johnson, who said getting a deal from the EU, would be easy wants to take her place. He, of course, resigned as Foreign Secretary when the going got hard.
The next couple of months are going to be dominated by the contenders to be the next Prime Minister promising that they can sort the mess out. They can’t. Jeremy Corbyn has also promised what he can’t deliver. The majority of MP’s are opposed to leaving without any trading arrangement in place with the EU because we know how damaging that will be and that the least well off will bear the greatest cost.
The only deal that is on offer is a deal that Theresa May couldn’t get support for. The EU have said they are not reopening negotiations.
A general election would solve nothing.
Confidence in the two main parties is at an all-time low so it is unlikely that either party would be returned with an overall majority. So I think we should withdraw our notice to quit, remain in the EU and reform and address the concerns that people have.
That would give local business the certainty they need and our children the future they deserve.
As the crisis surrounding the Brexit negotiations has deepened, so the flow of concerned emails I have received has soared.
The people of Stockport voted to remain in the EU by 53.2 per cent to 46.8 per cent in the 2016 referendum.
In the last few weeks I have received more than 600 emails from constituents. It will come as no surprise to you that people have expressed many different views about Brexit and the way forward.
I also conducted a postal survey in those areas where a high number of people voted to leave in 2016.
I polled 4,500 households and what is striking is that of those who responded 71 per cent now feel ‘the people’ should have the final say on the Brexit deal and 72 per cent said that remaining in the EU should be an option in another referendum.
There has been a definite sign of a change of heart amongst people who voted Leave who now say they would like the opportunity to vote again. Of those who replied to say they voted Leave in 2016, 13 per cent said they would now vote Remain with many saying they felt misled or misinformed in the EU referendum.