I have consistently supported the decision to leave the European Union, but with a sensible deal rather than a disastrous no-deal exit. That is why I voted for the Government’s EU Withdrawal Bill.

The Bill allows the possibility of leaving with a decent deal, but the Prime Minister’s deal as it stands falls seriously short on a number of key points. That is why I will be seeking to amend the Bill -; specifically to ensure our workers, our consumers and our environment are protected.

Making amendments and improvements to the Bill is the best chance of working towards an acceptable deal that sees us honour the result of the referendum with vital safeguards and protections in place, and avert the risk of a no-deal Brexit.

The opportunity to make amendments is only available after the Bill’s Second Reading, so I voted for the Bill in order that the Commons has the chance to amend and improve it at the Committee Stage.

This is the Government’s chance to compromise, improve their Bill, and produce a deal that works for people in Barnsley and has the support of Parliament. If they do so, I will be prepared to vote for the Bill at its later stages. If the Bill remains as it is, however, I will vote against it.

I hope that both Parliament and the Government now take this opportunity.


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