Listen to my discussion with Carolyn Quinn and guests on the Westminster Hour, talking about...you've guessed it, Brexit, Brexit and Brexit.
This programme was first broadcast on Radio 4, Sunday 31 March 2019 at 10pm
Speaking after today’s vote (29 March) on the EU Withdrawal Agreement, Caroline Flint said:
“Today, the day we should have left the EU, Parliament let down the people and businesses of Don Valley.
“Parliament has strained the patience of people who thought that over 1,000 days after the referendum, the UK should have left already.
“I hope everyone understands that today’s vote was a vote to block Brexit. I couldn’t support that.
“I voted to guarantee that the UK would leave the EU on 22 May. Today, that option was thrown away.
Speaking after the Commons Indicative Votes, Caroline Flint said:
"Yesterday, I voted in line with my general election pledges to respect the vote and to support a deal.
“None of yesterday’s debate was about the Deal the EU has asked Parliament to make a decision on. Some motions were about the future trading relationships, but a few motions were efforts to stop Brexit or force a second referendum. I voted against both of those proposals.
The Don Valley told the Prime Minister: “the British public, want us to come to some sort of compromise and move forward” adding “there is agreement with the Withdrawal Agreement, but there are concerns about the future relationship on trade and security going forward.“
Parliament faces straight forward choices. The Withdrawal Agreement Deal, No Deal; or a long extension which will mean taking part in EU elections whilst campaigners carry on agitating to stop Brexit.
For some, the third choice is the preferred outcome. An absolute majority of MPs are opposed to a second referendum or to revoking Article 50. But Labour’s priority in the 2017 General Election and in the 2018 Party Conference motion was to secure a deal.
Speaking after the second Meaningful Vote, Caroline Flint said:
“Having secured legal guarantees on workers’ rights, health and safety and environmental standards, last night, I voted for this improved Brexit deal.
“On every key vote I have backed motions tabled by Jeremy Corbyn, including the No Confidence motion against Theresa May on 16 January.
The Don Valley MP was in the Chamber to hear Secretary of State, Greg Clark announce new legislation to protect workers’ rights after Brexit and to give Parliament votes on whether to improve new rights introduced by the European Union 27 states after the UK leaves. Mr Clark said: “I am grateful to the Rt Hon Lady [Caroline] for having initiated this conversation.”
Rebecca Long-Bailey, Shadow Secretary of State for Business thanked the Don Valley MP and three other colleagues for having “unrelentingly championed the protection of British workers as we leave the EU.” Ms Long Bailey also mentioned Melanie Onn MP, John Mann MP and Gareth Snell MP, who jointly lobbied Government for these changes.
Caroline was on Ridge on Sunday, explaining to Sophy that all MPs should be working towards getting an improved Brexit deal.
Watch some quick clips below of Caroline explaining her position.
Call me old-fashioned, but as a democratic socialist I believe politics is about principles. The “democratic” part matters. You make election promises. You keep them. After 22 years in parliament, I thought that was how democracy worked. Straightforward, honest politics.
This week, I secured a debate on transport for towns. I want a new transport deal for Britain's towns. Read my article for PoliticsHome.
Photo: With Cllr Bill Mordue at the start of the Great Yorkshire Way final leg.
Successful towns need to move people around efficiently, moving workers from home to places of work at all hours; visitors to hospitals; patients to GPs; students to schools and colleges.
But the UK’s towns – many of them small towns, face different challenges from our big cities.