Brexit is the hot topic just now and so I want to thank everyone who has taken the time to share their views on Brexit. It’s been really helpful.
I pick up comments as I go about doing stuff locally: cheering on Scunthorpe United, going around businesses, schools and other workplaces, and dropping into events like the fantastic Kirton Lights’ Switch on or the unveiling of the fantastic Steelworkers’ sculpture. And, of course, I am getting a huge number of emails, tweets and Facebook comments. Even letters!
Hopefully I’ve been clear in all correspondence that I am determined to listen hard to what local people are saying to help me argue and vote for what is in the best interests of our area. Last week’s Telegraph asked “is MP Dakin ignoring his electorate over Brexit?” The answer is a clear no. I am listening very carefully to what people are saying.
So what am I hearing and what’s my view? First and foremost, I think people are fed up with hearing about Brexit and just want politicians to get on with it. But they have different views of what ‘it’ is! The vast majority of people contacting me – both leave and remain voters – are saying they don’t like the Prime Minister’s deal and are urging me to vote against it.
My view all along has been that people voted to come out but not to lose out. That’s why I voted to trigger Article 50 so that the Government could get on with the job of negotiating our leaving the EU. It’s disappointing that two months were wasted by the PM calling an unnecessary General Election. And it was not until June this year that she finally got a position to take to the EU. Even then she failed to get her hand-picked Cabinet to agree it without her Brexit Secretary and Foreign Secretary storming out! So even though she leads a Minority Government and having wasted lots of time and never making any effort to involve the opposition parties in the process, the PM finally came back from Brussels waving the papers of a deal that seems to please nobody.
I am worried that this deal as it stands, will seriously damage manufacturing areas like ours. Only a month ago British Steel announced winning a contract with the Belgian Railway. The steel will be made in Scunthorpe, rolled into rail in Hayange in northern France and then taken to Belgium. Frictionless trade makes this easy. Anything that jeopardises this will not get my support. That’s why I’d like to see the UK in a future Customs Union with the EU. Such an arrangement would go a long way to addressing issues with Northern Ireland and Gibraltar. This is what I will argue and vote for.
I won’t vote for a deal that will lead to higher food and fuel prices. I will not vote for a deal which puts jobs and livelihoods at risk, which keeps us in the EU without a say and allows the EU to veto the decisions we make about our country – that’s not taking back control, that’s giving up control.
We are expecting the first key vote on 11th December. In the meantime, I welcome local people getting in touch and letting me know what’s most important to them. This helps me best represent our area. You can contact me or join my next Facebook live event on Monday evening. We are going through a key moment in our history and with just a few months to go before departure day of 29th March 2019 it’s impossible to predict what will happen next!