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Western Mail Article: Anna McMorrin MP- I will work across House to stop catastrophic No Deal Brexit

August 28, 2019

As the return of Parliament edges closer, talk amongst MPs about how we stop a catastrophic no deal Brexit has ramped up significantly.

No deal is a trojan horse, to be used by Brexiteers in the Tory Party to bring about a race to the bottom on standards and protections, spark a bonfire of workers’ rights, and create a low-tax, low-regulation offshore economy that works only for the few. 

Frances O’Grady, General Secretary of the TUC, said it would make Britain the “bargain basement capital of Europe”. That does not bode well for the economy and for vital just-in-time industry which depends heavily on trade with our European neighbours. Take the automotive industry as an example, 180,000 direct jobs and well over 600,000 in the supply chain - so many livelihoods depend on maintaining frictionless borders. 

No deal would be catastrophic for farmers too, particularly here in Wales. 35% of Welsh reared lamb is exported, with over 92% of those exported going to our EU neighbours. If we leave with no deal on 31st October, WTO tariffs could add anything from 38 and 91% to the price of sheep meat for the EU market. Meat Promotion Wales believes our lamb trade could be “almost completely wiped out” if we leave with no deal.

This would spell a tough time for our farmers. 

The impact of the UK dropping out of the EU without a deal is not only confined to job losses, economic turbulence, and trade disruption. No deal would also lead to a shortage of essential medicines which we import from our EU partners, despite stockpiling efforts. Given the UK imports about 37 million medicine packs per month from the EU, there is much cause for concern. A spokesperson from one pharmaceutical firm, Novartis, said “there are many things that are beyond our control and we are therefore unable to provide absolute certainty surrounding possible scenarios resulting from a no-deal Brexit.”

Such medicine shortages would include epilepsy drug Tegretol and vital insulin supplies. Shortages would also have huge implications on products used in diagnostic tests and cancer treatments which often have a short self-life. It makes the remarks made by Boris Johnson’s Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, all the more disturbing. Hancock is reported to have told the Cabinet that his department could not rule out the loss of life linked to medicine shortages.

No deal would also put the rights of EU nationals, who live and work freely in the UK, under huge uncertainty. Recent emergency no deal preparations on freedom of movement from new Home Secretary, Priti Patel, would leave EU nationals in legal limbo. EU citizens who call the UK home, including those who live, work and contribute in my constituency of Cardiff North, deserve more respect than Boris Johnson’s Government are showing them. Ending freedom overnight, bearing in mind the Government have been incapable of legislating to put an acceptable system are in place, would cause chaos for two million EU nationals who have not yet registered for settled status. These citizens are our friends, neighbours and colleagues.

Let’s be honest, these are just a few of the many examples where a no deal Brexit would have serious and lasting consequences on the everyday lives of my constituents. No deal will strike a blow to everything from jobs, trade and investment, to health, public services and transport.

This is not Project Fear, this is Project Reality and there are just 73 days left until 31st October. 

No one voted for such an act of self-destruction in 2016.

As the MP for Cardiff North, a constituency which backed Remain by over 60%, I have campaigned for the people to have the final say and to remain in the EU. I have also made it my number one priority this coming autumn to stop Boris Johnson from forcing no deal through Parliament.

This Brexiteer fantasy has gone on too long. I will not give them the opportunity to potentially tip our economy into a recession, to risk our jobs, our livelihoods, our rights, or diminish the employment prospects of our future workforce.

If a no confidence motion is brought before the Commons, MPs must have the courage to vote to bring down Johnson’s government. That will allow MPs 14 days to find a majority to form a caretaker government. Jeremy Corbyn as Leader of the Opposition must have the first opportunity to form this Government.

I back this route.

History will judge us by the strength and courage we display during this critical period. I will work with colleagues across the House to stop no deal. We need a sensible and mature short-term government which seeks an extension to Article 50 and puts the decision to a public vote.

The issue is far too serious to fall back into tribal norms, it is our moral obligation to stop the damage and chaos that would unfold.

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