Many constituents have contacted me about Brexit and the recent votes on the amendments to the EU Withdrawal Bill in support of remaining in a customs union and the European Economic Area, and in favour of a meaningful vote

The UK will be leaving the European Union in March next year. I voted to trigger the Article 50 legislation as I felt it was important to respect the referendum result, even though I campaigned passionately for remain.

However, the referendum did not decide what our future relationship with the European Union is going to be after we leave, and that is what Parliament has been debating recently. We have to make sure that we get the best deal for the British economy and the British people.

It is for that reason that leaving without any deal at all would be disastrous and I will not vote for that to happen. As we leave, we need to negotiate a close relationship on trade, services, security, foreign policy, consumer safety, exchange of data and lots of other issues that are important to our way of life, jobs and investment.

I voted for all the amendments mentioned above, but they were not about overturning the referendum result (which I accept). If you would like to read what I said in my speeches to the House of Commons on these issues then you can click on the links below.

As you may be aware all these amendments were defeated and the EU Withdrawal Bill has now become law. I will continue to argue for the best Brexit agreement for the United Kingdom – ie one that protects the economy, jobs, investment and our security and influence in the world – and for Parliament to have the final say in a meaningful vote about the terms on which we leave the EU and not about whether we leave the EU because that was decided in the referendum.

Hilary Benn
MP for Leeds Central

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