single market

Along with 18 other Labour backbenchers, I have tabled an amendment which sets out the key reason as to why I believe there are fundamental problems with the Government's approach. I might be accused of being a democracy denier but I can't sign up unconditionally to the UK leaving the European Union and the Single Market... Nothing I have heard from the Prime Minister gives me the reassurance I would need to embark on the path of leaving the EU and the Single Market. That is where this Government wants to take us and I can't see how this is in the national interest.
Should Labour, in the final analysis, be seen to have in effect collaborated or at least stood by motionless as the Tories go hell for leather for a Hard Brexit, then its perceived waving through of Article 50 will be interpreted as a colossal act of cynicism, which many of the 48%, and indeed many loyal Labour voters, may not be able to forgive.
As I told the Brexit Secretary David Davis in the House of Commons today, such an outcome would be disastrous for jobs and growth. Every car we export to Europe would become 10% more expensive; every item of clothing, 12%; every joint of British lamb, 40%. UK goods would be priced out of competitiveness in the European market.
On the surface, it may seem that Mrs May has simply played the most obvious opening move for the Brexit negotiations: ask to have our cake and eat it... But in reality Mrs May has boxed herself in to a hard Brexit.
It is important to place Brexit in the wider context of everyday living in the UK. For most people, Brexit is relatively unimportant compared to the problems they face in their everyday lives. The Lancaster House speech is thus correct to focus on placing Brexit in the context of a concern with ensuring better outcome for people - people living in the UK, but also those living in other countries.
Theresa May's announcement that the UK will leave the single market will inevitably mean every single family in the UK will face significant financial loss. Given the polling that suggests people are prepared to sacrifice almost nothing to regain the right to make our own laws, hard Brexit could quickly become one of the most destructive and unpopular decisions ever made by a British government.
Most Britons - whether they voted Leave or Remain - will be the losers in this scenario; the top 1% of earners and tax-avoiding multinationals will be the winners. So the Prime Minister needs to stop betting the house on the most unpredictable US president in history, and embrace the safe option of staying in the Single Market.
The Chancellor's Autumn Statement last month unmasked a series of Brexit bombshells for the Scottish and UK economies. Higher debt, higher borrowing, higher inflation and slower economic growth. And all that without even addressing the Brexit elephant in the room - the UK's membership of the Single Market. A market to which access is key to jobs and businesses across the UK.
So I cannot vote for a motion that supports the government's Brexit timetable. We have heard time and time again from the Brexit Secretary, that "there will be no running commentary" on the Government's Brexit plans. But in reality we have had a running commentary of sorts - just not one that has been willingly provided by the Government.
Few things have corroded the relationship between working-class people on the one hand and their leaders in the Labour party and trade union movement on the other than the obstinate refusal of those leaders to treat concerns over unlimited immigration with the legitimacy they deserve, and to instead resort to boilerplate and patronising slogans.