Brexit – Five Months On


I have received a huge number of emails and letters about Brexit in recent weeks and months. I wanted to share with you all the response I have sent out to constituents on Brexit and the way forward.

As you may be aware in the weeks after the referendum, I wrote an initial response to the defining and far reaching challenges Brexit brings for our country. If you have not a chance to read it, much of it still hold true, and I would encourage you to read it:

In the months since, I have done my best to attend the debates and opportunities to scrutinise the Government’s work on prospectively leaving the EU in Parliament. You can find the latest updates on Parliament’s scrutiny of Brexit here:

You may also be interested to know the House of Commons Brexit Committee has recently been established, under the Chairmanship of former Shadow Foreign Secretary, Hillary Benn MP, which will review Government policy closely to ensure British interests and our regions are best protected. You can track its work here:

Returning to the work I have done here are a few updates I hope you find interesting:

Protecting UK automotive

As Chair of Parliament’s cross party Motor group (APMG), I was delighted to organise and Chair a breakfast meeting with Brexit Minister, Robin Walker MP, Parliamentarians and industry representatives to discuss the sector’s priorities in future negotiations.

The UK automotive industry is a significant part of our economy, accounting for up to £34 billion or 12% of the UK’s total export of goods. It directly employs 170,000 in manufacturing, with hundreds of thousands more jobs in supply chains dependent on the automotive sector. Currently UK automotive thrives on access to the Single Market, with around 50% of UK vehicle exports destined for the EU.

The meeting highlighted many of the questions so far unanswered by Government including single market access, movement of labour, addressing skills shortages, international trade, uncertainty, supply chains and protection for small businesses.

Backing Birmingham’s Higher Education Institutions

Our city’s Universities and FE colleges contribute immense economic and cultural value to Birmingham and the wider region, so I was very pleased to organise a meeting in the House of Commons between Birmingham MPs and the Student Presidents of Birmingham City University, University of Birmingham and Aston University

The meeting was an opportunity to discuss Brexit in detail and what their key priorities and concerns were in ongoing negotiations. We also discussed related issues facing Higher Education as well as strengthening the ladder of opportunity for young people in Birmingham. We also touched on the private rented sector, transport in the city, visas and rising xenophobia facing students and staff.

Article 50

Following the High Court’s recent decision in regard to parliamentary approval on Article 50, I received a large number of correspondence from local residents stating strong views on either side.

My view is clear, this judgement is not and must not be about whether Article 50 should be triggered but about how. I am very mindful many people voted leave to ensure the UK took back control, it is therefore a fundamental democratic principle that our Parliament does not let the Conservative Government to make any decisions on our future without full and fair debate.

I would urge you to read my thoughts in detail on Huffington Post here:

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Richard Burden

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I was Labour Member of Parliament for Birmingham Northfield between 1992 and 2019 and a former Shadow Transport Minister. I now chair Healthwatch in Birmingham and Solihull, and the West Midlands Board of Remembering Srebrenica. I also work as a public affairs consultant. I am an effective community advocate and stakeholder alliance builder with a passion for human rights. I am a trustee of the Balfour Project charity and of Citizens Advice Birmingham, and a former Chair of Medical Aid for Palestinians.

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