June Brexit Update


The past month saw key votes in the House of Commons on the kind of Brexit the UK Government should be trying to negotiate. These votes were not about whether or not Brexit takes place. Following the referendum, Parliament set that process in motion with the triggering of Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty under which a Member State can give notice of its intention to leave the EU. Last month’s votes were rather about the type of trading relationship the UK Government should be trying to achieve in its Brexit negotiations. Some of the key issues under debate were whether, after Brexit, the UK should remain in a customs union with the EU, and whether we should remain able to participate in the Single Market, as well as the say that Parliament should have over the shape of Brexit.

All the evidence suggests that the terms on which Britain leaves the EU will be of key importance to jobs and living standards of people in the UK for many years to come and that the impact will be particularly severe if Britain crashes out of the EU without a deal. It is only right that elected MPs, not simply Ministers, should have a meaningful say over the course of action that Britain should take both during the negotiations and at their conclusion. That is why I believe it is so important that neither Theresa May’s Government nor any other should be given a blank cheque to do as they please on matters so important to the future of our country. You can read my reflections on the key votes in Parliament on my website 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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You can reach me by email at richard@richardburden.com or use the form on the Contact page to send me a message.