October Brexit Update


We are now in the key period in Brexit negotiations and preparations. Yet the Government have dithered, squabbled with themselves, marched up and down the hill time and time again, everything but making the effective decisions that are sorely needed. It is extraordinary that over 2 years on from the referendum and after over 18 months of negotiation, the Government still have no credible or coherent plan for Brexit.

Negotiations were supposed to conclude this month, but with the Government fighting itself and stuck in a state of paralysis, that deadline was missed and a new one to be set in either November or December. By that point, we will be just a few months away from the date set in March 2019 for the UK to leave the EU. We will then have a mad rush to get ready, and Ministers look like they are preparing to try to railroad a half-baked Brexit deal – or the prospect of no deal at all – through Parliament, without giving MPs the meaningful say that was promised only a few months ago. That isn’t good enough. No government has the right to plunge the country into chaos as a result of their own failure and Labour will continue to judge what Theresa May brings forward against the tests we believe any Brexit deal should address.

Earlier this month, Cllr Alex Aitken and I were invited to hold a discussion forum on Brexit at Cadbury College in Kings Norton, where Alex himself was a student some years ago.  It was an excellent discussion with some of the contributions made by students rather more to the point than I sometimes hear from Ministers.

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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.