High Peak MP Ruth George says opposition to Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal is growing in the constituency and she will be voting against it.
The PM’s much-maligned EU withdrawal agreement will be voted on in parliament on Tuesday - with MPs from all parties set to reject it.
Mrs May’s deal - described as “the worst of all worlds” by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn - has been heavily criticised for leaving the UK with no real say over EU rules but no ability to reduce tariffs to make trade deals with the rest of the world at the same time.
Many are saying if MPs do not back the deal there could be another EU referendum with Labour saying it will attempt to force a general election if MPs reject it.
After meeting with High Peak businesses, Mrs George said they ‘were unanimous in saying they would prefer us to stay in the European Union because of its benefits for trade, travel and certainty’.
She said: “The vast majority of speakers at my public meetings also rejected the government’s proposed two options of its deal or no deal, and pointed out that we are better off in the EU.
“I heard a wide range of views on immigration and free movement, the impact of Brexit on our economy, on local jobs, on investment, devolution and climate change.”
“No speakers approved of Theresa May’s deal and pointed out it gives us neither control over our borders and laws, nor the full benefits of the customs union and single market.
“Plus it will lead to a minimum of another two or three years of uncertainty on our future position after 2020 which still needs to be negotiated - it really is a bad deal.
“It was really useful for me to hear from so many people before all the many decisions over the next couple of months.
“I will be voting against the proposed deal on the basis of the evidence and local views but I and local people also reject the option of no deal which all the evidence shows will lead to chaos at our borders, vital industries leaving the UK and a huge hit to our economy.”
The MP has received more than 1,400 responses from High Peak constituents to a survey asking what they would like out of a Brexit deal to help parliament find a workable route out of the crisis.
She is urging anyone who has not yet completed it to do so by visiting ruthforhighpeak.co.uk.
People’s vote ‘is the only way’
Andy Nash, a pro-EU campaigner for Hope Valley’s Hope for Europe said he believed a people’s vote was “the only way out of the problem we’ve got ourselves into”.
He said: “I’ve been out on the stands every week since the referendum and what people did not understand was that it would restrict their travel.
“The PM said it would reduce immigration but people are still coming from outside the EU.
“It would be false to say the EU does everything right but here in the High Peak its farming subsidies protect our farmers from external imports.
“There are also a number of other High Peak businesses which trade with Europe.
“There are many businesses which would be affected with uncertainty by this Brexit deal.”