Sharon Hodgson

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ECHO COLUMN: Fighting to Prevent a No Deal Brexit

You can read Sharon's latest Echo column below or on the Sunderland Echo website


I know many constituents will be as horrified as I am by the way the unelected Prime Minister Boris Johnson, has been riding roughshod over our democracy. 

The events of Tuesday evening, when Boris Johnson expelled 21 members of his own Party, were entirely unprecedented – and many will have been appalled by Jacob Rees-Mogg’s entitled and disrespectful behaviour in the chamber.

Since being elected as leader of the Conservative Party by less than one hundred thousand Conservative Party members, Johnson has been trying to force through a reckless No Deal Brexit, against the wishes of Parliament and the country.

One of the ways in which he has attempted to do so, is by suspending (proroguing) Parliament early next week.

In 2017 I was honoured to be re-elected as the Member of Parliament for Washington and Sunderland West.

My job is to represent everyone in our constituency in Parliament, scrutinize and amend legislation and hold the Government to account.

At a time of such huge political significance and considering the limited time available before the 31st October Brexit deadline, it is outrageous that MPs are being denied the maximum time possible to represent our constituents.

By proroguing Parliament, Johnson has acted in a profoundly undemocratic way.  

Leaving the EU without a deal would be a terrible outcome for our country, and particularly for the manufacturing industry in our region.

Companies such as Nissan, who provide around 40,000 jobs in and around my constituency, rely on the ‘just in time’ process in order to operate smoothly. The continued success of this process could be immediately at risk under a No Deal scenario.

Don’t just take my word for it, recent leaked documents from the Government reportedly warn of potential 48-hour delays at Dover.

The Road Haulage Association (RHA), said that they were not surprised by the fact that a document of this nature existed, and added that there is still no sign of a new customs process with only weeks to go until the UK is expected to leave the EU.

It seems clear to me, that those best placed to provide information on these issues are the industry experts themselves, not Boris Johnson, Jacob Rees-Mogg or Michael Gove.

According to leaked documents, border delays could also lead to shortages of food and of certain medicines.

It is almost inconceivable that this is something a Government would consider imposing on people in circumstances outside of a major national crisis or war.

I did not come into politics to put the livelihoods or the health of my constituents at risk, and I am not prepared to do so now.

That’s why I have supported measures in Parliament to prevent a No Deal Brexit, including Hilary Benn’s Bill which will hopefully become law by the end of this week.


Sunderland Echo website

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