MPs demand information and clarity on Brexit

Jo Platt MP speaking in Parliament
Jo Platt MP speaking in Parliament
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MPs from the borough have been demanding to know more about what Brexit means for the area and for politics.

Leigh parliamentary representative Jo Platt made a point of order in the House of Commons asking ministers to release impact studies of the departure from the European Union, including those on regions such as the North West.

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The government appeared to bow to that pressure last night with a Downing Street spokesman saying Government analysis stating that any outcome from Brexit would damage the economy will be released if MPs demand it.

With politicians already demanding to know how their home areas may fare that prospect seems increasingly likely.

Wigan MP Lisa Nandy, meanwhile, attended an event on the future of the Labour Party and suggested there were tough lessons to learn from the 2016 referendum.

Addressing Parliament, Ms Platt said: “The leaked impact studies have shown how different Brexit scenarios affect various sectors of the economy.

“We need these to be released in full, as well as any previously conducted reports, to inform our debate and be open with the public about the form Brexit will take.

“If the Government do not release this information to MP’s, we will not be able to adequately scrutinise the Brexit negotiations and we will not be able to ensure that the final trade deal between the EU and UK safeguards our economy.

“As a local MP I cannot adequately represent the local small businesses of Leigh if I am not given the information that informs me of the impact each Brexit scenario will have.”

Ms Nandy spoke at an event organised by the Resolution Foundation think tank, appearing alongside Lord Adonis and leading trade unionist Len McCluskey.

Praising post-war PM Clement Attlee, Ms Nandy called for unity in an increasingly volatile and aggressive political landscape.

She said: “I see weekly in my surgeries how our failure to grapple with major trends - an ageing population, rapid technological change, climate change, growth that is neither inclusive, fair nor sustainable – manifests itself in problems of loneliness and mental health, older people without help at home, children struggling to breathe and daily, grinding poverty.

“Little wonder that we’ve seen polarisation, anger and a dramatic rise in nationalism.

“That’s before you consider Brexit. A political earthquake that should have sparked a fundamental reimagining of modern Britain instead prompted a technocratic, jingoistic response that spectacularly misses the point.

“Labour is pulled in two directions, representing some of the strongest remain and leave areas in the country. But our dilemma mirrors the country’s dilemma.

“A weakness that could be our strength. Because consider what Remain voting Tottenham and Leave voting Wigan – divided by age, diversity, social attitudes and Brexit - have in common: Labour.

“In this Age of Anger it isn’t sufficient to pick a side, to label people thick or racist, or liberal elites, and wilfully close your eyes and ears to the reality of life for a group of people you neither know nor understand. That’s the message from towns like mine.”