Paul Blomfield MP

Member of Parliament for Sheffield Central

Home

Latest News

 3.png

Lots of constituents have written to me about the speech the Prime Minister made on Brexit this week and Labour’s response, so I wanted to provide an update:

After months of pressure from Labour and others, the Prime Minister’s speech on Tuesday finally gave more detail on the substance of the Government’s Brexit plans. It is outrageous that she had to be forced by Labour into telling the country what direction she is taking it in, but we have always been clear – people voted to come out of the EU, not to lose out. The Prime Minister’s u-turn on giving Parliament a vote on the final deal – something Labour has also been pushing for – shows how we will hold her to account for that.

Labour accepts the result of the EU referendum was a vote to leave. No one voted on 23rd June in the belief that Parliament would override the result, and it would undermine democracy if we did.  I campaigned relentlessly for the UK to remain in the EU – for jobs, for our place in the world and as the best way to tackle the biggest issues we face from climate change to terrorism. I was deeply disappointed by the result. But the decision was to leave.

The priority now is to get the terms of our exit right. It is vital for our future. Labour has already secured changes to the Government’s approach to the Brexit process, forcing the Government to set out its plan and give Parliament a say on the final deal; we will be as robust on the substance of our future relationship with the EU too.

In her speech, the Prime Minister confirmed she plans to take Britain out of the single market and parts of the customs union. These arrangements currently provide the best possible trading terms for our goods and services with the EU, so the Prime Minister has decided to take a huge risk with people’s jobs and livelihoods. Labour’s response is that we will hold her to her promise of getting a deal that protects our ability to successfully trade goods with and deliver services to the EU.

What does that mean? It means a deal that ensures continued tariff-free trade for UK businesses with the EU; a deal that ensures any new regulatory frameworks do not add bureaucratic burdens or risk harmful divergence from the EU market; a deal that protects the competitiveness of our services and manufacturing sectors; and a deal that ensures that existing protections at work provided by the EU are maintained. Labour’s Shadow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer MP put Labour’s position simply in a speech last month by focusing on function not form.

Achieving “tariff-free trade with Europe” and a “comprehensive” free trade agreement that would ensure the “freedom to provide financial services across national borders”, as the Prime Minister pledged, won’t be easy. But we will hold her to account every step of the way. We will also hold her to her commitment to “protect the rights of workers” set out in European legislation, as well as maintaining the environmental and other safeguards that came with EU membership.

After saying that she didn’t want to keep ‘bits of membership’, the Prime Minister’s speech made clear that the Government now want to maintain collaboration in science and research, in security and defence, and other key areas Labour has been pushing them on. We will seek to hold them to account on these issues too, making sure our universities continue to work together and that we stay part of agencies from Europol to the European Medicines Agency. And we will push hard on her commitment to secure early agreement on the position of EU nationals.

The Prime Minister's threat to turn the UK into a tax haven off the shores of Europe if she is unable to achieve her aims, however, is wholly unacceptable.  It harms our negotiating position with our European partners, and makes British living standards a bargaining chip. She has no mandate to implement her threat. Many people voted to leave the EU on the understanding our NHS would receive more funding, not less. Nobody voted for the Prime Minister to rip up our welfare state and start a trade war. Whether her threat was simply posturing to please the hard liners in the Conservative Party or genuine, Labour will oppose such a course at every turn. We are also actively considering amendments to any legislation the Prime Minister may be required to introduce after the Supreme Court makes its ruling on the Article 50 case next Tuesday.

As one of Labour’s Shadow Brexit Ministers, I’m questioning the Government on its Brexit plans in Parliament day in day out. I’m holding leave campaigners to account for their promises – from the NHS funding pledge to their commitment that no region will lose out when we stop receiving EU funding, something South Yorkshire does especially well from.  It is on this detail – the impact on people’s lives and jobs – that Labour will judge the final Brexit deal.  

Brexit update

  Lots of constituents have written to me about the speech the Prime Minister made on Brexit this week and Labour’s response, so I wanted to provide an update:

Kashmir_debate.png

Yesterday I spoke out in the House of Commons about the Government’s failure to respond to the recent crisis in Kashmir and pressed for the long overdue plebiscite to give the Kashmiri people a right to self-determination. It’s an issue I’ve pressed over many years and recently questioned ministers on. I was delighted that the House of Commons agreed to a motion which called on the Government to “raise the matter at the United Nations” and pressed for “peace negotiations to establish a long-term solution on the future governance of Kashmir based on the right of the Kashmiri people to determine their own future.”

You can watch my speech here

You can read my speech here.

The full resolution agreed to by the House of Commons was:

That this House notes the escalation in violence and breaches of international human rights on the Indian side of the Line of Control in Kashmir; calls on the Government to raise the matter at the United Nations; and further calls on the Government to encourage Pakistan and India to commence peace negotiations to establish a long-term solution on the future governance of Kashmir based on the right of the Kashmiri people to determine their own future in accordance with the provisions of UN Security Council resolutions.

My call for international action on Kashmir

Yesterday I spoke out in the House of Commons about the Government’s failure to respond to the recent crisis in Kashmir and pressed for the long overdue plebiscite to give...

Christmas_Appeal_for_Foodbanks_photo_with_Deni_Ennals.jpg

(photo: me and Deni Ennals, co-chair of Sheffield Foodbank Network)

I would like to say thanks to everyone who donated to my Christmas Appeal and helped me raise thousands of pounds for local foodbanks. Everyone knows that Sheffield is a generous city and this is another example. 

I’d urge everyone to see how they can support their local foodbank, whether by donating money, time or food. It’s a disgrace that we need foodbanks in the world’s fifth wealthiest country, but they offer vital support for rising numbers of families. I’m fighting the Government’s policies that create the problem, but people need our support now.

My Sheffield Foodbanks Christmas Appeal raised, including Gift Aid, over £4,500 for the Sheffield Foodbank Network, which co-ordinates 19 centres across the city tackling food poverty. The result beat my original £1,000 target within days and topped the revised £2,500 target soon after. 

You can find out more about foodbanks in Sheffield here.

My thanks for Sheffield's generosity

(photo: me and Deni Ennals, co-chair of Sheffield Foodbank Network) I would like to say thanks to everyone who donated to my Christmas Appeal and helped me raise thousands of...


View More Activities

The Labour Party will place cookies on your computer to help us make this website better.

Please read this to review the updates about which cookies we use and what information we collect on our site.

To find out more about these cookies, see our privacy notice. Use of this site confirms your acceptance of these cookies.