Borough MP signs letter urging Brexit deal to be signed and delay avoided
An MP from the borough is one of 19 Labour politicians who have signed a letter urging those involved in the Brexit negotiations to work to secure a deal and avoid further delay.
Makerfield MP Yvonne Fovargue put her name to the document, addressed to European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker, which seeks to prevent Britain's departure from the European Union (EU) being pushed further into the future.
The letter calls on the Commission and the EU's member states to "engage with all earnest to reach an accommodation with the UK" and urges "flexibility on all sides to reach the common goal of an orderly exit and continued co-operation as neighbours".
It says the writers and signatories wish to honour the 2016 referendum result, describing British people as "exasperated" by the "deadlock" in parliament.
The MPs say they believe there is the potential to pass a deal in the House of Commons which allows for "continued co-operation" as well as protecting EU citizens' rights, workers' rights and environmental standards.
However, the letter also says it "does not stand in judgement" on the key issue of resolving the border between Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland.
Hopes for a deal elsewhere in Westminster are fading and Anglo-EU relations plunged yesterday as the tone of Government sources towards EU member states caused widespread concern.
There was also considerable distance between the statements put out after European Parliament president David Sassoli visited Prime Minister Boris Johnson at Downing Street on Tuesday evening.
Ms Fovargue said: “In co-signing this letter alongside Labour MPs, I want to press the UK Government and the EU27 to reach an agreement. I am saying that the uncertainty over Brexit has gone on too long – over 1200 days and counting. I want them to work night and day, if necessary, to agree a deal.
“First, I believe any deal signed off by the EU27 and the UK must be better than No Deal. It would respect the 2016 referendum, deliver Brexit, but ensure an orderly Brexit, giving certainty to businesses and citizens.
“Second, I believe there are important aspects such as EU citizens’ rights, workers’ rights and environmental standards which can be protected in any deal put before the Commons – and there is a clear majority in the House that would support that.
“All sides have a responsibility to work for an agreement. I believe the people of our borough want this matter settled – and I believe that, until we do, we cannot bring the country together and begin to tackle issues like health, education and the cost of living.”
West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper is also one of the letter's 19 signatories.
Ms Cooper said: “It is clear that most people here in West Lancashire and across the country are tired of the Brexit deadlock and want the situation resolved.
“I have consistently argued that an orderly Brexit is better than a No Deal Brexit.
“I sincerely hope all those round the negotiating table are listening and willing to finally reach an agreement given it is 1,200 days since the country took the decision to leave the EU.
“I am concerned that any further delays to the UK leaving the EU will only add to the deepening public divisions we see and the growing disenchantment with politics. Until a deal is agreed the country cannot heal these divisions.”