‘Brexit means Brexit’ is all the Government can say when asked about our future outside the European Union.
But what on earth does that mean?
As a new Labour Shadow Minister for Exiting the European Union – or ‘Brexit’ as it’s become known – I’ll be trying to find out, because there’s a lot at stake.
Brexit was one of the topics that came up most often in my recent community consultation, the Big Conversation.
However they voted, lots of people are worried about what comes next. I campaigned strongly to remain in the EU, and my constituency voted about 70:30 to stay, but I recognise that we lost.
At 52:48, the overall result was very close, but it was a clear decision.
However it’s just the first step. We now face years of negotiation to secure the best possible future for our country.
The risks are clear. Already the value of the pound has plunged to its lowest level ever, driving food and fuel prices up, and we’re more than two years away from leaving.
Uncertain about their future, EU doctors and nurses are questioning their role in the NHS. Big manufacturers like Nissan have warned that, without the right deal, they will be downgrading car production in the UK.
The British people voted to come out. They did not vote to lose out. But that’s what’s happening and the uncertainty created by the Conservative Government is making things worse.
Incredibly,despite calling the referendum, the Government had no plans for losing it. Four months after the vote, we’re no clearer and they’re in complete disarray.
It’s not just that our new Prime Minister doesn’t agree with the three ‘Brexiteers’ she appointed to the key jobs – Boris Johnson, David Davis and Liam Fox – but they don’t agree with each other.
Theresa May looks as if she’s playing her own increasingly frantic version of the arcade game Whac-a-mole, smacking each of them down as they come out with their own wild interpretation of Brexit.
Her attempt to explain her policy as ‘Brexit means Brexit’ is wearing thin.
The British people deserve better and Labour’s Shadow Brexit team have spent the last two weeks pressing the Government to get their act together.
We want to see their plan, examine how it matches the promises of the ‘leave’ campaign, and make sure it offers the best way forward.