My constituents backed Brexit. But I didn’t enter politics to make them poorer

‘We now know more about what leaving means than we did two years ago.’

In normal times and in all good faith, politicians at a general election present a manifesto they believe will improve people’s lives. Politicians of a like mind will largely agree with that manifesto, believing it to be better than the alternative. In government, with all good intentions, the manifesto is implemented – maybe not in its entirety and with compromises being made. That is politics, in normal times.

But these are not normal times. Brexit is different. As an MP who campaigned for Remain during the EU referendum in June 2016, I do not believe I can, in all good faith and with all good intentions, tell my electorate that I have changed my mind. First, my constituents won’t believe me. And second, I did not enter politics to knowingly make my constituents poorer. This presents a moral dilemma for Remain-supporting MPs, especially those whose constituents voted to leave.

We now know more about what leaving means than we did two years ago. A £40bn divorce bill. The loss of jobs in major industries. No extra money for the NHS. The threat of stockpiled food. Lower growth and therefore less money for our public services. Even the government’s assessments say there will be a negative impact on the British economy under whatever deal the prime minister negotiates with the EU. These facts are even more stark for my constituents since the north-east of England will be…

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