Burnley MP will not oppose triggering Article 50

Julie Cooper MP
Julie Cooper MP

Burnley MP Julie Cooper has vowed to represent the views of the majority of her constituents and not oppose the triggering of Article 50 in Parliament, which would kickstart Brexit.

The Labour MP who declared herself a “remainer” before last June’s historic referendum to leave the European Union, has now said she would not attempt to oppose the Government’s steps to officially leave.

Mrs Cooper said: “I have long since accepted that democracy has spoken and that Brexit will and should go ahead because of this. For this reason, I personally will not be opposing the triggering of Article 50, particularly as Parliamentary representative for Burnley, where there was a clear majority who voted in favour of Brexit.

“Neither do I intend to table amendments personally. However I do have an absolute responsibility to defend the rights and interests of Burnley residents as we prepare to leave the EU and I therefore have a duty to consider any amendments which are tabled carefully and on an individual basis.

“I will consider supporting any which would be of clear benefit to my constituents and the Burnley economy as we proceed with Brexit; clearly no one in Burnley voted to be worse off or to have fewer jobs or rights.

“Triggering Article 50 is just the start of the process, not the end. I with my Labour colleagues will fight throughout the Brexit negotiations for a deal that prioritises jobs, the economy and workers’ rights and to hold the Government to account to ensure that living standards and public services are not used as a bargaining chip in the process.

It is my job in Parliament to ensure that there is robust and regular scrutiny of the progress of Brexit and to press for a meaningful vote in Parliament on the final deal. It is not my job to attempt to de-rail or frustrate the process; to do so now would be undemocratic in my view.”