Opinion: Democracy and national interest at stake

PUBLISHED: 08:30 08 September 2019

Democracy weighs on the conscience of Ilford North MP Wes Streeting.

Democracy weighs on the conscience of Ilford North MP Wes Streeting.


Proroguing - suspending - parliament for five weeks to escape scrutiny from MPs is a "terrible", "ridiculous thing", an "archaic device", "closing the doors on parliament" and "trashing our democracy".

Don't take my word for it, it's what Boris Johnson and members of his cabinet have said.

The speaker of the House of Commons has described it as a "constitutional outrage".

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In the four short years that I've been the member of parliament for Ilford North I've had a front row seat in events that will be pored over by historians for years to come. But I have never seen anything quite like the spectacle we've seen over the past fortnight.

We're now faced with the prospect of the United Kingdom being dragged out of the European Union with no deal.

The consequences for jobs, livelihoods, national security, peace in Northern Ireland and the supply of goods, food and medicine do not bear thinking about.

Though I have always respected those who voted to leave the EU, I have never pretended that I believe this is in our national interest. Nor can anyone pretend this chaos is what was promised by the leave campaign.

It's possible this stance could cost me my job in the coming general election, but I would rather lose my job than vote for my constituents to lose theirs. I will fight for our democracy and our national interest. It is the first duty of every MP and one that weighs heavily on my conscience.

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