Mayor calls for Tees MPs to honour ""people's mandate" in key Brexit vote tonight

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen has written to all Tees Valley MPs, demanding that they oppose any amendments to the EU Withdrawal Bill that undermine the region’s vote in the EU referendum.

Tonight MPs will debate 196 amendments to Brexit legislation, made by members of the House of Lords. The outcome of MPs votes on this issue will determine what powers the Government has in negotiations with the European Union, and whether Parliament gets a final vote on the terms of our withdrawal.

In an open letter to the Members of Parliament with constituencies in the Tees Valley, Mayor Houchen, a vocal Brexit supporter, said: “Tonight you will all vote on key amendments to the EU Withdrawal Bill. I’m writing to make sure you understand the importance of delivering the will of the people, and the political and economic consequences of denying them the Brexit they voted for.”

Mr Houchen noted the large margin by which the area’s voters chose to leave the EU and that he felt a ‘soft Brexit’ was not what they voted for: “In June 2016, 67% of people in the Tees Valley voted to leave the EU. This vote gave you, me, and every other politician in our area a clear and unequivocal instruction to take back control of our money, borders, laws, and trade policy. 

“The people we represent will not accept a partial Brexit, half-Brexit, or a soft Brexit, which will leave our country subject to Brussels rule. We voted to free our country from the declining EU trade bloc, and for a Global Britain to unlock the opportunities of international trade and the jobs it will bring for future generations.

He closed his letter by stating: “In the interests of the people of the Tees Valley, I ask that you vote against any amendments to the EU Withdrawal Bill which would keep the UK in the Customs Union or Single Market.

“To keep us trapped within EU structures would not only be a betrayal of the referendum result, it would seriously undermine our Government’s negotiating hand which will lead to a worst deal possible.

I hope you all do the right thing and deliver the people’s mandate.”