With all of the travel chaos that this year has brought for much of the North of England, from the all-too-common traffic gridlock on our cities’ roads to pilot walkouts on Ryanair and the ongoing misery on the region’s unreliable railways, this country does not need any more problems to add to the transport woes that many people already suffer.
As such, the backing of transport industry leaders from fields including shipping and aviation for Theresa May’s contentious Brexit Withdrawal Agreement deserves serious consideration, especially when they warn the alternative is “a majorly disruptive cliff-edge”.
As the beleaguered Transport Secretary Chris Grayling, a prominent Vote Leave supporter during the referendum, put it, agreeing the deal will “keep Britain moving”. While the short-term impact on transport is one of many factors to be considered by MPs when they vote on Tuesday, it is yet another indication of just what is at stake in next week’s historic vote.
Given that, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s decision not to mention Brexit at all during Prime Minister’s Questions was something of a surprise. The topics he chose instead surrounding poverty, food banks and universal credit are undoubtedly important matters.
However, the Leader of the Opposition’s silence on the turbulent events of the week, which has seen ministers found in contempt of Parliament for the first time in recent history and Mrs May suffering a series of crushing Brexit defeats, belie the fact that the outcome of Brexit will have a major bearing on the nation’s economic future - and the policy decisions it can make. Labour has already indicated its intention to vote down Mrs May’s plans. But MPs must now contemplate the far-reaching ramifications of their crucial decision and what it means for the UK.