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Canterbury and Whitstable MP Rosie Duffield delivers maiden speech in House of Commons

By Paul Francis

Canterbury and Whitstable's newly-elected Labour MP Rosie Duffield has used her maiden speech to rip into the government over Brexit - accusing it of acting as if it was a game show.

The Commons has seen some fierce exchanges during the debate on a Bill that will be significant as it will pave the way for the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.

Ms Duffield made her speech in the midst of a highly-charged debate and turned her fire on the Conservatives.

Canterbury and Whitstable Labour MP Rosie Duffield

Canterbury and Whitstable Labour MP Rosie Duffield

She told the Commons the government was adopting a “Deal or No Deal” approach to Brexit, declaring: “This isn't a game show with a snappy title. We must come out with a deal that doesn’t send us back into the economic dark ages.”

She said many things had changed since the days when Chaucer wrote his Canterbury Tales.

“Many of the fruit pickers are European” in the fields he once trooped through, she said.

Canterbury is “closer to Paris than Sheffield” she told MPs.

Rosie Duffield, MP for Canterbury

Rosie Duffield, MP for Canterbury

She continued: "The Kent economy has benefited from immigration and tourism from across the Channel. If there must be a Brexit I only want the sort of Brexit that protects the rights of EU nationals to work in the UK.”

She said the NHS is “our nation’s sickest patient” and the relentless focus on Brexit could “leave her to die”.

On reports that nurses were using food banks, she said: “What sort of country is this where we can’t look after the very people who care for us?”

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