My letter to my MP, Jeremy Corbyn
25 January 2017
Jeremy Corbyn MP
House of Commons
London SW1A 1AA
We have campaigned together for over 30 years, so I am writing to explain that while remaining a member of the Labour Party, I will not be actively campaigning for the party in Islington as I have in the past.
Any relationship between this country and the European Union other than continuing full membership of the EU will be worse for employment, living standards, consumer and environmental protection and human rights. Labour needs to be honest, say that and defend working people by opposing Brexit and voting against invoking Article 50. I do not agree with the party’s current stance on Europe. As Labour does not support my views I cannot actively support the Party.
I will only campaign for a Labour MP who votes against invoking article 50, and will encourage others to do the same. There will be many.
Labour’s current position is dishonest. EU leaders have made clear since June the UK will not be able to cherry pick from among the four freedoms. (Even within these parameters, the UK could limit freedom of movement into this country.) Both the Government’s proposals and Labour’s position are based on a false premise.
It is also dishonest to pretend that the UK can have “full access” or “tariff free access” to the single market without being a member.
I understood from Kier Starmer’s remarks to the North Islington Party meeting last week that a reason for Labour’s support of the “full access plus immigration limits” formula and the repetition that “Labour accepts the referendum result” is not because the Party leadership think it could work or would be available, but that it is a mere form of words to enable Labour candidates in seats where a majority voted Leave to claim that they favour immigration controls. It will not be long before this attempt to rebrand remaining as Brexit is uncovered, further shattering any credibility for the Labour Party among remainers and Brexiters alike. We don’t say we “accept the results” of elections when we lose. We fight against harmful Government policies even when these have been in the other party’s manifesto. I see no distinction over the marginal result of an advisory referendum.
Labour’s position is pointless, as the EU has made clear that no further concessions (“soft Brexit”) are available. If we leave the EU, our main trading partner, the alternative is a bonfire of regulations on employment rights, environmental protections and so on. The Tories have welcomed this, but no future Labour Government will be able to reverse it, because outside the EU, the UK will never have the economic strength to underpin an adequate level of public spending. But by backing Brexit, this Tory future becomes inevitable. If it backs Brexit, Labour is also denying the right of UK citizens to be full citizens of Europe, with equal rights to live and work in all EU countries.
Labour should remind people that the EU for all its faults represents a European consensus on enlightenment values: democracy, freedom of speech and assembly and the rule of law. It has been a beacon for countries emerging from dictatorships such as Spain, Portugal and Greece, and from Russian domination such as Poland and the Baltic countries. These EU values are Labour values, and we should be defending it.
(Former Editor of Tribune, former Islington Councillor and Mayor)
Example Format for CLP Motions
(Name) CLP notes that
(Name) CLP believes that
(Name) CLP resolves to:
Give MP's a Free Vote on Brexit
Example Letter to Labour MP - Outlining one members thoughts on Brexit
Dear <Labour MP>
When the PM gave her ‘Hard Brexit’ speech on 17th January, she stood behind a rostrum that had the phrase “A Global Britain”, and during her speech, she spoke of Britain being 'global and internationalist'.
Well, since the OUT vote, Britain has been anything but global and internationalist; it has receded into being a backward looking and inward looking island, where dark forces of racism and xenophobia that had for a long time been in the depths have been brought to the surface. This nastiness from an element of the population has, to an extent, been rubber-stamped by politicians of the last couple of decades, politicians of both major parties, who, instead of having the moral courage to lead by good example, to inform and educate people, have simply pandered to many people's fears and prejudices.
Even now, after OUT won the Referendum vote by such a slim majority (just 40,000 more than the 17 million including me that voted STAY in 1975), the PM and some other politicians are still helping to stoke up racism and xenophobia; in one part of her speech she repeated the tired old lie that immigrants and EU workers are responsible for downward pressure on services, when in fact, the policies of successive British governments since 1979 have resulted in constant funding cuts to public services, privatisation of public entities, and the promotion of the private housing market at the expense of cuts to the amount of social housing being constructed. These are the reasons why we have downward pressure on services and accommodation, not immigration or EU workers. In fact, most EU workers have paid billions in Income Tax into the British Economy and helped to sustain what little public services and infrastructure we have left.
She once again repeated the lie that Britain will ‘make its own laws’ when she knows full well that it has ALWAYS made its own laws, in the Commons and Lords, with the Queen giving final assent, and that any EU regulations incorporated into British law were the result of ELECTED British Euro MP’s agreeing to them in the European Parliament.
And how childish was it to talk of ‘crushing the EU’? Those are not the words an intelligent, mature politician should use; those are the words of a schoolyard bully. Europe is not our enemy; we were in a union of European nations for 43 years, working with other countries across Europe, before fear, ignorance, and xenophobia decided to pull us out of it.
She spoke of a Britain where everybody will have a fair chance, and yet other members of her party are talking about slashing EU regulations, probably meaning regulations like the 48 Hour Working Time Directive. She cannot make a fairer Britain if her Party is going to take away safeguards that will increase the number of hours and days that people will be forced to work, and further reduce their pay, health and safety. BECAUSE THAT’S WHAT THE SLASHING OF REGULATIONS IN THE NAME OF ‘EFFICIENCY’ WILL DO.
Finally, as one of sixteen million people who voted IN, I was both angered and insulted by the way she glossed over the current division in the UK by implying that the whole country has now suddenly and magically united behind the decision to leave the EU. NO IT HAS NOT. Just go onto Facebook and look up the number of anti-Brexit groups there.Millions of Britons like me are angry about the fact that we are going to lose our European Citizenship rights, our rights to live, work and travel freely across Europe, quite apart from beneficial rights that EU legislation gave us, limiting working hours, making our beaches cleaner, protecting us
from exploitation as consumers, etc. and we are not losing all these things until the next General Election, we may well lose them for a lifetime unless Brexit is stopped in its tracks. Millions of us are angry about the fact that the dark forces of backward-looking fear, ignorance and intolerance have been encouraged by politicians who did little to correct the lies and misinformation about the EU and immigration.
The current stance of my Labour party is not that of a party in opposition. Less than a third of the electorate, over 16 million voters, many of them Labour voters, feel utterly betrayed by our duly elected representatives, and this betrayal will surely make itself felt at the next election with many party members already (sadly) defecting to the Lib Dems.
Now is the time to unite the party and press for a FREE VOTE on article 50. There cannot be a 3-line Labour whip backing Article 50 alongside Theresa May’s opposition to even remaining in the Single Market, if Labour is to remain a credible opposition.
I implore you to lobby your colleagues, of all parties, to get the message across that the public expects a free vote. And I urge you also to make it clear to the leadership of our party that they are a party of OPPOSITION, they do need to represent the 48% of the people that voted against this madness if they are to retain support at the next general election.
One of our facebook members asked us to share this letter to Jeremy Corbyn.
We the people demand that Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour party and Leader of the official opposition respect the 48% of the UK and the 70%+ of Labour party members that voted to Remain IN the European Union.
With the news that Jeremy Corbyn will three line whip Labour MPs on the triggering of Article 50, we demand that he does not impose a whip and gives MPs a free vote on this very crucial issue.
The whole Brexit issue has been very controversial and will affect MPs from all over the UK differently.
We urge Jeremy Corbyn to NOT whip the vote and allow MPs to vote with their conscience on this issue.
Labour Against Brexit
Be the very best of the Labour Party
Unite 4 Europe Rally Speech 25 March
Today the clock go forward an hour
Next Wednesday they go back 44 years
Yes, the UK voted to leave the EU
They voted for
Single Market Access
And less immigration
And there’s nothing wrong with that
Except that these were false promises
People were promised
£350m/week for the NHS by Boris
But now the Chancellor says we’ll have £300m/week less for public services not £350m more for the NHS
People were promised
Access to the Single Market
It’s in the Conservative Manifesto (like National Insurance, so a cast iron guarantee)
But now the Prime Minister says instead of single market access we may get tariffs
People were promised
But now the Home Secretary says
They won’t get less immigration just different immigration
Migration in exchange for access to emerging markets like India, China, South America
To replace market access and migration from Europe
So people voted for more money, single market access and less immigration
But they won’t get any of them
Two thirds of EU doctors say they feel unwelcome so they’re leaving
10,000 British companies have registered in Ireland
banks, chemical and car companies are on the move
and real wages are down by 15% due to devaluation
People voted to take control
But we’ve lost control
Even before Article 50 is signed
Before we hand in our membership
and the remaining 27 EU countries decide the deal that suits them and stops other members leaving
John Maynard Keynes famously said
“When the facts change
I change my mind
What do you do?”
Theresa May voted to remain as she knows Brexit is bad for Britain
But she says we’re leaving because most people voted that way
But what happens when people change their minds
Because the “facts” change?
Is the Prime Minister going to force the UK to leave against the will of the People?
Against our national interest?
Even though she knows they are right?
Things will change
So the Silent Majority must be strong.
We will not just watch
The UK being wrenched from Europe
Scotland decapitated from Britain
Northern Ireland have old wounds reopened
And Wales lose billions of pounds and thousands of jobs
If we don’t want to live in a divided Britain
We must fight to remain in the United Kingdom
And we cannot stand by and let our trade relations be torn away from Europe
Forced into the groping hands of Donald Trump
& his fast-buck trade deal
Which threatens our public services
our environmental standards
our rights at work and public health
Our values of human rights, democracy the rule of law are European values
That will not be displaced by Trump’s bullying, racism and misogyny
The Tories have made the poor poorer
Then told them to blame foreigners
Just as Trump blamed the Chinese, the Mexicans and the Muslims
But the poor will be poorer from Brexit and Trump
They Brexiteers and Trumpeteers have said
Don’t trust the experts
Don’t trust the economists
Don’t trust the businesses
Don’t trust the media or BBC
Don’t trust the judges
The reason why referendums have been banned in Germany since 1945
It’s because Hitler used them for militarisation
To persecute the Jews
To give himself supreme power.
Thatcher, God bless her
Called Referenda the instruments of dictators and demagogues
So after the Referendum the Brexit fundamentalists shout
You’ve lost, we’ve won
Stop moaning – live with it
And we say
The People must have the Final Say
If the deal isn’t what was promised,
Isn’t what was ordered
Send it back
And let’s stay in the EU
Brexit will only happen with our consent
Every time & every day Brexit blues emerge
we must say
That’s not what Britain voted for
So let’s keep on fighting
For all our communities
Our friends, our families and future generations
We won’t give up,
We won’t shut up
We won’t go home and watch the UK being dragged into a barren wilderness
As Europe celebrates 60 years of unity
We pledge today to cast off the chains of despair
To hold on to our freedom, hold on to our values
Recapture our destiny
And return home again to our European family, where we all belong
Please sign our Petition.......
47 Labour MPs write to May opposing plans for a hard Brexit.
Petition - Labour MPs to fight for the UK to Remain in the European Union
Democracy was in action on Saturday at the Unite for Europe march.
Boris Johnson were you listening? Are you even capable of listening?
This fight is not over, this fight is just beginning and we have a long way to go.
Here is what I said on Saturday in Parliament Square:
This is what the country I love looks like.
Have we got any EU nationals in this audience? Brothers and sisters we stand
I was thinking, why am I here? Why am I really here?
It’s because in the end we know what this is all about.
This is really about anti-immigration.
So I am here thinking about my parents, who are no longer here. I’m thinking of my father who arrived here in 1956.
This has been a tough week.
Those who attacked our values weren’t just attempting to attack Parliament, what they were doing was attacking democracy.
And when I look at this crowd what I see is democracy in action.
So the question is:
Are you listening Nigel Farage? Are you listening Liam Fox Are you listening, are you even capable of listening Boris Johnson?
And you can see the crowds Theresa May?
We know how we got here.
We’re still waiting for the £350m for the NHS.
And you know we were looking at that election in the Netherlands a few days back.
And a lot of commentators said it was great news that the centre ground had seen off the populists they said.
But the problem was that in order to win over the populists the centre ground has adopted an anti-immigration rhetoric.
So I say yes, Douglas Carswell has left UKIP but the problem is that UKIP is now in the Cabinet. That’s the problem.
So we have to stand united. We have to stand together. We are far better together as a country.
We must always stand up to fascism and the extremists.
As the economy turns down, as night follows day, there will be those who blame the other – they say it’s their fault.
And we must stand up to them.
And they’ll hurl abuse. My god they’ve hurled abuse at me.
They’ll call us Remoaners. They will say this is not the will of the people.
But this fight is not over, this fight is just beginning.
Nigel Farage would not have given up and neither of we.
Wake up. Wake up. We have to join forces. We stand together to fight this.
I represent a part of London with some serious problems. But when you look at the actors who will take us to this hard Brexit, they’re not the ones who will suffer, they’re not the ones who won’t be able to pay their bills. Or wonder where the food is going to come from.
So we stand in solidary with those who aren’t able to march.
And there are some people who voted Leave. And I know why they voted Leave.
Because our economy has changed, because there are seaside town, there are Northern industrial towns and there is very little left for them. There are low wages. The young people have to leave and come to London. Our economy has been in a mess for some time. And then they are encouraged to blame the EU. But the blame lies with successive Governments – that is where the blame lies.
So we must acknowledge that there is pain and there is hardship in this country. We must acknowledge that a lot of people wanted to send a message. I understand that. But the way to do this is not to punish a united Europe.
So friends I say to you.
Right is on our side.
When you think of the better angels of the 20th Century, you think of the people like Mart Luther King, like Mandela, of Churchill fighting fascism. They would be on our side.
Fight for the country you believe in. Stand up for the country you believe in. Look Farage in the eye. Don’t back down. We have a long way to go.Type your paragraph here.