(Name) CLP notes that
(Name) CLP believes that
(Name) CLP resolves to:
Give MP's a Free Vote on Brexit
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)
Labour Against Brexit
Be the very best of the Labour Party
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
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.
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Example Letter to Labour MP - Outlining one members thoughts on Brexit
Example Format for CLP Motions
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.