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Ellie James

As a Labour activist, I only have to hear the words ‘General Election’ to start dusting off my waterproof and comfy trainers and mentally prepare to leaflet and door-knock for the foreseeable future. Growing up in the North-East, I’ve seen first-hand the benefits a Labour government can bring.

A Labour government changed my life and electing a phenomenal Labour MP and Labour councillors has done nothing but improve the city I now call home, Leeds. I will always campaign for future generations to receive the opportunities I have had as a result of a Labour government and to see an end to the Tory austerity that is destroying our communities.
As we have seen today, however, in the immediate future, a General Election that would make this possible is not going to happen. 118 Conservative MPs did not have confidence in Theresa’s May’s deal, yet they have propped up her failing government in the name of selfishness and self-preservation, not what is best for the people of this country. It is clear the Tories are unequipped and unable to deal with Brexit, and now a General Election is no longer an option. Parliament cannot agree on a deal.
We need to bring it back to the people.
There is now only one clear strategy for the Labour Party: to support a People’s Vote.
If the Labour Party gives the Tories a free reign with Brexit, they will continue to inflict suffering on the people of this country, particularly those who are already marginalised.
I campaign for a People’s Vote because I am a passionate Northerner, not in spite of the it, and I cannot sit on the side-lines and watch a disastrous Tory Brexit wreak havoc on the region that I love. The entire country will suffer, but many regions in the North and the North-East disproportionately so.
No one is saying they ‘know better’ than the millions of people - including the community I grew up in - that voiced their discontent with the status quo and voted leave.
We are saying that this government cannot be trusted to deliver a Brexit that represents what was promised to the people and that won’t damage our country for generations. We are saying that we cannot stand by and watch as the Tories plunge our country into isolation and ruin. We are saying that the voices of young people from the communities that will be greatly affected should, and will, be heard.
The Labour Party I joined fights for those who are suffering and the most vulnerable in our society. Letting the Tories stay at the driving wheel for Brexit will hurt those who need our help the most.
I am delighted to see more and more Labour MPs joining the fight for a People’s Vote, especially those who represent Northern constituencies. I hope to see more Labour MPs put their trust in their constituents and the leadership put their trust in the people.
We need to finally bring this Tory governments catastrophic handling of Brexit to an end. We need a People’s Vote.

 

Why I am campaigning for a People's Vote

  As a Labour activist, I only have to hear the words ‘General Election’ to start dusting off my waterproof and comfy trainers and mentally prepare to leaflet and door-knock...

All too often we are met with the cries of a ‘capitalist plot’ when defending the European Union to our Labour colleagues, as 'neocon' and 'neoliberal' are added in for effect. Indeed, with its focuses on intergovernmental trade it could be seen as 'capitalist' but to label it as some sort of capitalist conspiracy is dangerous at best.

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The European Union is a project, one that at its foundation set out to further European integration and set out an equal standing of rights for all its citizens. The ways in which the EU strives for social justice in all member states are numerous.

Even the Single Market, derided for its focus on trade and the capitalist inferences that entails, has created a more balanced society by removing barriers and creating a level playing field that benefits the worker just as much as the employer. Socialism by definition is the belief in equality and through removal of physical and fiscal barriers the European Union answers that.

The budget of the European Union itself contains measures to ensure equality. Brexiteers are all too keen to tell us of how much we pay into the EU; but much of this capital is redistributed throughout member states fairly. Is redistribution not also key to the principles of socialism?

Finally, there are the extensive social benefits that have been given to citizens through membership of the European Union. Rights for workers, women, the young and the disabled are just a few of those protected by the EU. The creation of the working week is something that all socialists can agree is a good thing and the protection of maternity rights is something that must be protected at all costs; a protection that the European Union provides. The EU has seen great success in protecting against discrimination. Without it as an overarching governing body, countries would be free to stray far from the path of fairness, and so commences the race to the bottom. 

OECD research shows that not only has the European Union led in terms of social justice and inequality, but that the United Kingdom lags behind its European neighbours in these fields before Brexit even happens; we are yet to see the true effect that Tory policy will have on a post-Brexit Britain, but the start from which we begin this isolationist journey is hardly encouraging.

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Without membership of the European Union, there is no limit to what our current government could do that would lead us further into the depths of inequality. The Conservatives simply cannot be trusted to maintain the high standards of social justice that is regulated by the European Union.

 

Abby King is a member of LME, and a BA European Studies (German) student at Royal Holloway, University of London.

Brexit Short- Against Lexit

All too often we are met with the cries of a ‘capitalist plot’ when defending the European Union to our Labour colleagues, as 'neocon' and 'neoliberal' are added in for...

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Parliament yesterday voted by 308-304 votes to force Theresa May to provide a meaningful vote on the final Brexit deal. Brussels chiefs have today said that the EU will not renegotiate a deal with the Prime Minister if it is rejected by Parliament.

It is now up to the Prime Minister to listen to Parliament and to agree a deal with the European Union that limits the damage Brexit will do.

There is consensus around the house that they way forward is to agree to Single Market and Customs Union membership; this is what the Labour Party must commit to, to protect vital jobs and services, and to retain a frictionless, free border between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic. You can join the Labour campaign to stay in the Single Market here.

Whether May will listen to Parliament or not is yet to be seen; her neglect of Opposition Day Debates and David Davis' non-existent impact reports suggest she will not, but the risk of ignoring Parliament now is too great.

The Committee of the Whole House on Brexit and the amendments to the Brexit bill continue next week.

Brexit News: Theresa May humiliated as Commons decides to have a meaningful vote on the Brexit deal

  Parliament yesterday voted by 308-304 votes to force Theresa May to provide a meaningful vote on the final Brexit deal. Brussels chiefs have today said that the EU will...

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