Cowardly Labour raise White Flag on Europe

Labour Rose

Labour’s Red Rose is wilting under the pressure of wildly different views on the EU and Brexit

The one issue which above all other which will dictate the future of the UK over the coming decades is how we handle Brexit. There is a clear understanding from Leavers and Remainers, Left and Right that this is the case. No unity on outcomes but complete unity on the importance of the issues at stage. Unity everywhere except in the Labour Party. This pathetic bunch of appeasers have taken the highly principled stand of saying nothing at their annual conference in Brighton.

Why is the EU debate so important? Because it is not some esoteric debate of mythical views of sovereignty and Empire or even migration. It is an act which will define:

Whether we have car factories in Halewood and Ellesmere Port. Early signs are that the car industry in the UK, one of our great success stories in the UK, will now be starved of investment which will go instead to other plants in mainland Europe. Let’s not forget the wing makers in Broughton either. Between the 3 factories almost 12,000 people are employed but with a huge knock on effect to suppliers and the wider economy.

The relationships so carefully built up over the years in Ireland. A hard border will re-ignite old passions and create mass smuggling into and out of Eire.

Our health service. This service is already struggling for staff and already has seen a massive 94% (yes I did mean 94%) drop in nurses coming into the UK from other EU Countries with many health professionals already here deciding to go home.

Social Care with a similar pattern to the NHS with many of our struggling adults being cared in residential situations and their homes by poorly paid migrants.

Our Agricultural services. Farmers, many of whom voted to leave the EU, are already wondering where to get the staff to reap the crops which we rely on for cheap food in our supermarkets.

Our costs for travel. If you went abroad this year it will have cost you approximately 15% more than the year before as the £ has plummeted against both the Dollar and the Euro. Some recompense for this is that we have more tourists coming here to take advantage of the cheap £.

Our Universities which are already losing students and which are suffering from a withdrawal from pan-European research programmes.

The money to pay for everything. Only the most ardent Brexiter thinks that there will be no financial consequences caused by our Exit from the EU; the Single Market and the Customs Union. Calculations from respected bodies show a slowing in growth which will effectively mean, over a few years, up to an 8% reduction in our GDP which will massively affect our ability to pay for things.

Labour are spewing out promises on what they will spend extra money on from schools to the NHS; from transport; to infrastructure. It is all absolutely bogus. If we leave the Single market there will be less money for any Government of any colour to spend on anything!

Why have Labour chosen to dodge the debate? You will have to ask them. However, it appears that there are two main reasons:

Firstly, Corbyn is clearly a Leaver. His campaign during the Referendum was limp wristed and anaemic. He and people like McConnell really think that the EU is a conspiracy of capitalism. He was the person who within hours of the referendum result said that we had to leave immediately without any thought of the consequences of this.

Secondly, Labour are hopelessly split on the issue. The positions of people like Kate Hoey and Chukku Umuuna are wholly incompatible.

So rather than air their differences in a democratic debate Labour have hidden behind their pink curtain and hope that people will not notice. I believe that people will notice.

At the General Election millions of young people voted Labour because they thought Labour was pro-EU and anti-Brexit. How cruelly they have been deceived. Those people will not forget the betrayal of their pro-EU ideals.

There is only one Party that can and will take on the Brexit Lobby. That’s us. A proudly internationalist Party that will continue to fight for the UK’s proper place amongst our colleagues.

Postscript:      I have just sent a congratulatory note to our sister Party the FDP in Cologne. The FDP stormed back into Parliament with 10.5% of the vote, three times the vote that they received in the last Bundestag elections. The success of liberalism in Germany was, of course overshadowed by the rise in support for the neo-Nazi AfD but it was a great achievement all the same.

About richardkemp

Leader of the Liberal Democrats in Liverpool. Deputy Chair and Lib Dem Spokesperson on the LGA Community Wellbeing Board. Married to the lovely Cllr Erica Kemp CBE with three children and four grandchildren.
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