Labour and the way forward in Europe
01 March, 2018
• WITH Brexit negotiations at a critical juncture, Jeremy Corbyn’s comprehensive speech was both timely and welcome.
There can no longer be any doubt over the scale of the difference between Labour’s pragmatic approach and the Conservative’s desperate plunge towards a hard Brexit.
Jeremy’s decision to support staying in a customs union, and to retaining our membership in a number of key European agencies will protect jobs in Hampstead & Kilburn.
His promise to grant immediate permanent residency to European nationals should reassure many more. While the government seems willing to keep EU nationals waiting and to withhold the certainty that UK businesses crave, Labour has set out a position that is clear and uncompromising in their support.
As local residents will know, I have voted independently in a number of key votes, and resigned my front-bench position rather than vote to trigger Article 50.
I am still of the belief that Britain would be better off remaining as members of the single market and retaining our current customs union arrangements. This position continues to reflect the overwhelming majority in Hampstead & Kilburn, and still informs how I intend to vote.
However, Jeremy’s support for continued regulatory alignment, membership of European agencies, and unilateral protections for EU nationals, should provide local pro-Europeans with real confidence in Labour’s Brexit policy.
With local elections just around the corner, I believe this week’s speeches should serve as an important reminder Brexit and local government services are not mutually exclusive conversations.
In order to retain the services that we all depend on in our daily lives, the UK economy needs to be well managed. It is clear that the Conservatives’ approach to Brexit means that they cannot be trusted to do so.
TULIP SIDDIQ MP
Labour, Hampstead & Kilburn