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Six months to go, no deal is not an option

27 September, 2018

Sir Keir Starmer

• I AM sure there was a cheer across Camden and a flurry on Twitter on Tuesday after news broke of Sir Keir Starmer’s brave and barnstorming speech at the Labour Party conference.

So many people in Camden, which voted as a borough three-to-one to stay in the EU, will be delighted that our MP has made clear that Remain must be an option of what he calls a “public vote” on the Brexit deal.

We have been picking up that same message loud and clear at our street stalls across Camden over the summer that both leavers and remainers have become increasingly frustrated at the government’s incompetence.

The overwhelming majority of people have made it clear they think the negotiations are going badly, that Brexit will be bad for jobs and for the NHS, and that they want a people’s vote. We are delighted that Labour’s shadow Brexit secretary has listened to that call.

It is obvious that the Chequers plan is not worth the paper it is written on, having been roundly rejected by both EU member states and Theresa May’s own backbenchers.

It will not give us the “exact same benefits” as we currently have as members of the single market and customs union; it will do nothing for our vital services industries, and it will risk the return of a border between Northern Ireland and the Republic.

This is why Sir Keir was right to say it would fail his six tests and that Labour would vote against it. No deal is not an option; that is probably the only useful thing the government has done, to set out in detail the complete chaos that would engulf this country if we were to crash out of the EU on March 29. That should never even be an option on the ballot paper.

That is why there must be a people’s vote on the final deal with an option to stay in the EU for now. So cheers to Sir Keir for standing firm against opponents both within and outside his party.

Anyone who wants to add their voice to his call can sign up on Saturday when Open Britain is holding stalls on Queen’s Crescent, Archway and Muswell Hill with another stall planned for Camden Town.

This Saturday marks six months until the official date for Brexit. It is not too late to make your voice heard.

PHIL THORNTON,
Volunteer,
Open Britain Hampstead

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