The May 23 poll will be about the Euro parliament
03 May, 2019
• YOUR correspondent Nick Wakeling writes that the European election on May 23 “is about one question only: do we remain in the European Union?”, (Get out and vote on May 23, April 25).
It is actually about who we want to represent us in the European Parliament and has no bearing on whether we remain or leave, though he is right that the results can send out a powerful message.
However this has to be much more than simply saying “we want to remain”. We know that the country is deeply divided, so the message must address the concerns of those who voted leave as well as remain.
This means setting out a programme to tackle the results of the deindustrialisation and austerity which have fuelled so much of the leave vote. Labour is the party much best placed nationally to carry this through.
Nick Wakeling should be reassured that there is no possibility of Labour endorsing a Brexit which puts jobs and international solidarity at risk, as he fears. He should note that 15 of Labour’s current 20 MEPs are standing again and that Labour MEPs back a confirmatory referendum on any deal.
He should look at the records of Labour’s leading candidates for the London region, who are strongly pro-European and can form part of a powerful bloc to promote progressive policies in Europe on workers’ and consumers’’ rights and environmental protection.
At a time when the far right is gaining strength across Europe it is essential that opposition to them is not weakened by splitting the remain vote between smaller parties who have no agreed programme for dealing with our social and economic problems.
If we fail to ensure that Labour tops the poll, we risk the false prophets of the Brexit party being able to declare themselves the true winners.
DR ANTHONY ISAACS