Labour should back an­other ref­er­en­dum

The Guardian - Journal - - Letters -

As EU mi­grants and Labour mem­bers, we call on our party to cam­paign against Brexit. We refuse to be si­lent in the face of a pol­icy that is an at­tack on our rights and on the com­mu­ni­ties our party rep­re­sents. It is proper, in­deed es­sen­tial, that Labour now fol­lows the pol­icy es­tab­lished at its con­fer­ence in Septem­ber. This is to vote down Theresa May’s Brexit deal, to call for an im­me­di­ate gen­eral elec­tion, and to con­sider cam­paign­ing for a pub­lic vote.

There is no con­tra­dic­tion what­so­ever be­tween cam­paign­ing for an elec­tion and cam­paign­ing for a ref­er­en­dum. When May’s deal falls in par­lia­ment next week, Labour must an­nounce its sup­port for a pub­lic vote so the peo­ple can have the fi­nal say. We hope such a ref­er­en­dum can be achieved un­der a Labour gov­ern­ment, af­ter a gen­eral elec­tion.

Time is run­ning out. For mil­lions of work­ing peo­ple, Brexit means in­se­cu­rity about our jobs and liveli­hoods. For Eu­ro­pean na­tion­als, it also spells an ex­ten­sion of the hos­tile en­vi­ron­ment, as Britain is fac­ing the biggest ex­pan­sion of bor­der con­trols in its re­cent his­tory. Many risk los­ing their se­cure sta­tus in the UK or be­ing sep­a­rated from fam­ily mem­bers, and British cit­i­zens will lose the right to live and study in 27 coun­tries.

Mi­grant voices are rarely heard in the Brexit de­bate, even though we will be the ones most im­pacted. In the Brexit cam­paign, we have been used as scape­goats for prob­lems fac­ing peo­ple in Britain, from low pay to over­stretched pub­lic ser­vices. Labour has the an­swers: end­ing Tory aus­ter­ity, strength­en­ing work­ers’ rights and re­dis­tribut­ing wealth and power. Our party also has the moral obli­ga­tion to stand with pro­gres­sive move­ments across the con­ti­nent against the cur­rent na­tion­al­ist surge, which Brexit is a part of. Al­low­ing Brexit to hap­pen can only un­der­mine our rad­i­cal agenda.

Ana Op­pen­heim Hornsey & Wood Green CLP, Ma­rina Pren­toulis

Is­lighton North CLP, Pa­tryk Niewczas

Ed­in­burgh Cen­tral CLP, Heidy Kem­peBottcher Manch­ester Withing­ton

CLP, Alex Fer­nan­des Toot­ing CLP, Rose­mary Collins Ceredigion CLP, Alena Ivanova Beth­nal Green and Bow

CLP and 26 oth­ers (see gu.com/let­ters)

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