The mind boggles. Only today (May 16) on the BBC’s Daily Politics, I’m sure I heard some idiot say Labour supports the Conservatives on Brexit.
Let’s get one thing perfectly clear:
LABOUR DOES NOT SUPPORT THE CONSERVATIVES ON BREXIT
Is that clear enough for everyone?
If you want proof, check out Labour’s manifesto. No – actually, I’ll show you what it says (and I’ll even highlight the important anti-Tory bits, for the hard-of-understanding anti-Labour readers):
“Labour accepts the referendum result and a Labour government will put the national interest first. We will prioritise jobs and living standards, build a close new relationship with the EU, protect workers’ rights and environmental standards, provide certainty to EU nationals and give a meaningful role to Parliament throughout negotiations.
We will end Theresa May’s reckless approach to Brexit, and seek to unite the country around a Brexit deal that works for every community in Britain.
We will scrap the Conservatives’ Brexit White Paper and replace it with fresh negotiating priorities that have a strong emphasis on retaining the benefits of the Single Market and the Customs Union – which are essential for maintaining industries, jobs and businesses in Britain. Labour will always put jobs and the economy first.
A Labour government will immediately guarantee existing rights for all EU nationals living in Britain and secure reciprocal rights for UK citizens who have chosen to make their lives in EU countries. EU nationals do not just contribute to our society: they are part of our society. And they should not be used as bargaining chips.
It is shameful that the Prime Minister rejected repeated attempts by Labour to resolve this issue before Article 50 was triggered. As a result three million EU nationals have suffered unnecessary uncertainty, as have the 1.2 million UK citizens living in the EU.
A Conservative Brexit will weaken workers’ rights, deregulate the economy, slash corporate taxes, sideline Parliament and democratic accountability, and cut Britain off from our closest allies and most important trading partners.
Labour recognises that leaving the EU with ‘no deal’ is the worst possible deal for Britain and that it would do damage to our economy and trade. We will reject ‘no deal’ as a viable option and if needs be negotiate transitional arrangements to avoid a ‘cliff-edge’ for the UK economy.
The issues that affect our continent now will continue to do so in the future – and Labour will continue to work constructively with the EU and other European nations on issues such as climate change, refugee crises and counter-terrorism. We will build a close co-operative future relationship with the EU, not as members but as partners.
A Labour government will ensure that the UK maintains our leading research role by seeking to stay part of Horizon 2020 and its successor programmes and by welcoming research staff to the UK. We will seek to maintain membership of (or equivalent relationships with) European organisations which offer benefits to the UK such as Euratom and the European Medicines Agency. We will seek to ensure that Britain remains part of the Erasmus scheme so that British students have the same educational opportunities after we leave the EU.
The EU is the UK’s single largest trading partner in agricultural produce, with the vast majority of British exports being sold to European markets. A Labour government will end the uncertainty for our farmers and food producers by securing continued EU market access allowing British farmers and food producers to continue to sell their products on the Continent.
Labour will also protect our farmers and rural economy by ensuring Britain continues to set the highest standards in food quality and welfare. We will not allow Brexit to be used as an excuse to undercut our farmers and flood Britain’s food chain with cheap and inferior produce.
We will drop the Conservatives’ Great Repeal Bill, replacing it with an EU Rights and Protections Bill that will ensure there is no detrimental change to workers’ rights, equality law, consumer rights or environmental protections as a result of Brexit.
Throughout the Brexit process, we will make sure that all EU-derived laws that are of benefit – including workplace laws, consumer rights and environmental protections – are fully protected without qualifications, limitations or sunset clauses. We will work with trade unions, businesses and stakeholders to ensure there is a consensus on this vital issue. A Labour approach to Brexit will ensure there can be no rolling back of key rights and protections and that the UK does not lag behind Europe in workplace protections and environmental standards in future.
The EU has had a huge impact in securing workplace protections and environmental safeguards. But we all know that for many Brexiteers in the Tory Party, this was why they wanted to Leave – to tear up regulations and weaken hard-fought rights and protections.
A Labour government will never consider these rights a burden or accept the weakening of workers’ rights, consumer rights or environmental protections.
We will introduce legislation to ensure there are no gaps in national security and criminal justice arrangements as a result of Brexit.
Labour recognises the vital role that cross-border agencies such as Eurojust and Europol have played in making Britain safer and that European Arrest Warrants have been invaluable. A Labour government will seek to retain membership of these agencies and continue European Arrest Warrant arrangements.
Labour will seek a Brexit deal that delivers for all regions and nations of the UK. We will introduce a ‘presumption of devolution’ where devolved powers transferred from the EU will go straight to the relevant region or nation. For many people and for much of our country, power can feel just as remote and unaccountable in Westminster as it does in Brussels. So a Labour government will seek to put powers as close to communities as possible.
We will ensure there is no drop in EU Structural Funding as a result of Brexit until the end of the current EU funding round in 2019/20. As part of Labour’s plans to rebalance and rebuild the economy, we will ensure that no region or nation of the UK is affected by the withdrawal of EU funding for the remainder of this Parliament. This will also apply to the funding of peace and reconciliation projects in Northern Ireland.
We will also improve engagement and dialogue with the devolved administrations and seek to ensure the final Brexit deal addresses specific concerns. In particular Labour will ensure there is no return to a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland and that there is no change in the status or sovereignty of Gibraltar. We will also protect Gibraltar’s economy and ensure that its government can continue to create jobs and prosperity in the years to come.
Where Theresa May wants to shut down scrutiny and challenge, Labour will welcome it. We will work with Parliament, not against it. On an issue of this importance the Government can’t hide from the public or Parliament.
A Labour approach to Brexit also means legislating to guarantee that Parliament has a truly meaningful vote on the final Brexit deal.
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