It is now about a week to polling day for the EU Referendum. The opinion polls indicate that the result is in the balance. The stakes could not be higher for our country. I am writing to you to urge you to vote and to support the position of the Labour Party which is to REMAIN in the EU.
Make no mistake, the EU will have an impact on our standing in the world and the prosperity and safety of our working people, the people we were established to look after, whether we stay in or come out. That impact will be wholly negative if we vote to leave.
We have always been an Internationalist Party. We aim to form strong democratic socialist alliances across Europe to better the prospects of all working people and build a fairer, more just, society. A vote for isolationism is a vote against the aims of the Labour Party and the values we all hold dear.
It is true there are lots of things wrong with the EU. But it is better to REMAIN and, through our alliances, get things changed than stand alone and still suffer the consequences of Right Wing policies imposed on us directly at home and indirectly from Europe. Being divorced from the EU will not immunise us against the power and influence of the biggest trading group on the planet. A powerful organisation, presently our friend and ally, who we would have just slighted and rejected post Brexit. Better to stand and fight for justice and change from within than set off on a journey into unknown territory without a map.
There has been a lot of deliberate misinformation, lies even, promulgated during this campaign. Who can forget the perpetuated lie than the UK sends £350 million a week to the EU when it has been proved over and over again that the figure is about half that and the benefits we get from that contribution far outstrip the investment? Do you realise Government only spend 0.37% of its annual budget on the EU. This is a paltry figure compared to spending on Defence, Health and Education. Government even spend more than 10 times that amount on subsidies to the banks. In addition, much of the so-called evidence against the EU presented by Vote Leave Campaign has not been due to the EU at all. They have been the result of policies imposed on us by our own UK Government.
Raw Nationalism never turns out well and I have found the Leave Campaign’s xenophobic emotional blackmail particularly distasteful. The EU is not a ‘Them and Us’. It is a ‘We’. We are one of 28 Nations working together to peacefully resolve issues and find solutions to common problems for the benefit of all. This is done through compromise. It is not done by throwing teddies out of the cot every time we don’t get our own way (which we do more often than not despite what the Right Wing press and media tell you).
- A vote for Leave is a vote for the governing Tory Party to lurch even further to the Right.
- A vote for Leave is a vote for further (or even complete) privatisation of our NHS.
- A vote for Leave is a vote for curtailed Workers Rights.
- A vote for Leave is a vote for curtailed Human Rights.
- A vote for Leave is a vote for more Austerity.
- A vote for Leave is a vote of confidence in the views of Farage, Johnson, Gove, Duncan-Smith and Grayling.
Is this just scaremongering? Just look back at the past actions and quotes of the members of the Vote Leave campaign. Just look at the present negative impact on the Stock Exchange and the Pound whenever opinion polls show an increase in support for Brexit.
Tory Brexiters are happy to exploit the emotive issue of immigration. Traditional Labour voters feel abandoned when EU immigrants move into their area and the £2 billion a year net contribution they make to our economy is not reinvested back into those areas to support the growing population by Government. Divide and rule. When unscrupulous employers exploit the immigrants’ willingness to work so that wages are squeezed knowing that the present government has no appetite to actively enforce the Minimum wage. Divide and rule.
Vote Leave had found the scapegoats it needed to make its case sound credible in the face of a mountain of evidence and real data to the contrary. Divide and rule. Cuts to public services and the lack of investment in our schools, our NHS and housing, particularly in areas of deprivation has been idealogically driven. Tory ideology. Particularly in Labour areas against traditional Labour voters. Again, divide and rule!
The Vote Leave mantra is “We want our country back!” We haven’t lost it. We never did. But we are about to lose it with a Brexit vote. We will lose it to an emboldened and vicious far Right Tory Party intent on keeping ordinary working people in their place whilst feathering the nest of the rich and privileged. Their donors and sponsors. Don’t let them divide and rule us. VOTE REMAIN.
And if you are a committed socialist who thinks that voting to leave the EU is a blow against greedy Capitalism, I urge you to reconsider. How can voting with the Tories and UKIPers of the far Right Wing (No! I it is worse than that. It is voting for a ruling Government to have the mandate to lurch even further to the Right), with all the hardships it will cause to the very people we claim to support, be a good thing? There will be better opportunities to strike those blows, and more effectively, but this is not the time.
As committed Democratic Socialists and members of the Labour Party it is inconceivable that any of you could support Vote Leave.
Please support the Labour Party on 23rd June. Please VOTE REMAIN.
Vice Chair & Membership Secretary
North East Hampshire Constituency Labour Party