Umunna – Sadiq Khan is right, London is better off in the Single Market

London Mayor Sadiq Khan has today said that the UK should remain a member of the Single Market after Brexit.

It follows a Vote Leave Watch pamphlet, Stop Hard Brexit: Why London needs the Single Market, released in May, which argued that Single Market membership was vital for London’s economy.

Commenting, Chuka Umunna MP, Chair of Vote Leave Watch, said:

“I couldn't agree more with what Sadiq said today. London and the whole of Britain depend on free trade with our European neighbours, and if we leave the Single Market that trade will be hit and our economy damaged.

“The Single Market isn't just about the economic benefits - it enshrines laws that protect workers, consumers, and our natural environment.

“Leaving the Single Market and throwing these protections away will leave working people worse off. We must not give the Tories a blank cheque for an extreme and chaotic Brexit.”

/ends

Read more

Vote Leave Watch unveils Government’s hard Brexit plan for Britain

An increased Tory majority in the General Election will result in a hard Brexit that will damage working people, the Vote Leave Watch campaign says today.

Labour’s Chuka Umunna said “the extreme Brexiteers want to turn Britain into a nasty, uncaring, harsh place to live where people are left to sink or swim on their own”, and that “unencumbered by a small majority, the worst instincts of the Conservative Party could be unleashed to turn Britain, and the world, into a meaner, poorer and less equal place.”

In a new dossier released just days before Britain heads to the polls, the campaign group unveils how senior Leavers in the Cabinet and the Conservative Party have a long history of:

·         Supporting the scrapping of many workers’ rights;

·         Cuts, charges and privatisations in the National Health Service;

·         Tax cuts for the rich and cuts in spending on vital public services;

·         Cutting the international development budget;

·         Reduced Government action to deal with climate change;

·         Opposing gay rights and a woman’s right to choose.

It includes Transport Secretary Chris Grayling saying he wished he had the power to stop trades unions from striking; International Development Secretary Priti Patel calling for the halving of workers’ rights delivered by our membership of the EU; numerous senior Tories supporting the scrapping of the 0.7% target on overseas aid; Environment Secretary Andrea Leadsom supporting a flat rate of tax; Boris Johnson blaming climate change on “unusual solar activity”; Boris Johnson, David Davis Liam Fox supporting cuts, charges and privatisation in the NHS; and multiple senior Tories supporting restrictions on abortion and opposing gay marriage.

In the foreword to the dossier, Chuka Umunna, Labour candidate in Streatham and Chair of Vote Leave Watch, writes:

“The Prime Minister seeks absolute power over Brexit – an event which will determine the direction of our country for decades to come. She thinks the more Conservative MPs are elected on June 8th, the greater power she and her hard Brexit allies – who drive so much of the Tories’ agenda – will have over the Brexit process. As this dossier makes clear, that would be a deeply concerning outcome. 

“But if the Prime Minister wants absolute power over Brexit for her and her Government, we need to look at what such an unchecked Brexit could look like. Unencumbered by a small majority, the worst instincts of the Conservative Party could be unleashed to turn Britain, and the world, into a meaner, poorer and less equal place. This paper takes into consideration the prior views of the Leave campaigners in the Cabinet, as well as influential pro-Leave Conservatives on the back benches and in the House of Lords, on a range of issues, to show what an unrestrained Tory Hard Brexit could look like.

“The Prime Minister talks a good game on issues like workers’ rights. But on almost every Brexit issue – the rights of EU citizens, our place in the Single Market and Customs Union, the possibility of leaving with no deal – she has shown herself to be a prisoner of the hard right of her party. Given the boost a Conservative victory would give to these Leave campaigners in the Government, the public have a right to know what they really want out of Brexit.

“Their vision for Britain goes far beyond the nature of our future relationship with the EU; it goes to the heart of the kind of society we want to be.

“The extreme Brexiteers want to turn Britain into a nasty, uncaring, harsh place to live where people are left to sink or swim on their own. The alternative is a caring and compassionate Britain with an inclusive economy, where people are supported, we celebrate our diversity and don't demonise different groups, and a nation that seeks to work closely with other countries that share our values – the kind of Britain all those involved in Vote Leave Watch are fighting for.”

/ends

 

Read more

Health professionals call on Tories to include £350m pledge in manifesto

The Conservatives must include Vote Leave’s pledge to spend £350 million extra a week on the National Health Service in their election manifesto, nearly 50 senior health professionals say today [Wednesday], ahead of the expected launch of the Conservative manifesto tomorrow.

In an open letter organised by Vote Leave Watch and the Healthier In campaign, the group of medical doctors, academics and public health experts say that for the mandate of the referendum to be respected, the Conservatives “must promise in their manifesto to spend £350 million extra per week on the NHS once Britain leaves the European Union.”

They continue to say that “failing to do so would reveal the hollowness of their pledge.” Labour’s Chuka Umunna, Chair of Vote Leave Watch, said that failure to deliver the promise would show the Conservatives to be “a cynical shower of hard Brexiteers.”

It comes after the NHS suffered its worst winter crisis in years. The health professionals say this requires more spending to overcome, and that if this is not forthcoming, “there is no cause for optimism in thinking that next winter might be better.”

The leader of Vote Leave, Dominic Cummings, has admitted the importance of the £350m pledge, writing in a blog: “Would we have won without £350m/NHS? All our research and the close result strongly suggests No.” Despite this, Tory MPs voted down Chuka Umunna’s amendment to the Article 50 Bill on £350m, and the Prime Minister has refused to guarantee that it will be delivered.

In the open letter, the 49 health professionals say:

“As health professionals with long experience in the National Health Service and medical research, we know that the NHS faces a critical funding situation. The Government bases its mandate for leaving the EU on the vote in the referendum. Yet the iconic symbol of the campaign to leave was the claim that there would be £350 million extra every week for the NHS.

“Tomorrow, the Conservative Party is expected to set out its manifesto for this general election – an election, we should not forget, that they called in order to gain a bigger mandate for Brexit negotiations with the EU. We are absolutely clear that they must promise in their manifesto to spend £350 million extra per week on the NHS once Britain leaves the European Union. Such an injection of funding would have a transformational impact on our National Health Service. Failing to do so would reveal the hollowness of their pledge, and let down everyone who works in, cares about and depends on our NHS.”

Commenting, Chuka Umunna, Chair of Vote Leave Watch, said:

“Spending £350 million extra a week on the NHS was the iconic pledge of the Vote Leave campaign, emblazoned on a bus that ferried senior Tories across the country. Their own campaign director admitted they would not have won the referendum without that pledge.

“That, along with the perilous state of our National Health Service’s finances, makes it vital that these Tories keep their promise to the voters and deliver the £350 million extra a week after Brexit.

“The Prime Minister says she is calling this election to strengthen her hand in negotiations. If Brexit really means Brexit, then it has to mean the Vote Leave’s NHS promise is delivered. This pledge must be in the Tory manifesto when they release it tomorrow.”

/ends

Read more

UK must stay in the Single Market, London Labour MPs say in new pamphlet

The UK must stay in the EU’s Single Market and Customs Union after Brexit to protect London’s economy, 16 Labour parliamentary candidates in London said today.

Supporting a new pamphlet authored by Chuka Umunna and Heidi Alexander, ‘Stop Hard Brexit: Why London needs the Single Market’, they said that Londoners “are being dragged along a road they had no desire to go down, driven by a Government which seems utterly indifferent to their wishes and concerns”, as the Government is persisting with hard Brexit despite 60 per cent of Londoners voting to Remain in the referendum last year.

They point out that “650,000 London jobs depend on trade with Europe, and anything which creates barriers to this trade will mean lower growth and fewer jobs”, and say none of the alternatives to membership of the Single Market and Customs Union can deliver the same economic benefits.

They conclude by saying: “This general election in London is a choice between an uncaring Tory Government, dismissive of London’s views and destructive to its economic interests; and Labour MPs who will fight tooth and nail against a hard Brexit that makes our constituents worse off.”

The pamphlet was presented at a rally at The Impact Hub Westminster, a collaborative working space in central London. 

In the foreword to the pamphlet, Chuka Umunna and Heidi Alexander said:

“In the referendum last year, 60 per cent of Londoners voted to remain within the European Union. Now that Article 50 has been triggered, and the process of leaving is underway, Londoners are being dragged along a road they had no desire to go down, driven by a Government which seems utterly indifferent to their wishes and concerns.

“Today, we and some other parliamentary candidates from around the country present a pamphlet which outlines the importance of the EU’s Single Market and Customs Union to London and the whole of Britain. These institutions create the freest possible trade with the EU – our biggest trading partner, which buys 39 per cent of London’s exports. 650,000 London jobs depend on trade with Europe, and anything which creates barriers to this trade will mean lower growth and fewer jobs.

“As London Labour MPs, we are arguing wholeheartedly for Britain to remain a member of the Single Market and Customs Union. We are not Remoaners, and we do not underestimate the challenge of connecting with the many Labour voters who supported Brexit. But we want the best, most prosperous and most equal future for our city and our country. Pointing out that there is a better way is not moaning, and we cannot reach out to communities that voted for Brexit by backing a policy that makes them poorer.

This general election in London is a choice between an uncaring Tory Government, dismissive of London’s views and destructive to its economic interests; and Labour MPs who will fight tooth and nail against a hard Brexit that makes our constituents worse off. There is a better road for London, and we will spend the time between now and election day arguing passionately for it.”

/ends

Read more

Davis endorsed sacking 30,000 NHS staff and ending free services, new research reveals

Brexit Secretary David Davis endorsed sacking over 30,000 NHS staff, and the NHS ceasing to provide some services for free, including hysterectomies and orthodontics, Vote Leave Watch has revealed today.

A 2011 book, The Future of Conservatism: Values Revisited, co-edited by Mr Davis and two other Conservative MPs, endorsed a report by consultancy firm McKinsey, which called for a 10 per cent cut in the NHS workforce, at the time amounting to 30,800 jobs, in its chapter on the NHS.

The chapter, authored by former Tory parliamentary candidate Julia Manning, went on to say that “we should consider decommissioning some treatments…such as hysterectomy, orthodontics and tonsillectomy procedures.”

In his introduction, Mr Davis said the book was intended “to imagine the sort of country we want Britain to be in the coming decades.” He said: “The largest single area of expenditure, at over £100bn, is health care, and this will undoubtedly need further reform.”

Commenting, Chuka Umunna MP, Chair of Vote Leave Watch, said:

“Leave campaigners spent the referendum saying that Brexit would save our NHS, but with every day that goes by we see how little they care about our National Health Service.

“David Davis co-edited this book, and he must take responsibility for its contents. It is shocking and concerning that the man in charge of the Government’s approach to Brexit believes that 30,000 hard-working doctors and nurses should be laid off, and that the NHS should stop providing vital services like hysterectomies.

“These hard Brexit Tories have a clear agenda – NHS cuts, NHS charges, and NHS privatisations. Our National Health Service is not safe in their hands. And there is absolutely no sign at all that they will deliver on their key pledge of £350 million extra per week for the NHS after Brexit.”

/ends

Read more

Umunna – Merkel comments show the Government’s rhetoric does not match reality

The UK will not be able to negotiate a future trade deal with the EU until after other issues have been finalised, including UK payments to the EU budget, German Chancellor Angela Merkel confirmed today.

Commenting, Chuka Umunna MP, Chair of Vote Leave Watch, said:

“The British people are under no illusions about the problems caused by Brexit, but the Government is still pretending that their rhetoric matches reality.

“Angela Merkel has been quite clear – that despite what the Government claim, we will not be able to negotiate our future trading relationship with the EU until all the other issues have been settled.

“Theresa May and David Davis have both promised to secure a trade deal with the EU that delivers the ‘exact same benefits’ as membership of the Single Market and Customs Union. Merkel’s comments show there simply will not be time to do so.

“The Government must wake up and recognise the damage their decision to leave the Single Market has the potential to do. And they must ensure that our economy is not driven off a cliff edge by pulling us out of the EU with no deal at all.”

/ends

Read more

Umunna – Boris taking the public for fools with £350m pledge

Commenting on Boris Johnson standing by the £350 million a week for the NHS promised by Vote Leave, Chuka Umunna MP, Chair of Vote Leave Watch, said:

“Boris Johnson is taking the public for fools. Nearly a year after the referendum, we have not seen a penny of the £350 million a week he and his Vote Leave allies promised.

“Indeed, the Prime Minister has refused to commit to the pledge, while Boris and the rest of the Tories voted against my amendment to the Article 50 Bill which would have delivered the £350 million more per week.

“The figure was dismissed by experts during the campaign, and it is even less credible now, as the Government acknowledges that we will make some continuing payments to the EU after Brexit.

“Boris needs to apologise to the millions of people he and his campaign misled with their dodgy figures.” 

/ends


Revealed: Davis wanted UK to stay in the Customs Union after Brexit

David Davis believed the UK ought to stay in the Customs Union after leaving the EU, and called the Single Market a success – despite now leading the Government’s effort to leave both the Customs Union and the Single Market, it has been revealed.

In a speech in 2012, the Brexit Secretary said that “my preference would be that we should remain within the Customs Union of the EU”, even if this meant the UK would have to “give up some freedoms in terms of negotiating our trading arrangements with third countries.”

He added that staying in the Customs Union – which allows for the free movement of goods within its borders, and maintains a common tariff on imports – would be advantageous for Britain because businesses would “not face complex and punitive ‘rules of origin’ tariffs”, and because it would allow “true free trade in both directions across the Channel.”

Mr Davis also praised the Single Market as one of the EU’s “successes”. However, he is now leading the Government’s charge to leave both the Customs Union and Single Market – despite the warnings that this will damage the UK economy.

Previously, it has been revealed that Mr Davis’ special adviser, Raoul Ruparel, formerly of the Open Europe think tank, had calculated that leaving the Customs Union would cost the UK economy £25bn a year.

Commenting, Chuka Umunna MP, Chair of Vote Leave Watch, said:

“The news that as little as five years ago David Davis supported UK membership of the Customs Union after Brexit should shake the faith of this Tory Government in the hard Brexit path they are pursuing.

“The 2012 version of David Davis recognised the real problems that could emerge if we leave the Customs Union. Businesses will be hit by ‘punitive’ rules of origin, which vastly increase tariffs and red tape on companies trying to export to the EU.

“Leaving the Customs Union and Single Market will clearly be bad for business, bad for trade, and bad for jobs here in Britain.

“The Brexit Secretary needs to explain why he has changed his mind, why we should be leaving the Single Market and Customs Union when he admits they have been ‘successes’, and what evidence his department has that doing so will not damage our economy.

“David Davis’ u-turn suggests that he knows the Government’s course is self-defeating, but he, like the Prime Minister, has been taken hostage by the hard right of the Tory party.”

/ends

Read more

Umunna – Leavers have broken their promise on a two-year trade deal

Commenting on the Prime Minister’s admission that it will take longer than two years to negotiate a free trade deal between Britain and the EU, Chuka Umunna MP, Chair of Vote Leave Watch, said:

"In less than a week since Article 50 was triggered, key Leave campaign promises are already falling by the wayside.

"They said we would have a comprehensive agreement covering both the divorce settlement and a free trade deal completed by 2019. But now the Prime Minister has admitted this isn't going to happen.

"Quitting the EU without a trade agreement that delivers 'the exact same benefits' as our Single Market membership will hit our trade, put up prices in the shops, and make working people worse off."

/ends

Read more

Umunna – Vote Leave break another promise on Gibraltar

Gibraltar’s interests would be “best protected” by voting to Leave the European Union, the Vote Leave campaign said just weeks before the EU referendum last year.

On 3rd June 2016, the campaign group led by Michael Gove, and including five members of the current cabinet, tweeted: “The interests of the people of Gibraltar are best protected by a strong and independent UK #VoteLeave #InOrOut”.

It comes as the EU made clear in its response to the triggering of Article 50 that any deal between the UK and EU on the Rock would need the consent of the Spanish Government, and former Conservative leader Michael Howard raised the prospect that Britain could go to war with Spain over Gibraltar.

Commenting, Chuka Umunna MP, Chair of Vote Leave Watch, said:

"10 months on from the referendum, it's becoming hard to find a single promise Vote Leave actually kept. Every day that goes by shows how much they misled the British people – like promising £350 million a week for our NHS.

"Gibraltar's success and prosperity depends on free trade and free movement of workers, which are two things that Brexit is putting at risk as the Government is intent on wrenching us out of the Single Market.

"No amount of absurd, counter-productive sabre-rattling from Leavers like Michael Howard will make up for the damage they are doing to Gibraltar."

/ends

Read more

Umunna – Tusk’s comments shows Government needs to fight for Single Market access

Responding to Donald Tusk’s release of the European Council’s draft negotiating guidelines on Brexit this morning, Chuka Umunna MP, Chair of Vote Leave Watch, said:

"Donald Tusk's remarks this morning have blown the Government's Brexit strategy out of the water.

"The Prime Minister has told us that we will receive "the same benefits" in trade after we leave the EU as we do as a member of the Single Market.

"But the EU has made clear that no country that leaves the Single Market can secure an equivalent trading relationship. Clearly, quitting the Single Market will damage our trade, hit our businesses, and cause jobs to be lost.

/ends


Umunna – Great Repeal Bill cannot be used to reduce rights at work

Commenting on the Great Repeal Bill white paper, which was released this morning, Chuka Umunna MP, Chair of Vote Leave Watch, said:

"European Union law has for decades provided rights and protections to the British people - especially rights at work. Transferring it all into British law will be an immense undertaking, fraught with danger.

"Right-wing Tory Brexiteers like Liam Fox and Priti Patel have spent years waiting for this moment to cut the rights of British working people. From anti-discrimination laws to the Social Chapter to ECJ case law providing holiday pay, too many Conservatives see Brexit as a chance for a damaging bonfire of regulations.

"It is absolutely crucial that the Government keep the promise of the Vote Leave campaign and retain EU rules on rights at work, in full, as the Great Repeal Bill goes through."

/ends


Umunna – May will be responsible for consequences of hard Brexit

Commenting on the triggering of Article 50 today, Chuka Umunna MP, Chair of Vote Leave Watch, said:

"The Prime Minister is right that we need to unify and come together, but she and her party have form when it comes to dividing Britain. She was the Home Secretary who sent "go home" vans around urban Britain, she leads a party that set England against Scotland at the 2015 General Election, she aided and abetted a disgracefully Islamophobic Tory London Mayoral campaign in 2016, and she sought to falsely suggest 16 million Remain voters were some liberal elite at the Tory party conference. So she must now practice what she preaches and speak for the entire nation - instead of dancing to the tune of the extreme Brexiteers who have hijacked her party - in these Brexit negotiations.

"Her party promised unconditionally at the last election that Britain would stay in the Single Market, which supports millions of jobs across Britain. No alternative trading model would give us the same benefits as Single Market membership, and leaving will make working families worse off. We must hold her to account for this promise, and make clear that the economic damage caused by pulling out of the Single Market will be her responsibility."

/ends


Murray – Government’s hard Brexit strategy is dividing the Union

Commenting on Theresa May’s visit to Scotland today, Ian Murray MP, supporter of Vote Leave Watch, said:

“It is risible for Theresa May she wants the UK to be ‘more united’ when she, her party and her Government have done so much to divide it.

“The Prime Minister says she will not allow the UK to become looser or weaker; yet she herself has helped loosen and weaken it. If we emerge stronger and more unified from the Brexit process it will be no thanks to her and the Tory Brexit fanatics whose every wish and whim she harbours.

“The Tories have fomented anger and resentment by imposing austerity on vulnerable communities. They have sown discord with a cynical and divisive general election campaign. And they have stoked up SNP grievance with English voters for English laws. They are every bit as responsible as the SNP for where we now find ourselves: on the brink of a hard Brexit with the future of the UK once again at risk. The Tories bet the farm on the EU referendum and lost. Now Scotland is caught between two nationalisms that seek to divide our country.

“Meanwhile, Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, is desperately trying to engineer another independence referendum that people do not want and did not vote for, and from which – as her own economic adviser has admitted – it would take at least ten years to recover from.

“Neither the Tories nor the SNP are standing up for what a majority of Scots did note for: a strong Scotland in a stable UK with a close relationship with Europe.

“After the rancour of the EU referendum campaign, all in leadership position should not be about division but about speaking to and for our nation. That is why we have set out six tests for Brexit – tests that, if met, will protect people in every corner of the UK – and why Kezia Dugdale, Scottish Labour leader, has written to the Prime Minister to outline the best Brexit deal for Scotland ahead of Article 50 being triggered. We want a deal that allows us to retain what is best about our relationship with the EU – including continued free access to the Single Market – while remaining an integral part of the UK.”

/ends


Umunna – Nuttall’s hard Brexit agenda will leave families worse off

Responding to Paul Nuttall’s speech on Brexit this morning, Chuka Umunna MP, Chair of Vote Leave Watch, said:

“Paul Nuttall’s speech today was a blueprint for a hard Brexit that will leave working families worse off.

“For UKIP to make this reckless call for Britain to trade with the EU under World Trade Organisation rules only is the height of irresponsibility. This would impose crippling tariffs on our exports and imports to and from Europe, hitting businesses, putting jobs at risk, and raising prices in the shops.

“We need a trade deal with Europe that delivers the ‘exact same benefits’ as Brexit Secretary David Davis has promised – that means the Government should seek to keep our Single Market membership. Anything less will do untold damage to our economy.”

/ends


Umunna - The Government is playing Russian roulette with people's jobs

Commenting on David Davis' appearance at the Brexit Select Committee today, where he said that the Government has not done any analysis on the economic impact of leaving the EU with no deal, Chuka Umunna MP, Chair of Vote Leave Watch, said:

“The Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson says the UK would be ‘perfectly okay’ exiting the EU without a deal, and yet the Brexit Secretary David Davis tells us he doesn’t know the economic cost.  

"All the evidence shows the best economic arrangement for the UK is to stay in the Single Market after we leave – an unconditional Tory manifesto commitment. 

"They are playing Russian roulette with people’s jobs and livelihoods by refusing even to try to keep us in the Single Market at the start of negotiations, and are flirting with leaving with no deal at all.  

"It is a flawed and incompetent negotiation strategy and it is the British people who will pay the price.”

/ends


Umunna – Sturgeon’s speech shows Leave campaigners have no qualms about breaking up the UK

Commenting on Nicola Sturgeon’s speech this morning, Chuka Umunna MP, Chair of Vote Leave Watch, said:

"Michael Gove promised before the EU referendum that 'the union will be stronger' after Brexit. Nicola Sturgeon's speech today has shown that to be naive at best and profoundly misleading at worst.

"Leave campaigners claim the mantle of patriotism, but they clearly have no qualms about destroying the United Kingdom in order to fulfil their damaging obsession with leaving the EU.

"They were warned repeatedly that a vote to leave the EU would give the SNP the excuse for another referendum they have been looking for since losing in 2014, but they ignored those warnings.

"I hope with all my heart and soul that Scotland chooses a future within the United Kingdom. But if Brexit places the future of the UK in jeopardy, history will not forgive those responsible."

/ends

Read more

Umunna – Johnson and Davis show we are up Brexit creek without a paddle

Commenting on Boris Johnson’s appearance on Peston, and David Davis’ appearance on Marr, Chuka Umunna MP, Chair of Vote Leave Watch, said:

“Boris and David Davis’ comments this morning show that we really are up Brexit creek without a paddle.

“Leaving the EU with no deal in place would send our economy over a cliff-edge, with huge barriers to trade being introduced. Boris Johnson may shrug off the risks, but it is working people who would be left worst off from this hardest of hard Brexits.

“And the idea that our entire Brexit strategy should be kept secret in a draw in David Davis’ desk – while he denies the right to remain for EU citizens – is laughable.

“Their comments have shown why MPs have to pass the two amendments which return to the House of Commons this week, on protecting the rights of EU citizens, and on giving MPs a final vote on the Brexit deal.” 

/ends


Labour MPs call for party to back Single Market membership

The Labour Party must support continued UK membership of the Single Market, a group of Labour MPs said today in a letter to the Observer.

The group of 29 MPs, in an open letter organised by Chuka Umunna MP, say that the Government’s intention to pull Britain out of the Single Market “will mean higher costs for businesses, fewer jobs, and higher prices in the shops.”

Instead, they say: “The Labour Party to provide leadership and direction as we go forward.  It is crucial that we reject the argument that Brexit must mean a trading arrangement that makes the British people poorer. Instead, Labour must stand unambiguously for a deal that protects peoples’ jobs and livelihoods and enhances their life chances; not a hard Brexit that could take our economy off a cliff whilst making working people worse off. This requires our party to be full-throated in its defence of Britain’s membership of the Single Market.”

“It is the basic responsibility of the Labour Party to mount the strongest possible opposition to Theresa May's Government and fight for a Brexit deal that respects the will of the British people but ensures that they will not be made substantially worse off,” they say.

Commenting, Chuka Umunna MP, Chair of Vote Leave Watch, said:

“The Tories think they can get away with breaking manifesto commitments as evidenced by their brazen breach of trust over National Insurance this week. In their 2015 manifesto the Tories made an unconditional commitment to ‘safeguard British interests in the Single Market’ which is vital to protecting people’s jobs and livelihoods. We must provide a strong opposition to the Theresa May’s pursuit of a ‘hard Brexit’ and not allow them to run away from this pledge. Campaigning for Single Market membership is vital.”

/ends

Read more

Umunna – Government’s failure to provide £350m a week for the NHS a kick in the teeth for voters

Commenting on the Budget today, Chuka Umunna MP, Chair of Vote Leave Watch, said:

“Vote Leave campaigners in Government promised to spend £350 million more a week on our NHS. The Chancellor in his budget refused even to give it this amount a year.

“Millions of people voted for Brexit in good faith to increase funding for our NHS. The Government’s refusal to do so is a kick in the teeth for those voters, and for everyone who depends on an NHS which has been starved of cash in recent years.

“If Brexit means Brexit, it must mean the £350m a week that Leave campaigners promised.”

/ends


Use £350 million a week to double A&E funding, say Vote Leave Watch MPs

Just £52 million of the £350 million a week promised for the NHS by Leave campaigners could double the A&E budget; enough to overcome the crisis facing accident and emergency care in England.

Vote Leave Watch MPs from Labour and the Liberal Democrats say today that the Government should commit to the promise made by five of its cabinet ministers – Boris Johnson, Liam Fox, Priti Patel, Andrea Leadsom and Chris Grayling – to spend an extra £350 million a week on the NHS after Brexit.

New figures from the House of Commons Library show that the cost of A&E and urgent care for the NHS in the most recent financial year was £2.7bn. Doubling this would cost £52 million a week, or just 15 per cent of the £350 million a week promised by the Leavers. This would still leave £298 million a week to be spent on other parts of the NHS, such as GP services, social care, and mental health.

It comes as the House of Commons voted down an amendment to the Article 50 legislation which would have required the Government to publish analysis of the impact of Brexit on health spending. The amendment, which was put down by Chuka Umunna MP and supported by Labour, Liberal Democrat and Green MPs, was opposed by every pro-Leave Conservative MP; including all those who had made the £350m pledge themselves.

The NHS has been undergoing one of its worst crises in recent history this winter. More patients spent over four hours in A&E this January than in any month for 13 years, while leaked documents suggest as many as one in six A&E departments could be closed or downgraded by 2021 in order to save money.

Commenting, Chuka Umunna MP, Chair of Vote Leave Watch, said:

“After seven years of incompetent Tory Government, our NHS has lurched from crisis to crisis. Ministers talk about efficiencies and reorganisations, but all the experts agree that there is no running away from the fact that it needs more money.

“To overcome the problems the NHS is facing during winter, the Government must use the money promised by Leave campaigners to give A&E services the boost they need. Doubling the A&E budget would cost only £52 million a week – a fraction of the amount they promised.

“Boris Johnson and his friends need to show us the money – or else admit to the British people that they spent the referendum campaign lying about their intention to increase NHS funding.”

Norman Lamb MP, Patron of Vote Leave Watch and Liberal Democrat Health Spokesperson, said:

"The NHS is currently undergoing its worst winter crisis for years. There are many causes, such as a shortage of GPs and a lack of decent community social care. But it is accident and emergency services that are bearing the brunt, and desperately need new investment.

“Five members of the current cabinet spent the referendum campaign in a big red bus promising to spend £350 million more a week on the NHS.

“They need to keep their promise and give our NHS the funding it needs to overcome the pressure it is under.”

/ends

Read more

Umunna – Leave MPs should hang their heads in shame for voting against £350m amendment

Tonight, Parliament voted against New Clause 11 of the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill, which would have forced the Government to publish analysis on the impact of Brexit on health spending.

Pro-Leave Conservative MPs have therefore refused to allow any transparency on the pledge Vote Leave made to spend £350 million more a week on the National Health Service. The amendment put down by Chuka Umunna MP, the Chair of Vote Leave Watch, and supported by MPs from across the opposition parties.

Commenting, Chuka Umunna MP, Chair of Vote Leave Watch, said:

"Tory MPs who campaigned to leave the European Union should hang their heads in shame for voting this amendment down. For them to promise £350 million more a week for the NHS, and then turn round and oppose an amendment that would have set out how they will deliver their pledge is utterly shameless and disgraceful.

"Voters can now see very well that pro-Leave Tories made that pledge cynically, without ever thinking about how it might be achieved.

"Many people voted for Brexit because they believed, in good faith, the pledge painted down the side of Vote Leave's big red bus. If the Government do not keep the promise made by so many of their leading members, they will face deep and justified public anger."

/ends


Umunna – Pro-Leave MPs must back £350m for the NHS amendment

MPs will today debate an amendment to the Article 50 Bill that will force the Government to look into whether it can spend £350 million more a week on the NHS as Vote Leave promised.

The Deputy Speaker has today chosen New Clause 11 of the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill to be debated this afternoon, among a number of other amendments dealing with impact assessments.

The amendment, if passed, would require the Prime Minister to prepare and publish a report on the effect of the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the EU on national finances, including the impact on health spending, before she could trigger Article 50 to begin the Brexit process.

The amendment was tabled by Chuka Umunna MP, the Chair of Vote Leave Watch, and is supported by MPs from Labour, the Liberal Democrats and the Green Party. It is expected to be debated in the House of Commons from 5pm today.

Commenting, Chuka Umunna MP, Chair of Vote Leave Watch, said:

“I’m glad our amendment has been selected for debate in the House, and I would urge MPs from all parties to get behind it and give our NHS the £350 million extra a week that Vote Leave promised – especially those who were part of the Vote Leave campaign.

“Leave campaigners made an explicit promise, and it will be a gross betrayal of voters, patients and NHS staff if they do not deliver.

“They should vote for our amendment and deliver clarity over the pledge they drove around promoting in a big red bus throughout the referendum campaign.”

/ends


Umunna – NHS crisis shows MPs must back £350 million funding increase for the NHS

The crisis facing our NHS was confirmed today, as it emerged that as many as 33 accident and emergency departments face downgrading or closure, and as new figures showed that nine out of ten hospital trusts reached unsafe levels of overcrowding this winter.

This confirms how badly our NHS needs the £350 million a week cash injection promised by Leave campaigners during the EU referendum.

MPs from Labour, the Liberal Democrats and the Greens are supporting an amendment to the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill, put down by Chuka Umunna MP, that would force the Government to publish analysis on the impact of Brexit on health spending before triggering Article 50.

Commenting, Chuka Umunna MP, Chair of Vote Leave Watch, said:

"The Government is sticking its head in the stand refusing to face up to the NHS crisis of their making, talking about the trivial sums spent on treating non-UK nationals while lining up dozens of A&E services for closure, with nine out of ten hospitals suffering from an unsafe level of overcrowding.

"What our NHS needs is serious investment after seven years of Tory underfunding. That means sticking to the promise made by cabinet ministers like Boris Johnson to spend £350 million more a week on our National Health Service.

"Pro-Leave Tory MPs should line up in support of our cross-party amendment to the Article 50 Bill, which would force the Government to set out the impact of Brexit on the health budget.

"They made a pledge to the British people, and if Brexit does really mean Brexit, then they should stick to the pledge to spend £350 million extra per week on the NHS that was plastered on that big red bus."

/ends

Read more

Umunna challenges Gove to back £350m amendment to the Article 50 Bill

Chuka Umunna MP has today challenged Michael Gove to support an amendment to the Article 50 Bill that would require the Government to publish analysis of the impact of Brexit on health spending before triggering Article 50.

Mr Umunna, the Chair of the Vote Leave Watch campaign, says in his letter that Mr Gove and other Leave campaign MPs “should have no hesitation” in voting for the amendment, which would make clear whether or not the £350 million a week boost in NHS spending they promised can be delivered after Brexit.

The amendment to the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill has the support of 52 MPs – more than any other. They include former Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, Green Party co-leader Caroline Lucas, and former Labour leadership contender Owen Smith.

In the letter, Chuka Umunna MP says:

“I appreciate that you are no longer in Government. But as a backbencher with an apparently sincere wish to boost the resources available for our NHS, I cannot understand why you could not back this amendment.

“Many of those who voted Leave, in part on the basis that extra monies would be put into the NHS, will consider the failure to make good on the Vote Leave NHS pledge to be a gross betrayal. So you can join me and dozens of other MPs from Labour, the Liberal Democrats and the Greens by adding your name to the amendment to show you intend to make good on your promise. If you fail to do so, it will simply confirm to the British people the hollow cynicism of your promises about our National Health Service."

Commenting, Norman Lamb MP, Patron of Vote Leave Watch and former Minister of State for Health, said:

“Liberal Democrats have come together with Labour and Green MPs to force the Government to come clean about whether or not Brexit will leave £350 million a week more to be spent on the NHS, as the Vote Leave campaign promised.

“There is no reason whatsoever why Vote Leave MPs like Michael Gove shouldn’t join them – unless, that is, they are scared of being shown up for misleading the British public during the referendum.

“Our NHS is in dire need of extra funding, and all MPs, Remain or Leave, should get behind that.”

/ends

Read more

52 MPs support Article 50 amendment calling for £350m NHS pledge to be kept

52 MPs from Labour, the Liberal Democrats and the Green Party are backing an amendment to the Article 50 Bill that would force the Government to publish a report on the impact of Brexit on health spending – putting pressure on Leave campaigners in Government who promise that leaving would mean £350 million more a week being spent on the National Health Service.

The amendment, added to the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal Bill), was put down by Chuka Umunna, the Chair of Vote Leave Watch. Senior MPs who have signed it include former Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, Green Party co-leader Caroline Lucas, and former Labour leadership contender Owen Smith. Looking at signatories on the order paper, it is the best-supported amendment of any that have been added to the bill.

The amendment, were it to be selected for debate today and then passed by the House of Commons, would make the Prime Minister produce a report on the impact of Brexit on the public finances, and especially health spending, before she could trigger Article 50.

Five current members of the Cabinet – Boris Johnson, Liam Fox, Priti Patel, Chris Grayling, and Andrea Leadsom – promise during the EU referendum campaign that Brexit would free up £350 million a week to be spent on our National Health Service.

Commenting, Chuka Umunna MP, Chair of Vote Leave Watch, said:

“Vote Leave campaigners like Boris Johnson looked the electorate in the eye and stood in front of their big red bus next to their pledge that Brexit would mean £350 million more a week for our National Health Service. This amendment is designed to ensure that they cannot run away from that pledge without scrutiny and debate.

“This is important. Many millions of people believed, in good faith, the promise made by Vote Leave. If this promise will not be kept – which will be considered a gross betrayal – it is vital those voters find out what will happen before we trigger Article 50, rather than after.

“I would urge MPs – including those who campaigned to leave – to vote for it, should it be called, and give people clarity about what Brexit will really mean for our NHS.”

/ends

Read more

MPs to amend Article 50 legislation to call for clarity on £350 million promise

MPs from Labour and the other opposition parties have added their names to an amendment to the Article 50 Bill to force the Prime Minister to publish plans on how she will make good on the pledge to increase spending on the NHS by £350million per week once Britain leaves the EU.

During the EU referendum campaign, Vote Leave - including five current cabinet ministers – pledged to spend an extra £350 million a week on the NHS once Britain leaves the EU.  The amendment - which the clerks to the House of Commons have accepted as being within the scope of the Bill - if called and then passed, will force the Government to make clear whether this pledge will be delivered after Brexit or whether leading Leave campaigners like Boris Johnson are set to break their promise to the British people.

The amendment has been put down by Chuka Umunna MP, Chair of Vote Leave Watch, and is supported by 40 MPs from Labour and other opposition parties, including 10 former Shadow Cabinet members, former Labour leadership candidate Owen Smith, the former Shadow Health Secretary Heidi Alexander and former Scottish Secretary Ian Murray.

Last September, the Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, said that it is was right that people call on him and others to ensure the £350m pledge is kept.  But leading Vote Leave campaigner, Conservative MP Suella Fernandes, appearing on ITV1's Peston on Sunday today, said it was "dishonourable" to seek to ensure the pledge was delivered on in the Bill. It has subsequently transpired that she appeared alongside Vote Leave’s bus during the referendum.

Commenting, Chuka Umunna MP, Chair of Vote Leave Watch, said:

“The Prime Minister likes to say that Brexit means Brexit. If that is true, it has to mean that the most high-profile Leave campaign promise will be kept, and that £350 million more a week will be spent on our NHS after we leave the EU.

“The peoples’ verdict in the referendum was surely predicated on the Leave campaign’s biggest promise coming true - people will regard it as a gross betrayal if this pledge is not delivered. 

“I urge MPs from all parties, whether they voted Leave or Remain, to support this amendment. We need the Government to admit the real impact Brexit will have on NHS funding – and hold ministers like Boris Johnson to account if it is shown that they misled the public.”

/ends

Read more

Umunna – May must not be given a blank cheque for a hard Brexit

Commenting on the Supreme Court’s decision earlier today, Chuka Umunna MP, Chair of Vote Leave Watch, said:

“The Supreme Court has declared today that the peoples’ voice through Parliament is sovereign – which is exactly what those who campaigned to Leave the European Union said they wanted. Let’s hope we hear no more from them about ‘enemies of the people.’

“The judges have done their job, and their role as public servants who interpret the law should be respected.

“There is a majority in Parliament to reflect the referendum result by voting for Article 50 to begin Brexit. But what matters now is what kind of Brexit deal we get – for which the referendum result did not contain any kind of mandate.

“We must not give Theresa May a blank cheque to negotiate a hard, destructive Brexit that could mean fewer jobs and lower living standards for working people. She has no mandate whatsoever to negotiate a deal that would damage our trade, destabilise our economy, and turn our country into the sweatshop of Europe. If all the Prime Minister can secure is a 'bad deal', she will bear responsibility for that failure."

/ends


47 Labour MPs write to May opposing plans for a hard Brexit

46 Labour MPs have written to Theresa May condemning her intention to potentially pull Britain out of the European Union without any trade agreement having been reached, and to change Britain’s economic model in order to become more competitive should this come about.

They condemn the idea that “a bad deal for Britain is better than no deal for Britain”, saying that leaving the EU without any trade arrangements in place “could sail the UK economy onto the rocks”, with high tariffs being levied on British goods exported to the EU. They criticise the Prime Minister for putting “Britain’s prosperity below matters of internal Tory party management,” and say that she and her cabinet ministers will be responsible if they fail to get a good deal with the EU.

And they attack her threat to change Britain’s economic model, saying to do so would make the UK “the sweatshop of Europe”, as public services, workers’ rights and environmental protections would inevitably come under threat.

The signatories include former deputy leader Harriet Harman, two members of the current Labour front bench, ten former members of the shadow cabinet, and 15 MPs whose constituencies voted to leave the European Union in the referendum.

Commenting, Chuka Umunna MP, Chair of Vote Leave Watch, said:

"Personally, as a democrat and having agreed to the rules under which the referendum was fought, I would find it hard to vote against triggering Article 50. But the content of the Brexit deal is a different matter – I am not prepared to give the Tories a blank cheque to make life harder for middle and lower income households in my constituency, a sentiment which is shared across the House of Commons.

"The Tories think they can avoid responsibility if they fail to get a good deal in these Brexit negotiations, and have given notice they will use it as an excuse to turn Britain into the sweatshop of Europe and a giant tax haven for the multinationals and the super-rich. If they do so, Labour MPs will fight them tooth and nail to protect the interests of working people, which is what our party was set up to do."

/ends

Read more

Umunna – May should keep the Leave campaign’s promise and protect our economy during Brexit

Commenting on Theresa May’s speech today, Chuka Umunna MP, Chair of Vote Leave Watch, said:

"If Brexit means anything, it means continuing to trade on current terms with the EU, and doing nothing that will cost jobs and growth - for that is what Leave campaigners promised.

"Now the Prime Minister is giving up Single Market membership before negotiations have even begun, and has not ruled out the nightmare scenario of no deal being done, which would mean Britain falling on to WTO rules in our trade with the EU. This would increase tariffs, cut jobs, and lead to higher inflation.

"The Prime Minister rightly committed to protecting and enhancing workers' rights. But her own Chancellor is raising the spectre of cutting taxes, junking workers' rights and helping the top 1 per cent in an attempt to undercut the EU after Brexit. This would be no future for working people, and it should be resisted.

"We need a Brexit that does what the Leave campaign promised – keeping Britain in the European Single Market and protecting our economy, while delivering reforms to immigration that the voters want."

/ends


New research reveals dangers to civil service of failing to guarantee rights of EU citizens

The Government has no idea how many citizens of EU countries work for it, though the real number is likely to be in the thousands, and it must therefore guarantee the right of EU citizens to remain in Britain after Brexit, Vote Leave Watch says today.

New figures show that nearly 1,000 civil servants who are EU nationals are employed by just four Government departments – with the true figure likely to be much higher, as the large majority of departments do not know how many EU nationals work for them.

The Government has so far refused to give EU nationals already legally resident in Britain the right to remain – despite the fact that this was promised by Leave campaigners like Boris Johnson – and has stated that it sees them as “one of our main cards” in negotiations with the EU.

Chuka Umunna MP, the Chair of Vote Leave Watch, put down parliamentary questions to all Government departments. Only four – the Department for Business, Enterprise and Industrial Strategy; the Department for Communities and Local Government; the Department of Health; and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office – had even partial figures for the number of EU nationals working for them. They named a combined total of 968 staff who are from EU member states other than the UK. However, the true figure is likely to be considerable higher, as not all staff in these departments have declared a nationality. The Department of Health has by far the most EU nationals in its staff, with 816.

Extrapolated across all Government departments, it is clear that thousands of EU citizens work in the civil service. The fact that most departments have no idea how many EU citizens work in them also demonstrates the futility of trying to force employers to provide the same data, as advocated by Amber Rudd at Conservative Party conference.

Commenting, Chuka Umunna MP, Chair of Vote Leave Watch, said:

“It’s extraordinary that the Government has still not guaranteed the rights of EU citizens to stay in Britain, when our Government machinery is so dependent on EU nationals to keep it running.

“And their plans to force firms to account for all of their European workers appear even more laughable when it emerges that most Government departments have no idea how many EU nationals work for them, let alone for anyone else.

“The Government needs to stop thinking of EU citizens as cards in a game of poker, and start acknowledging the vital work they do. They must start by keeping the Leave campaign’s promise, and giving them the right to remain in the UK.”

Dave Penman, General Secretary of the FDA, said:

"Like many organisations in the UK we benefit hugely from the skills and experience of individuals from all over the world, including thousands of EU nationals who are part of our world-class civil service.  In the months and years ahead, their skills as well as the knowledge and experience of UK civil servants who currently work directly with EU institutions will be invaluable in the delivery of Brexit.

"Uncertainty over their future residency or job security not only has implications for those individuals, but also the future delivery of public services. The FDA is therefore repeating its call for the Government to give civil servants and the public the necessary assurances, so they can continue to deliver the Government’s objectives with the confidence needed to make this a success.”

Lord Hannay, former UK Permanent Representative to the European Union, said:

"Citizens from other EU member states working here in our civil service are an often-overlooked part of the wider equation of how to treat people working outside their own country after Brexit.

“It would be an act of self- harm and ingratitude if we were to put their jobs at risk. So why cannot the government say forthwith that their positions will be protected?"

/ends


Umunna – Leave campaigners are chomping at the bit to undermine rights at work

Scrapping workers’ rights that are enshrined in EU law should be “in the mix” when Britain leaves the European Union, a prominent pro-Brexit MP has said. This is despite the Prime Minister’s pledge that “withdrawal from the EU will not lead to a diminution of employment rights.”

Asked on the BBC’s Daily Politics show today if the Government should “roll back limits on working hours and other employment rights”, Suella Fernandes MP said “it needs to be considered in the mix.” This comes two weeks after pro-Leave former cabinet ministers Michael Gove and John Whittingdale urged British business to lobby for cuts to employment rights guaranteed by EU law.

Commenting, Chuka Umunna MP, Chair of Vote Leave Watch, said:

“Despite their promises during the campaign, right-wing Leave campaigners are chomping at the bit to use Brexit to undermine vital rights at work.

“The EU has given us protections against discrimination in the workplace, the right to equal treatment for agency workers, more holiday pay and longer rest breaks, as well as much else. For these rights to be undermined by Brexit would be a real blow for working people.

“The Prime Minister needs to keep her promise, and tell her MPs she will have no truck with those who are trying to use Brexit to slash employment rights.”

/ends

Read more

Umunna – Theresa May must stand up for the rights of Polish citizens living in Britain

Commenting on Theresa May’s meeting with the Polish Prime Minister, Chuka Umunna MP, Chair of Vote Leave Watch, said:

"Despite Theresa May's warm words for Polish people living in our country, she still failed to guarantee their right to remain in Britain. This is shameful.

"Polish citizens in the UK contribute to our country, pay their taxes, and work in our National Health Service. They do not deserve to be treated this way by a Government that describes them as ‘one of our main cards.’

"The Prime Minister needs to listen to the thousands of people across our country, Leavers and Remainers alike, who want her to do the decent thing and guarantee the right of EU citizens already here to stay."

/ends

Read more

Umunna - Michael Gove must accept Brexit has made our NHS worse off

Commenting on Michael Gove's 'promise' to spend £200 million more a week on the NHS, Chuka Umunna MP, Chair of Vote Leave Watch, said:

"Michael Gove told us to ignore the experts before the referendum, and now he tells us to sit up and look at the OBR figures.

"If he has started listening to the experts again, he must accept the OBR's judgement that the Brexit cause he championed will hit growth, flatten wages, increase inflation, increase unemployment, and leave a £57.8bn black hole in our public finances.

"To add insult to injury, he has even cut Vote Leave's pledge of extra funding for the NHS from £150 million a week to £200 million a week in the hope that no one would notice. £350 million was on the bus, and £350 million is what the British people expect."

/ends

Read more

Umunna – Government’s refusal to commit to £350 million promise is a betrayal of voters

Commenting on the Autumn Statement, Chuka Umunna MP, Chair of Vote Leave Watch, said:

“Vote Leave campaigners promised a Brexit vote would herald a new dawn for our economy. But we have been told by the independent OBR that it will bring lower growth, increased unemployment, lower wages and a flight of investment, harming jobs and wages.

“So what they called Project Fear appears to be turning into Project Fact, and the hardworking people of this country will pay the price.

“To add insult to injury, the Government today had the opportunity to spell out how they will make real the pledge – made by Cabinet ministers like Boris Johnson, Liam Fox and others – to spend £350 million more a week on our NHS; but there was no sign whatsoever of that cash in this Autumn Statement. 

“If Brexit really does mean Brexit, it must mean a windfall for the NHS – people will not allow Leave campaigners in government to walk away from this.”


Lamb – Chancellor must use the Autumn Statement to deliver £350 million a week NHS promise

The Chancellor must use his Autumn Statement tomorrow to commit to spending £350 million more a week on the NHS as his Vote Leave colleagues promised, Norman Lamb MP, Patron of Vote Leave Watch, says today.

During the EU referendum campaign, five members of the current cabinet promised to spend £350 million more a week on the NHS: Boris Johnson, Liam Fox, Andrea Leadsom, Priti Patel, and Chris Grayling.

Vote Leave Watch’s #ShowUsTheMoney campaign has been calling on Philip Hammond to use the Autumn Statement to commit to keeping this pledge. The call has been supported by over 40 MPs from Labour, the Liberal Democrats and the Greens; medical professionals; and over 5,000 people ordinary people.

Commenting, Norman Lamb MP, Patron of Vote Leave Watch, said:

“The British people were promised a £350 million funding boost for our NHS, and that’s what they should have. If Brexit really does mean Brexit, then it must mean that this key Vote Leave promise is delivered upon – especially since the key architects of that campaign are now in the Cabinet.

“The Chancellor needs to respect the will of the British people, give our NHS the extra funding it desperately needs, and show us the money.”

 /ends


Umunna - Ukip's behaviour on EU funding is the "height of hypocrisy"

"Nigel Farage should stop posing with Donald Trump in a golden life and start putting his party's finances in order.

"Criticising EU spending while breaking the rules to fund your election campaign is the height of hypocrisy.

"Ukip need to pay this money back and apologise to the millions of British taxpayers whose money they misspent on misleading propaganda."

/ends


London MPs call on Government to keep Vote Leave’s promise on NHS funding

Ten senior London MPs from Labour and the Liberal Democrats have called on the Government to keep the promise of the Vote Leave campaign to spend £350 million a week (amounting to £18.2bn a year) on the NHS, over and above current spending commitments.

They point to analysis from the House of Commons Library which shows that, if the money promised by Vote Leave were distributed in line with current health spending, the NHS in London would be in line for a cash injection of £1.575bn a year over and above what is currently planned.

The MPs are backing Vote Leave Watch’s #ShowUsTheMoney campaign, which is calling on the Chancellor to commit to this promise in his Autumn Statement on November 23rd. They are Chuka Umunna, the Chair of Vote Leave Watch; Liberal Democrat Tom Brake, Patron of Vote Leave Watch; and eight other Labour MPs: Rushanara Ali, Dawn Butler, Stella Creasy, Neil Coyle, Mike Gapes, Margaret Hodge, Seema Malhotra, and West Streeting.

Five members of the current cabinet made the £350 million pledge during the referendum campaign: Boris Johnson, Liam Fox, Priti Patel, Andrea Leadsom, and Chris Grayling.

In an open letter to Philip Hammond, the ten MPs say:

“Dear Chancellor

“We believe in a London with an excellent, well-funded public sector that provides a world-class service to our city, pays its hard-working staff well, and treats them with respect.

“This was the vision of Britain promised by your cabinet colleagues who campaigned for a Leave vote in the EU referendum. Vote Leave promised that, if Britain left the EU, £350m a week extra would be spent on the NHS. They travelled the country in a bus which said: “We send the EU £350 million a week let’s fund our NHS instead.” In the press conference suite at their London headquarters, a large sign read: “Let’s give our NHS the £350 million the EU takes every week.”

“The Foreign Secretary, the Secretary of State for International Trade, the Secretary of State for the Environment, the Secretary of State for Transport and the Secretary of State for International Development all made this commitment.

“In your speech to Conservative Party Conference earlier this month, you said that the message of the referendum result had been “received, loud and clear” by the government. Members of the government talk of the “mandate” from the voters for Brexit.

“We accept the verdict of the British people. Yet if this mandate is to mean anything, it must include the single most visible promise of the Leave campaign – spending £350 million more a week on the NHS.

“In just under a month, you will present your first Autumn Statement. We are calling on you to commit to giving London its share, which the House of Commons Library has calculated to be £1.575bn, as soon as this money becomes available by leaving the European Union. This additional funding must be over and above the amount that is currently planned to be spent on the National Health Service.

“Anything else will be a betrayal of the wishes of the people of London. We challenge you, when you stand up in the House of Commons on November 23rd, to show us the money and commit to Vote Leave’s promise; or explain why you cannot, and why your cabinet colleagues so cynically misled the people of London.”

Commenting, Chuka Umunna MP, Chair of Vote Leave Watch, said:

“I set up Vote Leave Watch to hold Leave campaigners to account for the promises they made in the referendum campaign, like spending £350 million more a week on the NHS.

“With the Government dominated by Vote Leavers like Boris and Liam Fox, it is vital they keep their promise to the people of London and show us the money.”

/ends


Welsh MPs call on Government to keep Vote Leave’s promise on NHS funding

Five senior Welsh MPs have called on the UK Government to keep the promise of the Vote Leave campaign to spend £350 million a week (amounting to £18.2bn a year) on the NHS, over and above current spending commitments.

They point to analysis from the House of Commons Library which shows that, if the money promised by Vote Leave were distributed in line with current health spending, the Welsh NHS would be in line for a cash injection of £880 million a year over and above what is currently planned.

Chris Evans, David Hanson, Carolyn Harris, Stephen Kinnock and Owen Smith are backing Vote Leave Watch’s #ShowUsTheMoney campaign, which is calling on the Chancellor to commit to this promise in his Autumn Statement.

Five members of the current cabinet made the £350 million pledge during the referendum campaign, with International Trade Secretary Liam Fox making a specific promise to spend more money on the Welsh NHS. Mr Fox said: “Instead of handing over £350m a week to Brussels we should be spending that money on local priorities like the Welsh NHS, which has faced a billion pounds of cuts by the Welsh Labour Government since 2011.”

In an open letter to Philip Hammond, the five MPs say:

“Dear Chancellor

“We believe in a Wales with an excellent, well-funded public sector that provides a world-class service to the people of Wales, pays its hard-working staff well, and treats them with respect.

“This was the vision of Britain promised by your cabinet colleagues who campaigned for a Leave vote in the EU referendum. Vote Leave promised that, if Britain left the EU, £350m a week extra would be spent on the NHS. They travelled the country in a bus which said: “We send the EU £350 million a week let’s fund our NHS instead.” In the press conference suite at their London headquarters, a large sign read: “Let’s give our NHS the £350 million the EU takes every week.”

“The Foreign Secretary, the Secretary of State for International Trade, the Secretary of State for the Environment, the Secretary of State for Transport and the Secretary of State for International Development all appeared in photo opportunities featuring these messages. Liam Fox made a specific commitment to the Welsh people to spend more money on the Welsh NHS in the event of Brexit. They made a very clear promise to the people of Wales, and a very large number of people believed this promise.

“In your speech to Conservative Party Conference earlier this month, you said that the message of the referendum result had been “received, loud and clear” by the government. Members of the government talk of the “mandate” from the voters for Brexit.

“We accept the verdict of the British people. Yet if this mandate is to mean anything, it must include the single most visible promise of the Leave campaign – spending £350 million more a week on the NHS.

“In just under a month, you will present your first Autumn Statement. We are calling on you to commit to giving Wales its share, which the House of Commons Library has calculated to be £880 million, as soon as this money becomes available by leaving the European Union. This additional funding must be over and above the amount that is currently planned to be spent on the National Health Service.

“Anything else will be a betrayal of the wishes of the people of Wales. We challenge you, when you stand up in the House of Commons on November 23rd, to show us the money and commit to Vote Leave’s promise; or explain why you cannot, and why your cabinet colleagues so cynically misled the British people.”

Commenting, Chuka Umunna MP, Chair of Vote Leave Watch, said:

“I set up Vote Leave Watch to hold Leave campaigners to account for the promises they made in the referendum campaign, like spending £350 million more a week on the NHS.

“With the Government dominated by Vote Leavers like Boris and Liam Fox, it is vital they keep their promise to the people of Wales and show us the money.”

/ends


Health campaigners and politicians call on Government to keep Vote Leave’s junior doctors pledge

Politicians and health experts are calling on the Government to honour Vote Leave’s promise to end the junior doctors dispute by increasing their pay.

Vote Leave Watch and the Healthier In campaign are backing the #ShowUsTheMoney campaign, calling on the Chancellor to commit to Vote Leave’s promises on the NHS by the Autumn Statement on November 23rd.

Vote Leave promised during the referendum campaign to restore automatic annual pay progression for junior doctors, at a cost of almost £1bn.

Commenting, Norman Lamb MP, former Minister of State for Health and Patron of Vote Leave Watch, said:

“People who work in and depend upon our National Health Service will rightly expect this Vote Leave promise to be kept. Especially when so many of Vote Leave’s senior figures are now members of the Government.

“The Chancellor has a golden opportunity at his Autumn Statement to keep the promises they made to the British people.”

Chuka Umunna MP, Chair of Vote Leave Watch, said:

“The amazing junior doctors who work so hard in our NHS deserve to be properly paid. Reaching a settlement on pay would be a huge boost for them, and would allow everyone to focus on serving patients instead of this bitter industrial dispute.

“Vote Leave boasted the cost of this would just be a fraction of the money we pay to the EU. So Leavers in Government need to make sure this pledge is kept, and show us the money on November 23rd.”

Dr Mike Galsworthy of the Healthier In campaign said:

“Vote Leave spokespeople who were rightly wringing their hands over the under-funding of the NHS some months back have now gone silent. Ironically the NHS's crisis has worsened, with Brexit likely to play an exacerbating role.

“The state of the NHS is more of a 'mandate' than immigration or any other issue as Remain voters and Leave voters can readily agree on it. The NHS is clearly underfunded relative to other countries and to need. We call on Vote Leave to show that their intentions, at least, were genuine by joining us in petitioning for adequate NHS funding.”

Professor Martin McKee of the Healthier In campaign said:

“Vote Leave could not have been clearer. They promised that leaving the EU would free up £350 million for the NHS. Now that many of them are in government, and at a time when the NHS is really struggling, we must hold them to their commitments.”

/ends

Read more

Brake - Vote Leave campaigners must be held to account for misleading the public

Responding to news that the Director of Public Prosecutions is considering a complaint against Leave campaigners for misleading voters, Tom Brake MP, Patron of Vote Leave Watch, said:

 "It looks like the leaders of the Vote Leave campaign will be needing to spend some of that £350 million on lawyers' fees rather than our NHS.

 "Vote Leave went beyond the normal bounds of political campaigning, telling blatant untruths about our contribution to the EU budget, Turkey joining the European Union, and much more.

"It's about time they were held to account for misleading the British people."

/ends

Read more

More senior Labour MPs back Vote Leave Watch’s #ShowUsTheMoney campaign

More senior Labour MPs have added their support to the campaign calling on the Chancellor to commit to keep Vote Leave’s promise to spend an extra £350 million a week on the NHS.

Margaret Hodge, Liz Kendall and Shabana Mahmood have joined 41 other MPs who last week launched Vote Leave Watch’s #ShowUsTheMoney campaign which calls on the Chancellor to use the Autumn Statement on November 23rd to match the promise made by his Vote Leave colleagues like Boris Johnson.

Dame Margaret Hodge, MP for Barking, said:

“Our NHS is facing an enormous funding crisis because of the failures and half-truths promulgated by the incompetent Tory Government over the last six years. Vote Leave’s £350m pledge would change this overnight.

“The Government must now demonstrate that they mean what they say and tell us in the Autumn Statement that they will give the NHS the extra money it desperately needs.”

Liz Kendall, MP for Leicester West, said:

“Boris Johnson and other Leave campaigners need to learn that a promise isn’t just for a referendum campaign – it’s for life.

“Now that he and other Brexiteers are in Government, they have a duty to address the funding crisis in our NHS by keeping their £350 million funding promise.”

Shabana Mahmood, MP for Birmingham Ladywood, said:

“People in Birmingham and across Britain voted to leave the EU in part because they believed Vote Leave’s claims that it would create a funding boost for our NHS.

“Now it’s time for this Vote Leave-dominated Government to show us the money and give our NHS the £350 million more a week they promised.”

Chuka Umunna MP, Chair of Vote Leave Watch, said:

“It’s great to see three highly-respected Labour colleagues add their support to our #ShowUsTheMoney campaign.

“The Prime Minister is fond of saying that Brexit means Brexit. So Brexit must mean an extra £350 million a week for the NHS, as her cabinet colleagues like Boris Johnson claimed repeatedly.

“We will spend the coming weeks trying to get the Chancellor to commit to this Vote Leave promise.”

/ends

Read more

Umunna – Health Select Committee letter shows NHS desperately needs the £350m promised by Brexiteers

Commenting on the letter by the Health Affairs Select Committee to the Government today, Chuka Umunna MP, Chair of Vote Leave Watch, said:

“This letter shows the idea that our NHS is being fully funded is simply untrue. More than ever before, it is clear that the Health Service is in desperate need of the extra £350 million per week funding boost promised by Leave campaigners now in the cabinet during the EU referendum.

“The Autumn Statement later this month will give the Government the chance to commit to this vital funding. If they do not, it will be clear that Vote Leave ministers like Boris Johnson misled the public throughout the referendum campaign.”

Separately, commenting on reports that Mark Carney will serve his full term as Governor of the Bank of England, Mr Umunna said:

“Mark Carney has done an excellent job steering our economy through choppy waters created by the irresponsibility of Brexit campaigners.

“Leave campaigners should pipe down with their attacks on Mr Carney. They have done enough damage to our economy already.”


Progressive MPs write to Hammond calling on him to honour £350m pledge

Today, 41 progressive MPs from Labour, the Liberal Democrats and the Green Party are writing to Philip Hammond, calling on him to commit to spend the £350 million a week on the NHS promised by Vote Leave campaigners at the Autumn Statement in a month’s time. They say this funding must be over and above what is already promised to the NHS.  

The letter has been organised by the Vote Leave Watch campaign, which aims to hold Leavers to account for the promises they made during the referendum campaign. The #ShowUsTheMoney campaign will run over the next month to put pressure on the Government to commit to the £350 million promise.

The MPs point to the fact that Liam Fox, Chris Grayling, Boris Johnson, Andrea Leadsom and Priti Patel were all members of the Vote Leave campaign, for which the £350 million pledge was a key plank of their manifesto for Brexit.

They say:

“In your speech to Conservative Party Conference earlier this month, you said that the message of the referendum result had been “received, loud and clear” by the government. Members of the government talk of the “mandate” from the voters for Brexit.

“We accept the verdict of the British people. Yet it is clear that, if this mandate is to mean anything, it must include the single most visible promise of the Leave campaign – spending £350 million more a week on the NHS.

“In just under a month, you will present your first Autumn Statement. We are calling on you to commit to increase national NHS spending by £350 million a week – that is £18.2 billion a year – as soon as this money becomes available by leaving the European Union. This additional funding must be over and above the amount that is currently planned to be spent on the National Health Service.

“Anything else will be a betrayal of the wishes of the British people. We challenge you, when you stand up in the House of Commons on November 23rd, to show us the money and commit to Vote Leave’s promise; or explain why you cannot, and why your cabinet colleagues so cynically misled the British people.” 

Commenting, Chuka Umunna MP, Chair of Vote Leave Watch, said:

“The message to Philip Hammond is loud and clear – this Brexit government will not be able to run away from the promises of Brexit campaigners.

“He has a month to work out how the Government are going to find the money to keep this promise. If he can’t I hope his pro-Leave colleagues will explain why they pulled the wool over the eyes of so many voters during the campaign.”

/ends

Read more

New research shows British peoples’ holiday rights could be threatened by Brexit

British workers could face fewer holiday breaks and less holiday pay as a result of the vote to leave the European Union, new research by the House of Commons Library has found.

This is despite the fact that the Prime Minister has promised that the government will “protect and enhance” workers’ rights, and that Leave campaign ministers pledged that Brexit would not impact on workers’ rights.

Rights such as continuing to be paid while on holiday, taking regular overtime into account when calculating holiday pay, and being paid in lieu of holiday not taken due to sickness, were delivered by judgments of EU courts and could be challenged in British courts after Brexit.

MPs and union leaders from Vote Leave Watch are calling on Theresa May to keep her promises to British workers and enshrine these court decisions in British law before we exit the EU.

Commenting, Emma Reynolds MP, Patron of Vote Leave Watch, said:

“The Prime Minister has talked the talk on protecting workers’ rights; now it’s time for her to walk the walk.

“Her fine words at Tory party conference will mean nothing unless she takes steps to stop unscrupulous employers from challenging hard-won rights in British courts once we leave the EU.

“One Act of Parliament is all it would take to enshrine these rights in statute law. And she would have my total support in doing so.”

Chuka Umunna MP, Chair of Vote Leave Watch, said:

“Vote Leavers like Boris, Andrea Leadsom and David Davis promised repeatedly that our rights at work, such as holiday pay, would be unaffected by a vote for Brexit.

“But if businesses start challenging these rights in British courts, their promises may prove hollow. The government must legislate to keep these rights in British law.”

John Hannett, General Secretary of USDAW, said:

“I’m glad the Prime Minister has pledged to transfer EU rules on workers’ rights into British law, and her rhetoric about defending working people has been welcome.

“However, she must not allow crucial rights on holiday pay to slip through the cracks. For trade union members and workers across Britain, it is vital that she legislates to protect our holiday pay.”

/ends

Read more

Umunna - Boris Johnson was "talking nonsense" about the Single Market at the Foreign Affairs Select Committee

Commenting on Boris Johnson's appearance at the Foreign Affairs Select Committee today, Chuka Umunna MP, Chair of Vote Leave Watch, said:

"Brexiteers will not trick the British people by pretending the Single Market somehow doesn't exist. It does, and it gives British businesses totally free access to the biggest market on Earth, supporting millions of jobs.

"When Leavers like Boris claim that Britain will get a trade deal of 'greater value' than the Single Market, they are unfortunately talking nonsense. The only way for them to minimise the economic damage to Britain they dismiss so blithely is to negotiate to keep Britain in the Single Market."

/ends


Umunna – Leaked Treasury report shows leaving the Single Market would be “horrific” for public services

Commenting on leaked Treasury documents showing that a ‘Hard Brexit’ could cost the UK £66 billion a year, Chuka Umunna MP, Chair of Vote Leave Watch, said:

“These studies outline the horrific potential cost of leaving the Single Market. Behind the figures, losing £66bn a year in revenue would mean fewer doctors, nurses, teachers and police officers in Britain.

“Leave campaigners talked about extra funding for the NHS, but it’s clear that the biggest threat to the NHS budget would be a Hard Brexit that would damage the economy, reduce tax receipts, and leave less money to spend on the Health Service.

“For growth, jobs, and public services, it is vital that Britain remains a member of the Single Market.”

/ends


Cross-party MPs call on government to honour Vote Leave’s primary schools promise

MPs from across the political spectrum have today come together to call on the government to honour a promise made by the Vote Leave campaign to create 100,000 new primary school places with money saved from Britain’s contribution to the EU budget.

During the EU referendum campaign, Vote Leave promised to spend £460m on the policy, which was fronted by International Development Secretary Priti Patel.

MPs from three parties – Labour’s Chuka Umunna, Norman Lamb from the Liberal Democrats and Neil Carmichael from the Conservatives – have come together to call on the government to “show us the money” and commit to the policy.

Chuka Umunna MP, Chair of Vote Leave Watch, said:

“Months after the Brexit vote, it’s time the government shows us the money. Theresa May seems to be swallowing the Vote Leave agenda lock, stock and barrel, so why not do the same on this small pledge to parents, kids and teachers?

“If they don’t, Priti Patel and other Vote Leave ministers need to explain why they made a promise they knew to be undeliverable.”

Norman Lamb MP, Patron of Vote Leave Watch, said:

“Vote Leave spent the money from our contribution to the EU budget many times over – on schools, the NHS, tax cuts and more. The British people justifiably took these promises at face value when they voted in the referendum. Now, we need answers on why nothing more has been heard of this primary school pledge, despite its author being a member of the cabinet.

“More than enough Vote Leave promises have been broken since the referendum – now Vote Leave ministers in government need to confirm if they intend to keep this one.”

Neil Carmichael MP, Chair of the House of Commons Education Select Committee, said:

“Our primary schools need all the extra places they can get, and I am sure parents the length and breadth of Britain found Brexit attractive as they thought it would mean more school places for their children. I hope they are not disappointed.”

/ends

Read more

Lamb – New research shows “our NHS would cease to function” without EU citizens

The NHS will not be able to cope without workers from the European Union, as new figures suggest the number of EU nationals joining NHS hospitals has soared.

Around one in five nurses recruited in England 2015/16 were non-British EU nationals - up from one in 14 in 2011/12, research by the Press Association has found.

Commenting, Norman Lamb MP, Patron of Vote Leave Watch, said:

“Our NHS relies on the amazing work done by thousands of European citizens, who save lives every day up and down Britain. We should be thanking them, not indulging in an ugly demonisation of foreigners.  

“The government’s continued refusal to promise that all EU citizens currently living in Britain will be allowed to remain is both morally wrong and utterly self-defeating. It is clear today that our NHS would cease to function without them.

“Leave campaigners promised that Brexit would benefit the NHS. With their £350 million pledge abandoned, and doctors from the EU feeling unwanted, it is clear that a Hard Brexit is the greatest threat to our NHS.”

/ends

Read more

Umunna – May’s “divisive” speech failed to bring Britain together after Brexit

Responding to the Prime Minister’s speech today, Chuka Umunna MP, Chair of Vote Leave Watch, said:

"The Prime Minister had a chance today to reach out to people, whichever way they voted in the EU referendum, and craft an inclusive vision that would bring the 52% and the 48% together. She comprehensively failed to do so.

"She should have outlined a Brexit deal that would have ended free movement as we know it, while defending the rights of EU citizens living in our country and keeping Britain a full member of the Single Market.

"This was a divisive speech that will end the best aspects of our EU membership, and utterly failed to bring the country back together after Brexit."

/ends


Umunna – Fall in the value of the pound shows that Leavers have broken their promises on the economy

Responding to news that the pound has hit its lowest level in 31 years, Chuka Umunna MP, Chair of Vote Leave Watch, said:

"Leave campaigners promised that the economy would be unaffected by a vote to leave the EU. They dismissed every economic warning as 'scaremongering' or 'Project Fear'.

"Today we see how hollow their assertions were. This collapse in the value of the pound means ordinary British workers will be worse off, as prices in the shops soar and the pound in everyone's pocket is worth less.

"The Tory conference in Birmingham reveals three cabinet members responsible for Brexit – Davis, Fox and Johnson – blind to the damage Brexit is already doing to Britain. Instead of rushing to pull out of the Single Market, they should focus on limiting the damage to our economy and maintaining as many of the current benefits we enjoy as possible."

/ends


Umunna – Philip Dunne’s comments show that Leave campaigners “cruelly deceived” the British public

The government may not deliver Vote Leave’s promise to spend an extra £350 million a week on the NHS, a Health Minister has said.

Speaking to PoliticsHome, Philip Dunne said “we’ll have to see what happens”, and admitted that “circumstances might change”.

This is despite the fact that cabinet ministers including Chris Grayling, Liam Fox, Boris Johnson, Priti Patel and Andrea Leadsom all promised that leaving the EU would mean a £350 million a week cash injection for the NHS.

Commenting, Chuka Umunna MP, Chair of Vote Leave Watch, said:

“Millions of people went into polling stations 100 days ago thinking that by voting to leave the EU, they would be injecting an extra £350 million a week into the NHS. Philip Dunne’s comments show just how cruelly deceived they were.

“The truth is that Leave campaigners plucked an imaginary figure from the air and went around the country misleading the British public.

“Boris Johnson and his other Vote Leave friends in government are responsible for this. They must use their newfound positions to deliver on this promise – or take the blame for running a dishonest campaign which further undermined trust in British politics.”

/ends


Brake – Institute for Government report shows “chaos and infighting at the heart of government over Brexit”

Brexit planning could cost the government an extra £65 million a year, as it has to hire at least 500 new civil servants, a report by the Institute for Government has found.

The report – ‘Planning Brexit: Silence is not a strategy – also criticises the lack of detail provided by the government on Brexit so far, and the infighting between the three Brexit ministers and Downing Street.

Commenting, Tom Brake MP, Patron of Vote Leave Watch, said:

“This report graphically sets out the chaos and infighting at the heart of government over Brexit planning.

“There are no prizes for guessing where this £65 million is going to come from; it’ll come from the budgets for the NHS and other vital public services, which Leave campaigners promised would benefit from Brexit.

“The government needs to get its act together, be open with the public, and deliver a progressive Brexit deal which protects working people and keeps Britain an open country.”

/ends


Brake: Boris’ support for Turkish EU accession shows Vote Leave stood on “a pack of lies”

On his visit to Ankara today, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson supported Turkish accession to the European Union, saying: “Britain will remain committed to helping Turkey's path towards accession, helping Turkey in any way possible.”

During the EU referendum campaign, the Vote Leave campaign he led claimed that if Britain remained in the EU, armed Turkish criminals would come to Britain, produced an advert showing an open door to Turkish immigrants, and argued that a million Turks would come to live in Britain within the next eight years.

Mr Johnson also called on the government to veto Turkish accession.

Commenting, Tom Brake MP, Patron of Vote Leave Watch, said:

“Boris Johnson’s cynicism and dishonesty knows no bounds.

“Just months ago the campaign he ran warned that if Britain remained in the EU, gangs of marauding Turkish criminals would come here. But now he announces that he will support Turkey’s accession to the EU.

“If anything exposes the pack of lies that made up the manifesto of the Leave campaign, it is this.”

/ends


Umunna: Liam Fox has delivered “bland platitudes” at his speech to the WTO

Commenting on Liam Fox’s speech at the World Trade Organisation today, Chuka Umunna MP, Chair of Vote Leave Watch, said:

"For Liam Fox to brief the Sunday papers that he would give a major announcement, before delivering bland platitudes today, showcases the total confusion at the heart of government on this issue.

"Vote Leavers promised that Britain would rapidly sign global free trade deals, while keeping full access to the Single Market. We are yet to see any detail as to how that might be achieved."

/ends


Umunna: Britain should stay in the Single Market and reform free movement of people

Both Chuka Umunna and the Vote Leave Watch campaign fully support continued British membership of the EU Single Market, alongside serious reform of the free movement of people, Mr Umunna has clarified today.

He has called for the UK to remain a member of the Single Market repeatedly, including four times in this month alone.

Chuka Umunna MP, Chair of Vote Leave Watch, said:

The debate about Europe, the Single Market and free movement is complex, and I will be setting out my views in greater length in future.

“But I have always been totally consistent in saying that Britain must be a member of the Single Market, on which thousands of jobs and rules protecting workers’ rights rely.

“At the same time, we need an alternative to free movement as we know it. The government should aim for both in its EU negotiations.”

/ends

Read more

Slide in small business confidence shows Vote Leavers have broken their promises on the economy

Confidence amongst the UK’s small businesses has fallen into negative territory for the first time in four years, according to a new survey released tomorrow [Thursday 22 September 2016] by the Federation of Small Businesses.

The latest FSB Small Business Index, which measures confidence among small businesses, has fallen to -2.9 in the third quarter of 2016. This is the second largest year-on-year fall in confidence in the Index’s history, with the largest drop occurring in the previous quarter of 2016 (Q2). Confidence has now fallen for the last three quarters in a row.

Commenting, Chuka Umunna MP, Chair of Vote Leave Watch, said:

“Three months after the referendum was held, the economy’s Brexit cold is still getting worse.

“This is disastrous news for our whole economy. This loss of confidence – the second largest year on year fall ever – will have profound effects on jobs, investment and growth across Britain.

“Leaver champions like Boris Johnson and David Davis need to explain to the British people why warnings they dismissed out of hand are turning out to be all too true.”

/ends


EU workers are vital for our social care system, says Vote Leave Watch

Responding to warnings from charities that UK social care could fall into crisis because of post-Brexit restrictions on migrant workers, Norman Lamb MP, Patron of Vote Leave Watch, said:

"Health workers on the front line could not be clearer that our social care services depend on workers from the EU. They look after us when we grow old or fall sick, and make a valuable contribution to our country.

"So it is unbelievable that the government is still threatening the possibility that EU citizens currently living in Britain might have to go home. And it is disappointing that they are considering implementing harsh immigration restrictions on these vital workers.

"EU citizens working in our health system should be welcomed, not ostracised."

/ends


Migration Watch’s proposals are wrong, says Vote Leave Watch

Commenting on a Migration Watch report calling for immigration from the EU for workers to be cut to an annual quota of 30,000, Chuka Umunna MP, Chair of Vote Leave Watch, said:

"The referendum vote revealed serious public concerns about immigration, and it is important that politicians act to meet those concerns. Free movement in the EU as we know it was rejected in the referendum, so we should seek to change it and work towards an alternative that would be acceptable to the majority of our citizens.

“The problem with Migration Watch's proposals is that they may leave British business short of the workers they need and, for those who do come here, Migration Watch has little to say on how we improve our systems to better integrate newcomers into local communities.

"Despite the Brexit vote, Britain must continue to be an open country that welcomes talent from Europe and across the world. Turning our backs on that history of openness would leave us all poorer."

/ends


Vote Leave Watch responds to Diane James' election as Ukip leader

Responding to Diane James' election today as leader of Ukip, Tom Brake MP, Patron of Vote Leave Watch, said:

"It's just typical of Nigel Farage to crash the car and then walk away, handing the keys to someone else.

"His leadership of Ukip may be over, but the toxic legacy of division he leaves behind is not.

"Diane James is as responsible as anybody for the dishonest campaign run by the Leavers. Now she must answer the big question - whether Ukip will campaign for Leave promises like spending £350 million on the NHS to be kept, or whether they will drop it and hope the country forgets their broken promises.

/ends


Leavers should apologise for a campaign that misled the British people

Responding to Nigel Farage’s admission that the Leave campaign made “mildly irresponsible” claims during the EU referendum campaign, Tom Brake MP, Patron of Vote Leave Watch, said:

“Today, Nigel Farage finally pulled down the Leave campaign’s mask. The pledges they made were not ‘mildly irresponsible’ – they were deeply, shockingly dishonest.

“They should be ashamed at taking part in a campaign that so misled the British people. On £350 million for the NHS, the possibility of Turkey joining that EU, and immigration, their arguments were based on a pack of falsehoods from start to finish.

“Leavers in government, like Boris Johnson, now need to admit that Nigel Farage is right, and that they did make irresponsible and simply untrue claims throughout the referendum campaign.”

/ends

Read more

Davis confirms that Britain could face “destructive” WTO tariffs outside the EU

Davis confirms that Britain could face “destructive” WTO tariffs outside the EU

David Davis has today admitted that Britain could face “swingeing and destructive” tariffs on exports to the EU, should we exit without having negotiated a free trade agreement with the EU.

This would mean high tariffs on key British exports, particularly the car industry, which would face a 10 per cent tariff on its exports to the EU. This would mean businesses being hit and jobs being lost across Britain.

The admission is also in direct contradiction to what was promised by Leave campaigners during the EU referendum, all of whom – including Mr Davis – promised the British people that the UK would get a free trade agreement with the EU upon exit. Vote Leave’s website said “we will have a new UK-EU treaty based on free trade.”

Other products facing high tariff barriers would be clothing at 12 per cent and lamb at 40 per cent.

Commenting, Chuka Umunna, Chair of Vote Leave Watch, said:

“David Davis has let the cat out of the bag. Contrary to his claims during the referendum campaign, there is a real possibility that we could fall out of the EU with no trade deal, and face swingeing and destructive tariffs on key exports.

“This would mean jobs being lost and businesses foreclosing up and down our country. And once the Article 50 button is pushed, we would be only two years away from this nightmare scenario becoming the reality.

“The only guaranteed way to stop it happening is for the government to listen to businesses and trade unions, and do all it can to ensure British membership of the European Single Market.”

/ends

Read more

Vote Leave Watch responds to the launch of the Change Britain campaign

Responding to the launch of the Change Britain campaign, Chuka Umunna MP, Chair of Vote Leave Watch, said:

“It is disappointing that this Vote Leave rehash makes no mention of the totemic promises of the Leave campaign, such as spending £350 million a week more on the NHS.

“Boris Johnson and his friends in Change Britain may think they can wriggle out of these pledges, but they can’t. Already, people are seeing that the promises made by Vote Leave were built on sand.

“The government must focus on negotiating a deal with the EU that preserves the best aspects of our membership, like our place in the Single Market, rather than being swayed by an organisation made up of campaigners who made promises they are now failing to deliver.”

/ends


Umunna: Single Market membership is vital for British working people

Responding to confusion about the Labour Party's position on UK membership of the EU Single Market, Chuka Umunna MP, Chair of Vote Leave Watch, said:

"Working people the length and breadth of Britain benefit enormously from Britain's place in the European Single Market.

"It helps our companies sell without barriers to our biggest market, creating good jobs in manufacturing, technology, and other industries.

"Furthermore, the rules of the Single Market enshrine vital rights for workers like the right to equal pay, regular rest breaks, and equal treatment for agency workers.

"Labour should be fighting for Britain to stay in the Single Market, not turning a blind eye to its advantages. I hope our party clarifies its position in support of UK membership of the Single Market, and continued close engagement with Europe."

/ends


Chuka Umunna responds to Theresa May’s comments on Vote Leave promises

Theresa May has poured cold water on promises made by the Vote Leave campaign during the EU referendum, including those made by her cabinet colleagues.

In comments to the media at the G20 summit in China, the Prime Minister refused to confirm that the government will spend money saved from Britain’s contribution to the EU budget on the NHS, that it will scrap VAT on fuel bills, or that an Australian-style points based immigration system will be introduced.

She also left open the possibility that the UK will continue to pay into the EU budget after Brexit – in direct contrast to the Vote Leave campaign.

Commenting, Chuka Umunna MP, Chair of Vote Leave Watch, said:

“Boris Johnson and his Vote Leave colleagues spent the whole referendum campaign making impossible promises they knew they couldn’t keep. It’s now clear that very few of their pledges were worth the paper they were written on.

“Theresa May cannot be let off the hook either. After barely campaigning for Remain, our unelected Prime Minister now contemptuously dismisses policies like increasing spending on the NHS which people voted on in good faith and great numbers.

“Instead of parroting ‘Brexit means Brexit’ the Prime Minister should set out in detail her vision for Britain outside the EU and how she will retain as many of the benefits of our membership whilst accepting the will of the people. Waiting 50 days into her premiership to 'brainstorm' with her cabinet on all this is simply not good enough."

/ends


The British Chambers of Commerce are right: The government must allow EU citizens the right to remain in Britain

The British Chambers of Commerce are absolutely right to call for EU citizens living in Britain to be given the right to remain here, Vote Leave Watch Chair and Labour MP Chuka Umunna has said.

Mr Umunna was responding to the publication of an embargoed poll by the British Chambers of Commerce, which found that 60% of businesses surveyed think residency guarantees for EU workers would have a positive impact on their business.

The BCC, one of Britain’s biggest business lobby groups, has called on the government to give EU citizens “the right to remain in the UK, to provide much-needed certainty both for EU employees and UK employers”.

The poll also found that 41% of companies that employ EU workers say EU staff have expressed uncertainty over their future residency status, while 5% of businesses that employ EU workers have seen EU employees resign following the vote to leave the European Union, and 10% of businesses have seen their EU employees state their intention to leave the UK.

Commenting, Chuka Umunna MP, Chair of Vote Leave Watch, said:

“The BCC shows that granting EU citizens already here the right to remain in Britain is not just the right thing to do – it is also good business sense.

“Our economy depends on workers from EU countries who contribute to our country by working hard and paying their taxes. Not to mention the many European entrepreneurs who create jobs here for British people. Sending them on their way would be like shooting ourselves in the foot.

“This is the principled thing to do, as well as being pragmatic. EU citizens in Britain are our friends, colleagues, neighbours and sometimes family members. They must not be used as bargaining chips.”

/ends


Umunna: The government has nothing even approaching a plan for Brexit

Commenting on the Brexit cabinet summit at Chequers today, Chuka Umunna MP, Chair of Vote Leave Watch, said:

"It is now more than two months since the referendum was held, and many years since Vote Leave campaigners started dreaming about Brexit. Yet it is clear that the government has nothing even approaching a plan for how Britain can accomplish the huge task of leaving the EU.

"Any proposed Brexit deal will be measured against the promises of Leave campaigners in cabinet. There is no sign of the £350 million extra a week they said they would spend on the NHS, they will still not commit to give EU citizens already living in Britain the right to stay, and they refuse to preserve EU rules which protect workers' rights. The promises of Vote Leave ministers like Boris Johnson were clearly not worth the paper they were written on.

"It is vital for Britain's future that we remain open to doing business and working closely with our European partners. A progressive Brexit deal must preserve full access to European markets, full co-operation with the EU on security, and the ability to work together with Europe in fighting the scourge of climate change. For the government not to even address these issues is deeply worrying. It's clear that the Brexit ministers are in well over their heads."

/ends


Umunna calls on PM to protect British workers and keep employment rights that will fall away after Brexit

A series of vital rights which protect people at work will be lost when Britain leaves the European Union, new research by the House of Commons library has found, unless fresh domestic legislation is passed.

Vote Leave Watch Chair Chuka Umunna MP today has called on the Prime Minister to commit to pass new legislation to keep all those workers’ rights currently protected by EU law when Britain leaves the EU. He is supported by John Hannett, General Secretary of the USDAW trade union, who today joins Vote Leave Watch as a patron.

Vote Leave repeatedly promised during the EU referendum that Brexit would not lead to a reduction in rights for British workers. So Mr Umunna has commissioned the independent House of Commons library to carry out research into which employment rights currently arise due to our membership of the European Union that will fall away when we leave.

The European Communities Act 1972 provides for EU law in certain areas, including employment law, to take primacy over and be incorporated into UK domestic law. This Act would need to be repealed following the UK’s departure from the EU. However, a large component of employment law has been made by way of Regulations under section 2 of the Act, which would cease to have affect if the Act were repealed. According to the House of Commons Library, employment rights affected include:

  • the right to annual leave, and daily and weekly rest breaks under Working Time Regulations,
  • the right to equal treatment for agency workers after 12 weeks service,
  • protection against unfair dismissal upon a transfer of undertakings,
  • paid time off for health and safety representatives, and
  • regulations protecting young people at work.

British workers could also lose out on European Court judgments which have protected workers, including a recent judgment on holiday pay, while protections against discrimination could be weakened.

Furthermore, some British laws which replicate protections delivered by EU law were opposed by members of the current government, including the Prime Minister, when they were introduced. This includes the Equality Act 2010, which guarantees a swathe of protections against discrimination in the workplace. Theresa May led the opposition in parliament to the Equality Act when it passed through the House of Commons in 2009.

Today Mr Umunna, who practiced as an employment solicitor before entering parliament, has written to PM Theresa May, calling on her to confirm that the UK government will:

  • Ensure, if necessary by passing primary legislation, that all employment rights currently dependent on EU law remain in place post-Brexit;
  • Conduct an audit of all instances where decisions of the Court of Justice of the European Union have delivered further rights for British workers, and commit to ensure that the government will retain these judgments post-Brexit;
  • Make absolutely clear its full support for British legislation that delivers rights for working people also enshrined in EU law, such as the Equality Act 2010.

In his letter to Theresa May, Chuka Umunna MP says:

“You have said repeatedly that ‘Brexit means Brexit’. But you must now begin to set out what this means. You owe it to the working people of Britain to make clear that the pledges made by your cabinet colleagues to retain EU legislation on workers’ rights will be delivered.

“Anything else will be a betrayal of British workers, whether they voted to leave the EU or to remain a member. Do the right thing by the working people of Britain, and commit unequivocally to protecting the rights on which dignity at work depends.”

Commenting on the House of Commons research, Patron of Vote Leave Watch, John Hannett, General-Secretary of USDAW, said:

“Being part of the EU has protected British workers, my members among them, from discrimination, unscrupulous bosses, and the worst excesses of Tory governments.

“The Prime Minister came to office talking a good game about standing up for working people. She now has to walk the walk – and the first part of that should be guaranteeing that every single right for workers delivered by the European Union will stay in place.

“Anything less would be a betrayal of British workers, especially given the promises that were made on employment rights by members of the Vote Leave campaign. Every worker and trade unionist in Britain urgently needs clarity on this vital issue.”

/ends

Read more

Liam Fox’s confusion over UK-EU trade will damage UK business, and shows that Vote Leave ministers are breaking their promises

The announcement  by the Department for International Trade that the UK will trade with the EU under World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules after leaving the EU will hammer the British economy, and shows that Vote Leave ministers are breaking their promises to the British people.

In a press release sent out today, ‘UK export opportunities remain strong after the EU referendum’, the Department for International Trade says: “If the UK does exit the European Single Market, it will be governed by World Trade Organization (WTO) rules until any new trade deals are negotiated.” This means the UK would not negotiate a free trade agreement with the EU before exiting, but would simply fall straight back on WTO rules.

This press release has since been removed from the Department for International Trade website.

This directly contradicts what every single Vote Leave cabinet minister said during the EU referendum campaign. Liam Fox himself mocked the idea that EU countries would not want a free trade agreement with the UK. And David Davis, now Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, ridiculed the idea that the UK would trade with the EU under WTO rules, saying: “They [Germany] cannot afford the threat being levelled at Britain, so called “WTO terms”, because they would involve a 10% levy on all car imports.”

Trading with the EU under WTO rules would be catastrophic for British business. They do not cover services, in which Britain has a trade surplus and which make up 78% of our economy. And they would impose swingeing tariffs on exports of certain good to the EU, including 10% on cars and 12% on clothing.

Commenting, Chuka Umunna MP, Chairman of Vote Leave Watch, said:

“Being forced to trade with the EU under WTO rules would be a hammer blow for the British economy, and would demonstrate once and for all the hollow nature of Vote Leave’s promises.

“They promised the British people repeatedly that we would get a free trade agreement with the EU. But now Liam Fox seems to admit this will not be achievable. His strategy would devastate vital export industries, like car manufacturing, and lead to higher prices in the shops for British families.

“Liam Fox urgently needs to come clean on this vital issue. He must make clear if it is the position of the government that the UK should leave the EU even if we have not negotiated a preferential trade agreement.”

/ends

Read more

Umunna: New PMI figures show Leavers have broken their promises to Londoners

Responding to the news that, according to the latest regional Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), business activity in London has fallen further than in any other region of England since the EU referendum, Chuka Umunna, MP for Streatham and Chair of Vote Leave Watch said:

“Vote Leave ministers like Boris Johnson promised Londoners that Brexit would increase prosperity and boost business. Today’s figures show that in fact, the vote to leave the European Union - our largest trading partner –  is already damaging businesses in the capital. That will mean working people being worse off.

“Londoners did not vote for Brexit – but it is us who are paying the harshest price. Vote Leave ministers got promoted as a result of Brexit, whilst Londoners’ jobs and businesses suffer.  The Vote Leave ministers who now dominate the government must be held to account for their broken promises to the people of London.”

/ends

Read more

Bank of England shows Vote Leave were wrong – the Brexit vote will damage the UK economy

The Bank of England’s biggest ever cut of its growth forecast since it started making them shows that the vote to leave the European Union has damaged the UK economy – contrary to the claims of Vote Leave campaigners, who said it would lead to “prosperity”.

The Bank has slashed its growth forecast for 2017 from 2.3% to 0.8%, and cut its 2018 forecast from 2.3% to 1.8%. It expects unemployment to rise to 5.4% next year, and 5.6% in 2018, and expects inflation to overshoot the 2% target.

This has forced the Bank to cut interest rates to a record-low 0.25%, hammering savers in the pocket. The Bank will also spend £60bn buying UK government bonds, and £10bn buying corporate bonds.

It is now clear that the vote to leave the European Union means lower growth, higher inflation, fewer jobs, and ordinary people worse off. This is after Vote Leave cabinet ministers promised a Brexit vote would lead to “prosperity” and create 300,000 new jobs.

Mark Carney said that, as a result of the uncertainties caused by the referendum vote, “the MPC expects supply growth to remain well below past average rates throughout the forecast period.” The Bank also states that “following the United Kingdom’s vote to leave the European Union, the exchange rate has fallen and the outlook for growth in the short to medium term has weakened markedly.”

Commenting, Chuka Umunna MP, Chair of Vote Leave Watch, said:

“It’s clear that quitting the European Union has been a hammer-blow for working people across Britain. Thanks to the impossible promises of Vote Leave Tories like Boris Johnson, David Davis and Liam Fox people around the country will face job losses, higher prices, and falling pay packets – while they enjoy a promotion and sit around the cabinet table.

“The promises of Tory Leavers that Brexit would lead to higher growth and more jobs have never seemed so hollow. The myths told by senior figures in Theresa May’s new government will result in working people being worse off. They need to be held to account for the damage they have done to our economy.

“The UK is leaving the European Union but it is vital that the Government take strong measures to protect families, jobs and the economy. Theresa May now has a responsibility to get the best possible deal for the British people out of Brexit”

/ends


Manufacturing PMI figures show Vote Leave’s promises on the economy are being broken

Responding to the news that that Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) of manufacturers has fallen into negative territory in July, down from 52.4 to 48.1, Chuka Umunna MP, Chair of Vote Leave Watch, said:

“The Vote Leave campaigners who dominate the new government, like Boris Johnson and Priti Patel, told the British people that a vote to leave the EU would boost the economy and create new jobs. The news today suggests they couldn’t have been more wrong.

“They said every warning about the economic consequences of a Brexit vote was ‘scaremongering’ or ‘Project Fear’. It’s becoming clear that these warnings were realistic and based on fact. This Vote Leave government must be held to account for their broken promises.”

/ends


Triple whammy of economic woe shows Vote Leave broke their promises

A triple whammy of economic woe has today shown that Vote Leave broke their promises on the economy made during the EU referendum campaign.

During the referendum, Boris Johnson promised that a vote to leave would create 300,000 new jobs; David Davis said “growth will be up not down”; Priti Patel said a vote to leave would “add billions of pounds to our economy”; and Andrea Leadsom said that Brexit would “secure our economic future and the prosperity of our country”.

The reality is quite different. Today, the latest GfK survey has found the biggest fall in consumer confidence since 1990, with their confidence index falling to -12 in July.

EEF, the organisation representing British manufacturers, has likewise seen a slump in confidence amongst its members, falling from a score of 6.37 to 5.24 since the referendum.

And the Chief Financial Officer of Ford refused to rule out closing the company’s two manufacturing plants in Dagenham and Bridgend. He said Brexit could cost the company, which employs 14,000 UK workers, $1bn over the next two years.

Commenting, Tom Brake MP, Patron of Vote Leave Watch, said:

“Far from creating new jobs and growing the economy, it is clear that the vote to leave the European Union will hit working people hard.

“With shoppers feeling the pinch, manufacturers losing confidence and great companies like Ford being hit, Vote Leave’s promise of a brighter future after a vote for Brexit appears broken.

“Theresa May’s government is dancing to Vote Leave’s tune and is full of Vote Leave’s leading lights, like Boris Johnson. They need to own up and admit that Brexit will make workers and businesses worse off.” 

/ends

Read more

CBI survey showing slump in retail sales proves Vote Leave have broken their promises

A new CBI survey showing a slump in retail sales since Britain voted to leave the EU demonstrates that Vote Leave's promise that Brexit would boost the economy "was not worth the paper it was written on".

The CBI's Distributive Trades Survey found that sales in the retail sector had fallen at their fastest pace since January 2012, while orders placed on suppliers dropped at the quickest pace since the height of the Great Recession in 2009.

Commenting, Emma Reynolds MP, Patron of Vote Leave Watch, said:

"Vote Leave promised the British people that Brexit would boost our economy and create 300,000 new jobs.

"As this survey makes clear, this promise was not worth the paper it was written on.

"The new Tory government is dominated by Vote Leave ministers and Vote Leave policies. They need to be held to account for their broken promises."

/ends

Read more

Markit numbers showing UK business activity contracting prove Vote Leave have broken their promises on the economy

Economic activity in Britain has declined since the EU referendum to levels last seen during the financial crisis in 2009, Markit has found.

The economic analyst’s latest Purchasing Managers Index, covering the month since the EU referendum, has fallen to from 52.4 to 47.7. This is the sharpest fall since April 2009. Any number below 50 represents contraction – demonstrating that the UK economy could be heading for a recession.

The PMI survey covers activity in the manufacturing and service industries.

During the EU referendum campaign, Vote Leave ministers like David Davis and Priti Patel promised that Brexit would boost the UK economy.

Commenting, Norman Lamb MP, Patron of Vote Leave Watch, said:

“During the referendum, Leave campaigners liked to scream ‘Project Fear’ at anyone who warned of the economic consequences of Brexit – but now it’s clear that this was always ‘Project Fact’.

“This shocking fall in business activity will have dire consequences for ordinary working people. Contrary to Vote Leave’s promises, it is clear that leaving the EU means jobs will be lost and the economy will suffer.

“Theresa May’s government is dancing to Vote Leave’s tune. They need to be held to account for their broken promises.”

/ends

Read more

Money spent on the new Brexit department proves Vote Leave’s pledges are already unravelling

Responding to the news that hiring new civil servants to deal with Brexit could cost £5bn over the next decade, Norman Lamb MP, Patron of Vote Leave Watch, said:

“During the EU referendum, Vote Leave ministers like Boris Johnson and Liam Fox promised us that Brexit would save £350m a week that would be spent on the NHS.

“But now it’s clear that Brexit will leave Britain in the red, as taxpayers’ money is shelled out on thousands of lawyers and consultants dealing with the incredibly complicated process of leaving.

“Less than a month after the referendum, Vote Leave’s pledges are already unravelling. They need to be held to account for their broken promises.”

/ends


Vote Leave Watch unveils new government’s ‘Brexit manifesto’

Research by Vote Leave Watch has revealed the new Vote Leave-dominated government’s ‘Brexit manifesto’ of promises made during the EU referendum campaign.

With Vote Leave supporters like Boris Johnson, Liam Fox and David Davis being given prominent positions in a new government committed to Brexit, the public have a right to know about the promises they made during the EU referendum campaign. And the new government must be held to account if they do not deliver.

Their main promises about what would happen if Britain left the EU are as follows:

  • David Davis, the new Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, promised that all EU spending currently directed to the UK – supporting farms, universities, poorer regions and others – would be maintained.
  • Liam Fox, the new Secretary of State for International Trade, promised that the government would spend an extra £350 million a week on the NHS.
  • Chris Grayling, the new Secretary of State for Transport, promised that all current EU spending in Britain would be maintained, that junior doctors would get a pay rise, that security co-operation with the EU would remain in place, and that VAT on household energy bills would be scrapped.
  • Boris Johnson, the new Foreign Secretary, promised that the government would spend an extra £350 million a week on the NHS, that 300,000 new jobs would be created, that all current EU spending in Britain would be maintained, that VAT on household energy bills would be scrapped, that tax avoidance would be reduced, and that Irish citizens would remain free to live and work in the UK.
  • Andrea Leadsom, the new Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, promised that all EU subsidies currently received by British farmers would be maintained, and that energy bills would fall.
  • Priti Patel, the new Secretary of State for International Development, promised that the government would spend an extra £350m a week on the NHS, that all current EU spending in Britain would be maintained, that there would be additional spending to increase primary school places, that Irish citizens would remain free to live and work in the UK, and that tax avoidance would be reduced.

Commenting, Chuka Umunna MP, founder of Vote Leave Watch, said:

“It’s clear that Britain is now being led by a Vote Leave government, with a Prime Minister committed to Brexit and Vote Leave supporters like Boris Johnson and Liam Fox in important positions.

“During the EU referendum campaign, they promised that a vote to leave the EU would result in £350m a week extra being spent on the NHS, an end to VAT on fuel bills, the maintenance of all EU spending in Britain, and much more.

“Already we have seen Leave campaigners backtrack on these promises. The government is dominated by cynical Tory leavers who misled the British public during the referendum campaign. It is vital that they are now held to account for their promises.”

/ends


Boris Johnson challenged to keep his promises to Northern Ireland

Vote Leave Watch has challenged Boris Johnson to keep his promises made to the people of Northern Ireland during the EU referendum campaign.

During the campaign, the new Foreign Secretary, along with new International Development Secretary Priti Patel, said: “The right of Irish citizens to enter, reside and work in the UK is already enshrined in our law. This will be entirely unaffected by a vote to leave on 23 June.”

Mr Johnson and Ms Patel, along with new Transport Secretary Chris Grayling, also promised during the campaign that “if the public votes to leave on 23 June, we will continue to fund EU programmes in the UK until 2020”. This is particularly vital for Northern Ireland as it is so dependent on EU funding.  

Vote Leave Watch, the organisation devoted to holding Leave campaigners to account for the promises they made during the referendum, is calling for Mr Johnson to honour his promises and immediately confirm that there is no threat to the right of Irish citizens to come freely to the UK, and that Northern Ireland will continue to receive the present level of EU funding until at least 2020.

 

Commenting, Norman Lamb MP, Patron of Vote Leave Watch, said:

“Leave campaigners like Boris Johnson made a series of wild promises to the people of Northern Ireland during the referendum campaign.

“Now that Northern Ireland is to be forced to leave the EU, despite voting to remain, it is more vital than ever that Leave campaigners are held to account for their promises.

“Northern Ireland depends both on EU funding and on an invisible border with the Republic. Boris Johnson must immediately confirm that he will keep his promises on these issues. If he does not, the people of Northern Ireland must know that he made cynical promises during the referendum which he had no intention of keeping.”

/ends

Read more

Vote Leave Watch responds to appointment of new cabinet

Vote Leave Watch responds to appointment of new cabinet

Responding to the announcement of the new cabinet, Norman Lamb MP, patron of Vote Leave Watch, said:

“It is clear that far from seeking to bring Britain together, Theresa May has formed a Brexit government designed to divide it. With Boris Johnson, Liam Fox, David Davis and Andrea Leadsom in key roles, it is clear this is a government formed at Vote Leave HQ, not Downing Street. It is now vital that they are held to account for the promises they made during the EU referendum campaign, like spending £350m more a week on the NHS.”

/ends

 


We must hold Theresa May’s government, dominated by Brexiteers, to account for their overblown claims

We must hold Theresa May's government, dominated by Brexiteers, to account for their overblown claims

Theresa May’s campaign for the Conservative leadership was dominated by leading Brexiteers who will dominate her Government and must be kept to account for the pledges they made when she fulfils her promise to take Britain out of the EU, Vote Leave Watch founder Chuka Umunna MP said today.

Research by Vote Leave Watch shows that Theresa May’s campaign manager, Chris Grayling, has already backtracked on Vote Leave’s promise to spend £350m a week extra on the NHS.

Key May backers Chris Grayling and Priti Patel both played vital roles in the Vote Leave campaign. They themselves promised to: Increase NHS spending; abolish VAT on household energy bills; match all currently planned EU funding to British farmers, scientists, regions and others; and invest more money on increasing primary school places.

Priti Patel also made the damaging pledge to “halve” vital workers’ rights guaranteed by EU law during the campaign. Theresa May must immediately distance herself from this pledge, and confirm that British workers will not lose the rights they have gained from our membership of the EU.

Commenting, Chuka Umunna MP, founder of Vote Leave Watch, said:

“Theresa May played a disappointingly low profile role on the Remain side in the EU referendum, perhaps with an eye on a future Tory leadership contest. Her leadership campaign manager was a leading Brexiteer, she has said she will appoint a Leave campaigner as minister in charge of Brexit, and it is clear her Government will be dominated by Leave campaigners. They must be held to account for their wild claims and overblown promises during the referendum campaign in the new May administration.

“Her supporters, who will likely play key roles in her Government, made a series of promises to the British people for which they will be held to account when they take up their roles – spending £350m more a week on the NHS, matching all EU funding that currently goes to Britain, abolishing VAT on energy bills, and more.

“Just because there will be a change of Prime Minister and a new Government, it does not mean the British people won’t hold Vote Leave campaigners in the new administration to account.”

/ends

 

Read more

Vote Leave Watch launched to hold EU Leave campaigners to account

New campaign, Vote Leave Watch, launches to hold EU Leave campaigners to account

  • New campaign, Vote Leave Watch, launches today to hold Leave campaigners to account for the promises they made during the EU referendum campaign.
  • Will show where they are backtracking on their promises, and where these promises are proven to have been untrue in the first place.
  • Campaign to be led by Chuka Umunna MP. Patrons of the organisation are Norman Lamb, Richard Reed, and June Sarpong.

On the founding of Vote Leave Watch, Chuka Umunna MP said:

“Vote Leave Watch will hold Leave campaigners like Boris, Michael Gove, Andrea Leadsom and Farage to account for the wild promises they made during the referendum campaign. We will scrutinise them, and call them out when their promises are broken or proven to have been impossible. Voters, whether they supported Leave or Remain, deserve nothing less.

“We can’t do this on our own. Vote Leave Watch will be a grassroots campaign – and we need your help to stop the Leave campaigners from getting away with it. Sign up on our website and join the Vote Leave Watch team today.”

On the Leave campaign’s broken promises, Chuka Umunna MP said:

“The British people, whether they voted Remain or Leave, were promised the earth by the Brexit campaigners during the EU referendum. They were told that leaving would not damage our economy; that it would free up £350 million a week to be spent on the NHS; that we could access the EU’s Single Market while restricting European immigration, and much more.

“Just two weeks after Britain voted to quit Europe, the Leave campaigners are already backtracking on these pledges. They think the referendum is ancient history, and that they can wriggle out of any responsibility for the clear failure of the vision they put forward during the campaign.

“They are wrong. The voters have a right to expect that the promises made to them are kept, and a right to know if they are being dropped or proven untrue.”

Richard Reed, Patron of Vote Leave Watch and co-founder of Innocent Drinks, said:

“It is vital for the health of democracy that people in public office are held accountable for the promises they make, even more so in something as important as the referendum on our EU membership.  Whether you voted In or Out, we all have a shared interest in making sure the commitments made by Vote Leave are adhered to.”

/ends

 

Read more