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

 

Notes to editors:

The pamphlet is available here: http://bit.ly/2r10xap

The full list of Labour Parliamentary Candidates in London sponsoring the pamphlet:

Heidi Alexander
Rushanara Ali
Karen Buck
Neil Coyle
Stella Creasy
Mike Gapes
Helen Hayes
Meg Hillier
David Lammy
Seema Malhotra
Steve Reed
Tulip Siddiq
Andy Slaughter
Gareth Thomas
Stephen Timms
Chuka Umunna

Of Labour Parliamentary Candidates outside London, Peter Kyle and Ian Murray are also sponsoring the pamphlet.