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.”
The dossier can be seen here.