Statement on EU Referendum

Ian Lavery has chosen to make his position on the EU Referendum clear. He will be voting and campaigning for Britain to remain in the European Union.

“If leaving the EU would improve the lives of families and working people, I would campaign to leave.  If it would bring jobs, growth and security, I would leave. But the hard won rights to paid holiday, maternity leave and equal pay would be at risk if we left. Investment would leave the North East and this could devastate communities on a scale we haven’t seen since the Thatcher era.”

“Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell have been campaigning to stay in Europe because it is in the interests of normal people. Those who gained from Brexit would be the likes of Iain Duncan Smith and Michael Gove, who are already salivating at the thought of stripping away protections for workers and for the environment.”

“Imagine a Britain where the right to paid holiday is attacked as needless red tape, or the working time directive that guarantees minimum rest periods between shifts is deemed not flexible enough. Look at the damage the government has wrought and imagine how much more could be done without the protections that the EU gives us.”

“It may sound hyperbolic, but the EU is a result of the most successful peace process in history. My generation was one of the first not to have to take up arms to fight a war in Europe. It’s because of this that the European ideal is worth preserving; to ensure that wars in continental Europe remain in the history books where they belong.”

“I know many friends and colleagues are naturally suspicious of the European Union. No one denies that it is imperfect. No one denies that it is in need of genuine reform in the interests of the many. I have the utmost respect for this view. But the EU is not set in stone. If you want to see reform, vote for Labour MEPs in 2019 so that we can reform the EU from within.”

“No one denies that the EU is in need of fundamental change. It needs to become more democratic and transparent. Every citizen of the 28 member states should feel like they have power over the institution. After we vote to remain, we as a party and as a movement must pressure the EU to reform and to become less of a cartel, to focus more on protecting people in the workplace rather than those who own it.”

“TTIP and treaties like it should not be negotiated behind closed doors. The secrecy of this treaty is an example of what is currently wrong with the EU. We must work with our sister parties across Europe to encourage reform and to make sure that the processes of the EU can command public confidence; so that if a treaty does not work in favour of ordinary people across the continent, it can be opposed. The EU must not be a vehicle for corporations to trample over governments. Our representatives in Europe must be transparent and accountable to every citizen in Europe.

“To vote remain on 23rd June does not mean a full endorsement of the European project. I vote remain with healthy scepticism. Europe must bring workers and communities across the continent together to improve lives rather than being a club for big business. However, due to the very real damage that leaving the EU would do to Wansbeck & the North East as a whole, I will vote to remain. Working people would bear the brunt of the costs of leaving Europe, and they should not suffer due to a Tory leadership contest.”