Letter: ‘Labour must now defend the national interest’

A march in support of a People’s Vote takes place tomorrow. Photograph: WikiCommons

Dear Vincent Stops, Ben Hayhurst and Sophie Conway,

We are in the middle of a national disaster. Brexit is a jingoistic spasm, stemming from an infantile notion of sovereignty, tabloid stoked misunderstandings and fears concerning immigration, and a barrage of lies and illegal activity from the Leave campaigns (£350M for the NHS, Cambridge Analytica funding etc.) – with no upsides (except for disaster-capitalists).

The EU can never permit non-member states to enjoy the economic benefits of being a rule-abiding member of the collective union; and the UK will never get better international trade deals negotiating as a nation state of 60m, rather than in a powerful union of 550m.

By denying these two obvious facts, the Brexiters have recklessly plunged us into a constitutional crisis, with the real risk of no-deal chaos, economic and societal disorder, a return of violence in NI, the break up of the NHS, and even an extreme-right coup in British politics.

Brexit and Trump are the foundations for a global far-right resurgence – and must be stopped.

In this context, it is welcome that the following London local authorities and the Mayor have come out for a People’s Vote on any deal / a bad deal and with a Remain option: LB Hammersmith & Fulham, LB Ealing (position re-affirmed by the leader after the local elections), London Assembly, LB Richmond upon Thames, LB Merton, Mayor of London, LB Tower Hamlets, LB Lewisham, LB Lambeth. LB Haringey has come out for options including a People’s Vote if there is no general election and with no commitment to Remain being an option.

Why is LB Hackney not taking a stand, particularly when Hackney is one of the most diverse communities, and had the second highest Remain vote in the country in the June 2016 referendum?

This is the political issue that will define our generation. All opinion polls this year indicate that the UK is now firmly a Remain country – staying in the EU is now ‘the will of the people’.

However, we must work hard to overcome decades of tabloid propaganda, so that leave voters in deprived former industrial areas understand that their problems stem largely from bad decisions taken in Westminster, not Brussels.

Over the last two and a half years, the Labour Party has failed to even attempt this essential re-engagement with their core supporters, and has been similarly disengaged from properly fighting the catastrophic Tory Brexit, rather sticking with a policy position that is similarly incoherent.

Labour must now defend the national interest.

Please could you use your voice in Hackney Council to pass a resolution supporting a People’s Vote, with the option to Remain?

I hope you can show your support on the march for a People’s Vote on Saturday 20 October.

Yours sincerely,

Jake Ireland

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