Brexit Changes Everything !
As many people are aware i was until very recently a Labour party foot solider and dedicated member, I campaigned all over the United Kingdom for the labour party going as far down as Plymouth and as far up as Aberdeen South.
I Gave my all to the party. My Money, time and dedication. I was fighting for a labour government. I wanted a labour government .. that was until Jeremy Corbyn ruled out any chance of staying IN the European Union.
Jeremy Made his position clear that if he got into power he would take us out the European union. This put me at somewhat of a major conundrum. I am a proud European. My Nationality is European British. I fought during the European Referendum EVERY DAY to remain. I gave my up most in the fight to remain. The Night of the European Referendum when it became clear we had lost i was absolutely devastated.
All the results had yet to be declared when Jeremy appeared on BBC to state that we had to trigger article 50 Immediately, This to many of us was a betrayal of all labour stood for. Brexit is not in labour’s name and nor should it Labour is Pro European.
I was so incensed i and others set up Labour for Europe to change labour’s position on Brexit. We organised a campaign letter to Jeremy signed by over 5000 labour party members as well as a mass lobby on Jeremy to demand that labour supported the campaign to remain in the European union.
Jeremy did not listen .. Jeremy put on the three line whip to support the triggering of article 50. Jeremy sacked ministers who disobeyed the whip and made it absolutely clear that he was not for turning on Brexit.
This was a major disappointment to many of us tho we hung on in there. I hung on in there my labour membership came close to being cancelled at that point but i still (stupidly) hung on to the view Jeremy would change.
Well months late and The General Election is called .. I gave up all to give full campaign commitment to the labour party despite my better judgement. I hoped that if we had a labour government Jeremy would change his views. I Campaigned for the full general election spending my own personal money travelling to clp’s to help mp’s in need (those at risk).
After the general election i saw that Jeremy was still insistent on pushing for hard Brexit and not supporting the single market access. He wanted hard Tory Brexit. This was my last straw. I Finally my last straw and i tendered my resignation as Labour party member in an open letter to Jeremy.
I Resigned my position within labour for Europe and gave it over to the amazing team who run it now, i want to take this time to thank Emma Brennan, Paul Sceeny, Terry Mather, Viv Pointin and the other members of the team for doing such a good job and hanging on in there. I had crossed my limit. I felt that i was being betrayed by labour and sold out.
I hadn’t left Labour .. Labour left me. Labour has changed to the hard left. The Ultra Hard unelectable left that thinks Lexit (left wing brexit) is possible. This delusional and dangerous myth proves that the hard left will never win a general election. The labour party won’t win with Jeremy leading it.
This led me to do a lot of soul searching. Speaking to colleagues and friends. I had previously wrote off the Liberal Democrats as unelectable and as other words because of the Coalition.
I was part of the protests against the raising of the tuition fees and i felt that the lib dems had caused a lot of problems. so i held little hope for the lib dems up BUT i have been very impressed with their pro European campaign.
The lib dems have been the only ones to consistently support our membership of the European union, They have been vocally active in trying to stop a hard disastrous Brexit and have consistently voted against Brexit at every turn.
This led me to do some soul searching and research, speaking to Peers in the lib dems as well as several lib dem councillors who’m i know. They showed me in a lot of clarity that the lib dems were the lesser of two evils. They helped stop the Tories getting some very nasty legislation through Yes it’s admitted they are not perfect but hell you tell me what party is.
The Lib dems have been the vocal opposition where labour have not. The lib dems have tabled multiple objections to brexit and other issues. They have supported the rights of our European citizens in the united kingdom. They have been at the forfront of objecting to Theresa may’s power grab brexit.
Whilst labour has had mp’s prepared to object to brexit it’s been the lib dems who have lead the opposition to this catastrophe.
This lead me to look at the lib dems with more flavour and look at what i do and don’t like about the lib dems.
Most the liberal democrats support the keeping and strengthener for the hunting act, Most if not ALL lib dems support protecting our nhs and health services, Most if not all lib dems support keeping legal aid. There was many points i agreed with the lib dems on … and it put my view of them on a different footing. Maybe its the lib dems who are the real oppositon.
After reading the lib dem manifesto from cover to cover and the support and encouragement of several lib dem activists peers and friends i made the decision to request membership of the liberal democrats.
I feel that the lib dems are showing to be the real opposition under Sir Vince Cable i feel the liberal democrats will go from strength to strength saving our economy from total annihilation via hard brexit and protecting our most vulnerable in society. Being the voice that we all know labour used to be.
The lib dems will protect our European citizenship and fight to keep us in both the single market and European union whilst doing their up most to protest to speak up for the millions who have been sold out by both labour and the Tories.
I want at this point to thank several people, Mark Pack lib Dem newswires, Carolyn Kenyon Lib Dem PPC, Cllr Greg Stone, Lord Christopher Rennard and others who took time to talk to me whilst i was on my soul search. I Want to thank the above for taking time to show me the lib dem views and manifesto commitments.
I’m now looking forward to getting to know new colleagues and friends whilst continuing the fight to stop the Brexit from hell. I think under Sir Vince we stand a chance of not only stopping hard Brext but actually stopping ALL Brexit.
Former chair and co-founder Labour Against Brexit.
Founder of the Anti Brexit Alliance