There is still time to stop Brexit

Speaker's Corner columnists -  Peterborough Telegraph - peterboroughtoday.co.uk/opinion, @peterboroughtel on Twitter, Facebook.com/peterboroughtoday
Speaker's Corner columnists - Peterborough Telegraph - peterboroughtoday.co.uk/opinion, @peterboroughtel on Twitter, Facebook.com/peterboroughtoday

W hat was it they said? Slogans on buses and words from Tories confront reality:

On 10 Oct 2016, David Davis said: “There will be no downside to Brexit, only a considerable upside”. People didn’t vote Leave to be poorer, writes Beki Sellick, Peterborough Liberal Democrat MP candidate.

On 20 July 2017, Liam Fox said: “The free trade agreement that we will have to do with the EU should be one of the easiest in human history.” Fact: despite the £millions spent preparing for Brexit, as of this week, the Government has signed only 14 out of 236 international deals that we currently enjoy within the EU. That’s why they’re recommending stockpiling vital supplies like medicine; and companies are moving investment and jobs out of the UK.

Peterborians want to exercise our democratic right to change our minds on Brexit. A stranger on the No.1 bus to work this weekend said how much she now regretted voting Leave: she was brave enough to admit it. “We’re fed up with the stories we were told before the referendum, and how Brexit is turning out.”

More money for the NHS? Not from this Brexit. The government makes promises in this week’s budget, but they only apply if Brexit goes well and they get more money from taxes. In Peterborough, we rely on EU citizens as 11% of our workforce, paying taxes and delivering NHS and care services. Fact: EU citizens pay in far more than they take out.

More money for the worst off? No, the Budget cuts welfare, even without Brexit. The government is starting to pay back the thousands of pounds they owe folk who weren’t paid Universal Credit right. But their policies still don’t add up: Bedroom tax is supposed to encourage people to move to smaller homes.

In reality, people can’t move to smaller places because their Universal Credit didn’t include bedroom tax, so they’ve built up rent arrears. If you’re behind on rent, you can’t move!

Better deal for working families? Many are hit by higher food prices already, others are worrying about animal welfare and our food standards. Multi-national corporations are lobbying for UK health, environmental and labelling standards to be lowered. Then cheap imports from outside the EU could put British food producers out of business: a double whammy on our health and jobs.

More jobs? Less immigration? Ian in Dogsthorpe (see photo) explained the impact on local businesses, and his international lorry driving job. “A lot of people who voted Leave didn’t know what they voted for. Brexit has already reduced trade, so I’m carrying half-loads instead of full lorries. If more border controls cause traffic jams, illegal immigrants will get more time to stowaway, so more chance of reaching the UK.” Fact: Germany sells five times more to China than Britain does, the EU’s not stopping us!

Leave or Remain: the Government has failed us on Brexit. Ian asks: “What are we doing Brexit for, now we know what it will mean?” We can stop this Brexit. Peterborians joined 700,000 people marching in London 10 days ago, calling for a People’s Vote so we can have a final say on any deal the Tories get.

Add your name to the online Petition. Contact beki.sellick.libdem@gmail.com to work for a Liberal Peterborough, where everyone can make a difference: for themselves and for us all.