Why we need to #StopBrexit - Peterborough Lib Dem candidate

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Boris promises to: “get Brexit done”, but if his Withdrawal Agreement goes through, it’s only the first step out of the EU, the easiest bit. Next will come decades of ongoing uncertainty, trying to replace what we’ve lost, writes Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for Peterborough Beki Sellick in this week’s Speaker’s Corner.

We’ll be negotiating from a weak position. So we risk racing to the bottom on standards like food safety. You might need a torch in the cinema, because the USA permits rat droppings in popcorn; the EU does not!

Beki at an anti-Brexit march in London last month

Beki at an anti-Brexit march in London last month

No one voted to be poorer. We’ve been listening to people on Brexit, outside Peterborough Town Hall every month since before the Referendum.

This month, we asked: “The Bank of England says that Brexit has cost us £76 billion so far, is it worth it?” Some said, that’s a short-term price to pay. But the Government’s own analysis says it’s long-term: we will be worse off outside the EU, whatever happens next.

Brexit stirred up Peterborough people to join me and the million marching in London last Saturday to call for a People’s Vote, a chance to say what we think, three years on, now we know more.

Odd that the super-rich leaders of Brexit (the ones who haven’t left the country, unlike Dyson the British vacuum cleaner inventor who’s moved his jobs and his £millions to Singapore), refuse to ask us what sort of Brexit we want.

What did YOU want from Brexit?

1. Money and staff for the NHS and police: We’re short of doctors and nurses, and the job vacancy gap is growing as more EU citizens leave, putting more pressure on the dedicated people who remain. As a homemade placard last Saturday read “EU midwife at your cervix. Do you want me to stay?” Facts: EU citizens pay much more in taxes than they use in services; the £76 billion Brexit has already lost us could have employed three million extra nurses or built 42 new hospitals or recruited nearly four million more police officers.

2. Better economy and jobs: The EU is already China’s largest trading partner. If we leave, we’ll lose all the international EU deals. It will take decades to renegotiate and our deals will inevitably be worse, because we’ll have less power on our own. Boris is still making impossible Brexit promises, playing to whatever crowd is around him at the time. He said: “F*** business”, that’s our jobs, our futures. Tax cuts for the rich was his first policy.

3. Environment: New research this week found that poor air quality causes more asthma, heart attacks and strokes.

Outside the EU, our government can’t be trusted to implement standards. Our rights to clean air, safe food, living and working conditions, will be gambled away under pressure, because the UK will be desperate for trade deals.

There’s still time to #StopBrexit and its impact (worse than the 2008 banking crash) on the poorest people and public services. Liberal Democrats have led the campaign demanding that YOU have the final say on Brexit, with the option to stay in the EU (and we’ll simply #StopBrexit if we’re a majority government). There’s a #LibDemSurge in Peterborough with people helping us to build a better Britain @www.libdems.org.uk/joining-us.

Lib Dems demand a better country: not tax cuts for the rich few; not wish-lists for the many; but better real lives for everybody.