Another year dominated by Brexit, but one that ends much where it started – a divided Parliament, a divided country and shambolic negotiations that have led to a deal which satisfies no-one.
It is easy to feel despair at where we’ve ended up. The freedom to live and work in other European countries denied to our children, the EU citizens who are our friends and neighbours left feeling unwelcome in their own home, the constituents stockpiling insulin for fear of shortages, the businesses relocating overseas, the loss of the UK’s leading role at the heart of Europe. The list goes on.
I watched German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron stand together at Compiègne this Armistice – the first time since 1940 that leaders of France and Germany have met at the site where the ceasefire ending the First World War was signed. I felt deeply saddened to be walking away from our neighbours and from an institution that has helped promote peace and the shared values of co-operation and internationalism for so long.
But, with fewer than 100 days to go before we leave the EU, there is no time for despair. There is a growing call to get us out of this mess and it is by far the issue I’ve received the most communication on this year. I was one of the first MPs to come out in support of a People’s Vote, yet it’s only in the last few months it has felt increasingly likely. A recent poll showed that every single constituency across the country supports giving the public a final say and a new Sky Poll has support for a People’s Vote at 53%. That’s a staggering shift and one we must capitalise on. In two roles I’ve taken on this year as President of London 4 Europe and one of the founding supporters of Left Against Brexit, I’ve repeatedly made the case that we can’t rebuild prosperity at home if we allow Brexit to devastate our economy.
It is beyond comprehension that with hospital waiting lists soaring, schools pleading for resources, Police numbers slashed, social care in crisis, 130,000 children spending Christmas without a secure home and life expectancy falling in the poorest communities, that the Tories would waste £2 billion preparing for a “no deal” that would have a catastrophic impact on jobs, businesses and our economy. It is painfully obvious that under this Prime Minister and this Tory Government, those who have the least would pay the highest price.
Article 50 can be revoked to allow the time needed to prepare for a public vote. I will continue doing everything in my power to push for this.
Because the 2,000 people who’ve contacted me for help this year with housing, immigration, benefit payments and more need a Government that is prioritising these issues. Not one that’s preparing thousands of troops to keep order and delaying crucial plans for our NHS and social care because Brexit is dominating everything.
As we go into 2019, I will keep fighting for my constituents and for our community. I feel privileged to represent Hornsey & Wood Green’s views in Parliament and be your voice in Westminster.
With very best wishes to you all for a happy and peaceful New Year.