One of the many things I find so deeply frustrating about Brexit is the time and energy it is consuming, when it is glaringly obvious that any deal brokered is going to be worse than the deal we already have.
As the Tories press ahead with a Brexit that will make our country worse off, a UN report published this week set out the great misery that a politically driven austerity programme has already inflicted on millions of people. The report said that levels of child poverty were “not just a disgrace, but a social calamity and an economic disaster”.
The Brexiteers promised the earth during the referendum campaign and blamed the EU for all our woes. After years of Tory austerity, savage cuts to public services and rising job insecurity it is no surprise that many believed them. But it was a lie. No deal or a bad deal threatens jobs, our NHS and the future for our young people. It leaves us following rules we’ll no longer have any say in making and throws into uncertainty the lives of the 3 million EU citizens who have made the UK their home.
I joined thousands of people on Tuesday night at the sell-out People’s Vote Rally in Westminster, was interviewed by Sky News and took part in ITV’s Late Debate with my thoughts on the Prime Minister’s ‘deal’. I’m very pleased that Parliament has successfully forced the Government to release the legal advice on Brexit, but it’s glaringly clear there is no consensus in Parliament for this car crash. We have to vote this deal down and put the final decision to a people’s vote.
Whilst Brexit has loomed over everything this week, I also spoke out in Labour’s opposition day debate on school funding where I highlighted the difficulties sixth forms are under, experiencing the worst cuts of any age group.
I’ve been very concerned about the increasing rise in violent crime locally, including an appalling attack on a 98-year-old man in Bounds Green and recent stabbings in Crouch Hill and Muswell Hill. I met with Haringey’s Borough Commander Helen Millichap on Friday to discuss these and find out more about the measures the police are putting in place to make our streets safer. In Parliament, I will continue speaking out about cuts to policing budgets that have seen the number of officers on the beat slashed and put incredible pressure on resources.
As we go into winter, I held a meeting with St Mungo’s on Friday to find out about their work operating the local Streetlink service and went along to the winter night shelter open evening at Hornsey Parish Church to show my support.