The Prime Minister’s Brexit deal satisfies no-one. The Treasury’s own analysis says it will leave us worse off and we all know that those who have the least will be hit the hardest. After eight years of Tory austerity, this is something our communities can ill afford.
I have already made clear that I will vote against it and listening to Theresa May’s statement in the House of Commons on Monday did nothing to change my mind. But Labour will not be blackmailed into accepting it’s this terrible deal or no deal, and I’m supporting a cross-party amendment led by Labour’s Hilary Benn’s which, if passed, would make “no deal” impossible. It’s unacceptable that Number 10 is refusing to make the full legal advice on the withdrawal agreement public before we vote next week. Parliament won the right to see it, and it’s crucial that we do.
With so little support in the House for this botched deal, the question now has to be what happens next. I hosted a meeting in Parliament on Monday night of Labour for a People’s Vote, where we discussed how such a vote can be won. It’s essential we start thinking about how we run a successful campaign that brings together our country, which has only become more divided since the first referendum.
I attended the first ‘Sara conference’ this week to pledge my support and solidarity with colleagues facing appalling racist and sexist discrimination. The conference discussed the rising tide of anti-Semitism and misogyny, and revealed research showing Jewish women MPs face disproportionate levels of anti-Semitic abuse online. It is vital to our public life that young women aren’t deterred from being fully involved in our democracy, and that the scourge of anti-Semitism both online and in the real world is eliminated.
On Tuesday, I attended the AGM of our All-Party Parliamentary Group on Swimming, a group I co-founded last year, where we discussed how the Department for Education can tackle the low rates of swimming ability in primary schools.
On Wednesday, I was in the Chamber for the Offensive Weapons Bill. The Bill seeks to create new offences for the possession of corrosive substances and dangerous knives, but I have co-sponsored the addition of a new clause to ensure that driving a moped whilst possessing these offensive weapons is treated as an aggravated offence.
A number of constituents came to Parliament to meet me on Wednesday as part of the annual lobby day for Palestine. Since I attended the lobby last year, I’ve visited Israel and the West Bank and seen the conditions for myself, including the day-to-day difficulties for communities gaining access to life saving medical treatment. I welcomed the opportunity to discuss Palestinian human rights and the urgent need to secure peace and justice for all in the region.
I had a very busy few days at the end of the week back in the constituency including a helpful meeting with Cllr Mark Blake, Haringey’s Cabinet Member for Community Safety on the work the council is doing to tackle youth violence. I met the new Woodside School Council and spoke to young women at St Thomas More School on the theme of equality and what they want to see for their futures.
I also spent an afternoon at Wood Green Job Centre to discuss the Universal Credit roll out and the impact that is having locally. The more stories I hear, the more I believe the roll out must be put on hold.
Over the weekend, I joined the CWU campaign against the proposal to turn Wood Green Crown Post Office into a franchise, opened the Crouch End Christmas Market and A Very Merry Muswell, switched on the lights with Neil Morrissey at the award winning Myddleton Road Christmas Festival and took part in a community planting session at Albert Road Recreation Ground.