Labour’s Views On The EU Referendum

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Labour believes that the British people, our society and our economy will be better off if we vote to remain in the European Union (EU) on 23rd June. It brings us jobs, growth and investment, protects British workers and consumers and helps keep us safe.

Leaving would put all that at risk and diminish Britain’s influence in the world. But I have noticed a depressing trend from the Leave camp when they speak to black and ethnic minority communities, attempting to set up a false choice between membership of the EU and our relationship with the Commonwealth.

We can and should be a prominent and leading member of both. Not just because it is good for us, but is actually also good for other Commonwealth countries as well. Just ask Baroness Scotland, Commonwealth Secretary General, who is clear that the organisation she leads “does not set itself up in competition with Europe – we are partners”.

Meanwhile, prominent Commonwealth leaders such as India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Canadian premier Justin Trudeau, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, and New Zealand’s PM John Key have all spoken out against a Brexit. Joseph Muscat is the PM of Malta and Chair-in- Office of the Commonwealth.

He recently admitted: “I am also someone who campaigned against my own country joining the EU, but today acknowledge joining was the best decision we could have made.” The Confederation of British Industry recently confirmed that they had spoken to their Commonwealth equivalents, who said they see the UK as an investment partner because we are a gateway to Europe.

And it’s not just our Commonwealth partners who have warned about the risk of leaving the EU. President Obama feels so strongly about the vote that he travelled to Britain to warn us not to consign ourselves to isolation on the fringes.

The Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny said this week that UK withdrawal would weaken the EU internationally and at home at a time of serious challenges. They both know that by being in Europe we actually amplify British influence, we don’t diminish it.

We know what lies behind the Leaver’s false choice – they want to exploit the close ties ethnic minority Britons have with the Commonwealth to insinuate that if only we left the EU then more people could come here from elsewhere.

But they know that this simply isn’t true; there would be no let up on restrictions imposed on skilled migration from the rest of the world, instead those restrictions would just apply to EU workers as well. They are treating people like fools.

This decision is too important to let them get away with this misleading nonsense. Britain’s EU membership gives us a seat at the top table and a stronger voice on the world stage – to stay strong, we must vote to Remain.

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