Lewisham’s MPs have this week been challenged to set out their stance on Brexit, after their party leader refused to put Single Market access over action on immigration. The three Liberal Democrat parliamentary spokespeople for the borough have each written to the MP they are challenging with the following letter.
Dear Mr Dowd, Ms Foxcroft and Ms Alexander,
This week, your party leader gave a speech on Brexit which sought to provide clarity on his position. In it, he backed Brexit, no matter what deal is struck, as he said: “Britain must leave the EU and bring control of our democracy and economy closer to home.”
He ruled out giving the people a say on the deal and whether it is the right one for people, their families and their jobs.
Corbyn went on to say that whilst he wanted to maintain full access to the European Single Market, which requires free movement of people, as well as goods and capital, he also vowed that “concerns about immigration would be addressed” by Labour, as it is “not wedded to the principle of free movement”.
It is not clear whether immigration control or the economy is more important for him, or indeed if there are any circumstances in which he would not rubber-stamp a Tory deal.
The voters of Lewisham voted overwhelmingly to stay in the EU and now want a deal that protects their livelihoods. They do not want a deal that prioritises wrong-headed, spiteful attacks on immigration that will hit our public services and economy hard.
I write to implore you to represent your constituents and spell out loudly and clearly that you will prioritise the economy over attacks on immigration, and will not back a Brexit deal by voting for article 50 come what may – but will let the people decide if the deal is the best for our country. We look forward to your responses.
John Russell, Bobby Dean and Emily Frith
Liberal Democrat parliamentary spokespeople for Lewisham constituencies