Only Labour can heal the wounds of Brexit, says Unite
- Tuesday 25 September 2018
Supporting the Brexit composite at Labour party conference, Unite assistant general secretary Steve Turner will say that only the Labour party can secure a deal with Europe that ‘heals the wounds’ of Brexit.
Addressing Labour conference today Steve Turner said (check against delivery): “In less than six months we leave the European Union. That was the outcome of the 2016 referendum and we have to respect it. We have to recognise that while a majority of Labour voters and trade unionists voted to remain, many didn’t.
“Across our nations millions feel abandoned in a rapidly changing world, betrayed by a political elite that doesn’t speak to or for them. Feeling left behind in communities starved of investment and battered by austerity. Often working in poverty exploited by greedy bosses lining their pockets from their misery, robbed of hope and opportunity.
“A perfect storm has divided our nations. It’s our job to step up and make history. To create the conditions to deliver a socialist Labour government.
“Only Labour can remove Tory red lines and engage constructively to secure access to the single market and membership of a customs union that protects jobs and investment
“Only Labour has the values to protect long fought for protections for citizens, consumers and our environment.
“Only Labour can secure a deal that protects the peace in Northern Ireland and ensures no new restrictions between Gibraltar and Spain.
“Only Labour can build the homes we desperately need, invest in public services, regulate the labour market and end the exploitation of migrant workers that’s seen a race to the bottom our once proud industrial heartlands.
“Conference, a Brexit without Labour’s answers to genuine fears and concerns will only add to a deep rooted crisis of belonging and identity in our nations, fuelling a growing and dangerous far right.
“Conference, we demand a Brexit that works for the many not the few. And when the Tories return from Brussels with no deal, or a deal that fails our tests. That is our moment.
“Our moment to demand they step aside – our moment to send a broken government back to the country in a general election. And if the Tory benches aren’t brave enough to do that, to stand up to the Johnsons and Moggs - if they fail us, we demand they go back to the people with a vote on the deal.
“That is not in a second referendum, despite what Keir Starmer may have said earlier, it will be a public vote, that’s a vote on the terms of our departure.
“Conference, we desperately need a better, fairer society. We need to heal the wounds of Brexit.
“Only our movement – united with a proud socialist Labour Government - is capable of doing that.”
For more information please contact Alex Flynn Unite head of media and campaigns on 07967 665869
Notes to editors:
- Unite represents workers in Britain and Ireland with members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.