Cllr Dave Poyser, Labour Member for Hillrise Ward, blogs about Brexit and EU citizens in Islington.
As the triggering of Article 50 looms, signalling the beginning of the UK’s Brexit negotiations, the future of Islington and the country is a question I frequently hear from residents.
Islington did not vote for Brexit and many people, myself included, remain concerned and angry. A record number of residents turned out to vote in the referendum, 75 per cent of whom voted to remain, and many were heartbroken that the national vote went the other way.
I accept that the UK as a whole voted to leave the EU but what exactly did they vote for? This is a fundamental question that needs a proper answer, not ‘Brexit means Brexit’, so we can guarantee jobs and growth in Islington.
It is shameful that the Conservatives voted against Amendments, hard-won by Labour Peers, that would have guaranteed the legal status of EU nationals who are already living and working in the UK, and a meaningful vote on the final Brexit deal in Parliament.
I am proud to live in a multi-cultural borough that is home to people from across the world, including over 17,000 EU nationals. These people are our friends, family, neighbours and colleagues. We cannot ease off the pressure on the Prime Minister to do the decent human thing by guaranteeing their future early on in the Brexit negotiations.
Brexit must work for everyone, not just the wealthy few, and only Labour can be trusted to deliver a deal that prioritises the economy, workers’ rights, human rights and environmental protection.
We must never forget that the referendum was only held to help Tory divisions, not in the interests of working people, or that it was the Liberal Democrats that put the Tories in a position of power to do so in the first place.
Islington Labour is committed to creating a fairer borough for all. The Tories’ Brexit will make this harder but we will continue to fight for and prioritise the issues that matter most to people in Islington.
Pictured – Cllr Dave Poyser, Labour Member for Hillrise Ward