The British people are presented with two great opportunities for progress, Brexit and the election of a Labour government. Indeed both are related; the Labour Manifesto proposes many progressive measures, which can only be implemented outside the European Union and its single market with its ‘Four Freedoms’. These allow the worst employers to move workers and even replace whole workforces through agencies using EU workers with lower wages and conditions. They can also move capital from places where the workforce is well organised and the political environment not to their liking and move goods and firms without regard to local standards or the social and economic consequences. Additionally, EU restrictions on public spending and investment prevent governments from supporting their industries.
Being free from EU controls and restrictions provides great opportunities for Britain but these cannot be limited to the ability to have trade agreements with many more countries than just the EU. It must be based on a vision of investment in the British people, our communities, public services, industry, agriculture, fisheries and culture. The Labour Party Manifesto provides such a vision and a detailed and affordable cost plan to implement it. It gives the lie to the policy of ‘Austerity,’ which pretended that privatisation and public service cuts were needed, as the country could not afford the services or investment and also to the idea we need to transfer our resources to transnational corporations.
The measures to rebuild the public services, improve wages and the right to Trade Union organisation, to stop university fees and invest in our schools including art provision recognise that our future depends on investment in our youth. At the same time they protect the NHS, the old and the disabled, recognise their contribution and stop the invidious attempts to divide our people.
The recognition of the need for investment in infrastructure throughout Britain, not just in London, promotes a vision of the whole of the country, its economy and people as one with a great future if we all join in this great endeavour.
We had the courage to leave the EU. Now we must show that courage by voting Labour on June the 8th.