Boris Johnson’s Conservative Government is pursuing a reckless no-deal Brexit that threatens jobs, investment, workers’ rights and environmental protections. It’s the most dangerous right-wing project our country has faced in a generation, and was specifically ruled out by the Leave campaign during the referendum. The Conservatives want to open up our country, including our precious NHS, to exploitation and privatisation by US corporations.
Leaving the EU without a deal would mean total chaos, with food and medicine shortages, flights grounded, factories closed, and the risk of a hard border in Ireland that could reignite civil war. Steve was the first Shadow Minister to publicly back a second referendum and stay on the front bench. His call for Labour to campaign for Britain to remain a member of a reformed European Union echoes the views of Labour Party members and was followed by Keir Starmer, Emily Thornberry and John McDonnell.
Many people voted for Brexit because they were angry at how inequality has grown. But leaving the EU won’t solve the problems because being in the EU didn’t cause them – our politics did. We must end austerity, invest in communities that have been left behind, and share out our country’s wealth more fairly. I don’t want the next Labour Government to be hamstrung for years dealing with the fallout of a damaging Tory Brexit. We must put the issue back to the people now that it’s clear the Tories’ real Brexit plan is to privatise our public services, cut jobs and wages, and roll back workers’ rights.
Steven Reed is Labour MP for Croydon North and Shadow Minister for Children and Families. In 2018 his private member’s bill on reducing violent mental health restraint became law. In June 2019 he launched Labour’s civil society strategy outlining radical plans to empower citizens and communities.
Steve chairs the Cooperative Councils Innovation Network, co-chairs the All-Party Parliamentary Group for London, was Leader of Lambeth Council 2006-12 where he led the council’s children’s services to become best-rated in the country and pioneered the public-health approach to tackling violent youth crime. He worked in publishing for 16 years and was an elected trade union branch secretary.