On Wednesday November 23rd an all members meeting of Guildford Labour Party met to discuss Brexit. Having reviewed recent developments and the lack of clarity from government as to the way they see the Brexit process going forward, Brian Creese reviewed the cross-party group that successfully campaigned for Remain in Guildford. Dominic Stone, who has taken responsibility for reviewing the process, took the meeting through some of the detail – what the ‘four freedoms’ are, exactly what Article 50 says, problems associated with the ‘Great Repeal Bill’ and so on before opening discussion to the members.
Although there were a variety of opinions expressed, there were some clearly shared views. Firstly, Guildford Labour Party members are overwhelmingly pro Europe, and many do not see that accepting the result means doing nothing about it. There is a strong view that as the realities of the Brexit process becomes understood that public sentiment will change and move against it. No one believes that had the result been 52% for Remain, that UKIP and the Tory leave camp would have left it at that, so members have a perfect right to continue making the case for Remain. There was a long discussion on immigration, where again views were largely uniform, that as well as better education on the facts about immigration, more needs to be done to shift resources to areas which have had a great deal of recent immigration. It is the poverty of job opportunities and public services such as NHS provision, school places or affordable housing that leads to anti-immigrant sentiments.
We know that it is going to be a long process and the issues will need to be revisited often, but Guildford Labour Party is ready to lead and represent those that believe a huge mistake was made on June 23rd.