Waterfront MP | Labour Conference

The Labour Conference in Liverpool this year saw a record number of delegates attend.  It is no great surprise to me that so many people want to join our party. Labour is the Party that believes in the police, in schools, in our health service, believes in paying a decent wage for a decent day’s work, building the houses our young families need, protecting the elderly and more vulnerable with affordable social care, and is determined to make our country more equal, giving help to those who need it and demanding that the very rich pay their taxes.

We had important issues to debate in order to reach an agreed democratic position, and none was more important than our position on Brexit. 

We are not in Government and so we can’t decide what will happen.  What we can and must do is to continue to fight for the things which we know matter to British people whether they voted Leave or Remain.  Nobody voted to destroy British industry or British agriculture, nobody voted for fewer jobs or less protection for their rights or the environment.  That is why we insisted right from the start that the Government’s Brexit deal must safeguard those things.

Now it is apparent that the Conservatives are incapable of producing a Brexit deal that meets those tests.  We look likely to have a choice between a bad deal or no deal. That is a threat to our whole economy, and to tens of thousands of skilled jobs here in Britain.

To leave without any deal at all would be a disaster.  If Theresa May cannot negotiate one that works, she should call a General Election.  And if she is not willing to do that either, then Labour will support whatever can rescue the country from a no-deal Brexit, including a people’s vote on the outcome if necessary. 

We want another General Election now because we want to end austerity now, restore Police Officers and nurses and teachers to their jobs now, bring in free childcare for all working parents now, invest in houses for families now, raise the minimum wage now. So, we will be ready for the next General Election, whenever it comes, and meanwhile we continue to grow our movement to make sure that we can build that better Britain together.

CommunitySandy Martin