"We should also be clear about the urgency of the situation. The end of free movement would be the biggest expansion of border controls in recent British history."
Labour MPs and left groups who tabled a free movement motion to Labour conference have hit out at the announcement that Brexit will not be debated at all.
Former shadow cabinet minister, Clive Lewis MP and free movement campaigners joined a chorus of criticism from leading party figures today over Labour conference’s decision not to debate or vote on Brexit policy.
Clive Lewis said: “Brexit and immigration are difficult issues and it’s understandable that people are nervous about a public debate. But the public debate is upon us whether we like it or not.”
“We need to be clear as a movement that the answer to falling wages, social insecurity and underfunded public services is stronger workers rights, massive investment and an end to privatisation.”
“Ending free movement answers none of these problems – and would undermine the rights of British and migrant workers alike.”
“Ultimately, that kind of clarity can only come from a democratic process inside our party – and members must be trusted to have that debate.”
Michael Chessum a campaigner from Labour Campaign for Free Movement said:
“A big part of the problem has been the Labour’s democratic process — which is terrible. Barely anyone who isn’t a conference hack understands it fully, and it’s constructed in such a way that lots of conflicting policy is rammed together”.
“The process by which Momentum took the decision to actively not prioritise the debate is just as opaque”.
“We should also be clear about the urgency of the situation. The end of free movement would be the biggest expansion of border controls in recent British history, and would be a massive attack on the rights of migrants and all workers.”
“Migration is a difficult debate – but sooner rather than later, the labour movement has to be able to trust in the collective wisdom of its grassroots.”
“In just over a month, thousands of party members have signed up to our campaign, and there has been a groundswell of support for defending and extending free movement. There’s a real feeling that we’re turning the tide.”
“Labour must oppose that shift with an agenda of hope and solidarity, and with radical policies that can make people’s lives better.”
Oscar Webb is a reporter for Left Foot Forward. He tweets here.
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