Even if you're frustrated with Brexit, abandoning Labour won't make the UK or Europe a better place.
Once again, this European election is not being fought on policies or on the impact that parties might have in Europe. It is being fought solely on who likes/dislikes Brexit most.
This framing commits some Remainers to abandoning Labour for the Liberal Democrats or TIGs/Change Now/Remain Alliance/ChUKs.
I understand peoples’ frustration over Brexit but I urge all Remainers to spend a few moments and reflect on what the manifestos offer.
The Liberal Democrats proudly proclaim their intention to fight Brexit. However, their manifesto barely mentions the poverty, inequality, lack of investment and lack of good stable jobs that plague not just the UK but the rest of the EU too.
These conditions were some of the causes of Brexit and we must overcome them to stop it.
However, the solutions to these problems don’t appear in the Lib Dems’ programme.
They praise European Parliament policy achievements: an end to workplace discrimination; the social chapter (working time directive, maternity and paternity leave etc); the ban on roaming charges.
These battles though were not fought and won by the Liberal Democrats’ European group – the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe. They were won by Labour’s group – the Socialists and Democrts.
The core values and policies that give us hope the EU can be a force of social good and which make us so determined to stay have been largely achieved by Labour’s wing of the European Parliament.
It is Labour MEPs who have tried their best to curb the neoliberal trend that the EU has seen over the last few decades under the centre-right European Peoples Party group.
This neoliberal trend led not just to Brexit but political crises all over the continent.
Now, instead of just listing past achievements, we need plans for the future that are bolder and more radical.
Instead of extolling the virtues of individual enterprise like the Lib Dems, we recognise that some of us start off with more advantages than others and some of us live in areas where succeeding is easier than in others.
That is why targeted investment in struggling areas is one of Labour’s pledges – not just for the UK but the whole EU.
As part of the Socialists and Democrats, Labour is committed to tax reforms to clamp down on tax dodging by corporations.
It is committed to democracy and transparency for trade deals and only signing up to trade agreements that enhance human rights and environmental protections.
Instead of tinkering around the edges of a carbon economy, Labour and the Socialists & Democrats group at least recognise the importance of overhauling our industries, our transport and our job markets and have committed to a Just Transition Fund.
A radically new economy is needed – and Labour will push for a green new deal for Europe to deliver a sustainable present and future for all.
On migration, all progressive voices recognise that we need to push for better policies from all major parties.
However, Labour recognises that climate change will throw communities into turmoil and the need for a political culture that values human lives without applying arbitrary labels on their skills and contributions based on how much they earn.
Desert Labour now and you might be letting the Brexit Party in through the back-door, making it even more difficult for those of us on the inside genuinely pushing for a better stance on migration from the Labour party.
The rise of the far right is a shared and pertinent threat across the continent.
It is, however, vital to have the right analysis and politics to tackle it within the communities where it spreads.
This is a challenge that European countries will only solve by working together to enhance conditions of ordinary people across the continent and celebrating migration while making practical commitments to legal and fair resettlement programmes.
As a Labour activist and a European migrant, there is a lot to be frustrated about with the Labour Party when it comes to Brexit.
But it is a grand delusion that withdrawing your vote from them now would deliver the political power make-up to actually solve the issues that drive people’s anger and fuel further division.
If you think Brexit is just a political glitch that can be erased and we go back to ‘normal’, perhaps the lack of political will to transform the world on behalf of some vocally Remain parties is really not a deal breaker for you.
Are you though deeply worried about Brexit’s implications, its impact, about the direction of political processes that led us to Brexit?
So don’t hand Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage a victory by voting for a politically tepid manifesto with a catchy soundbite plastered on it just to give Labour a bloody nose.
Alena Ivanova is a Labour party member and Momentum activist in Tower Hamlets
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