The Prime Minister has a slippery relationship with the truth - Labour MPs can't trust him.
Rumours currently gripping Westminster suggest that Boris Johnson might have a majority in parliament for his proposed deal. The most speculation, however, surrounds the Labour MPs that may vote for it.
As a Labour member, I write to ask Labour MPs not to vote for whatever deal Boris Johnson brings to parliament. Because even if they want a deal with the EU – a Boris Johnson deal, brought by a man who has made a career out of being a liar, should go against everything every Labour MP stands for.
If there’s one thing we know for sure about Boris Johnson, it’s that he can’t be trusted.
He was sacked from the Times for lying. Sacked as Shadow arts minister for lying. He lied about there being £350m for the NHS. He claimed he had never said that the Police investigating historic child sex abuse claims was “spaffing money up the wall” – there is a video of him saying exactly that. Most recently, the highest court in the country ruled that he deliberately misled the queen.
It’s clear that no one can trust Boris Johnson – especially those within Labour. We especially can’t trust empty words that environmental protections and workers rights will be protected if we leave the EU.
This is a man who has previously said that climate science is “without foundation”. 80% of environmental legislation comes from the EU – Labour MPs can’t trust that a Boris Johnson deal would protect any of this. They also can’t trust that workers rights will be protected, as Johnson himself has repeatedly spoke out against EU employment law, saying in 2012 the EU should “Boil it down to the single market. Scrap the social chapter.”
Furthermore, we know that all Labour MPs care about protecting the NHS, it is intrinsic to the values of the party, but that too is at risk in a Boris Johnson Brexit. The think tank Boris Johnson and his chief Brexit negotiator helped launch said “health services are an area where both sides would benefit from foreign competition”.
It’s clear that Labour MPs cannot trust any of Boris Johnson’s promises or assurances. It would be naive, and ignorant of everything we know about Boris Johnson as a person and a politician to do so. Many of the paths that he could take after his deal was passed could be devastating for the country and particularly what the Labour Party stands for.
Labour MPs should want no part in helping Boris Johnson on his way, and making it easier for him to continue his right wing programme of government. Even if they are in favour of Brexit, they should not be supportive of a Boris Johnson one.
Boris Johnson wants Labour MPs to vote for his deal, and as Labour, we should never do what Boris Johnson wants. I hope any Labour MPs thinking about voting for whatever deal he brings back will reconsider.
Isobel Housecroft is a member of the Labour Party and an activist for For our Future’s Sake.
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