It may not be people’s number one concern on the doorstep, but there are several reasons why a strong Labour vote in this year’s European elections is good for Britain, writes Twickenham Labour Party chair David Harley.
Rather than standing up for British interests in Europe, David Cameron has been held hostage by the Tory party’s internal divisions. At a time when the EU needs strong leadership to reform and ensure economic recovery to bring growth and jobs, an increasingly isolated Tory-led government is reduced to whinging from the sidelines and threatening to leave the EU altogether, which would have disastrous consequences for British companies and workers.
We need to secure an influential Labour delegation in the European Parliament, and a strong voice to promote jobs and progress instead of cuts and austerity together with progressive democratic socialist parties in the other EU countries. Labour currently has 13 MEPs, including two representing London, out of a total of 766 Members of the European Parliament. This has to change, and Labour must regain its rightful place in the forefront of a new progressive and reformist majority in Europe.
Europe needs Britain and Labour to stand up against the many far right parties that are growing in support across Europe. Only Labour can stand up to UKIP and the narrow, reactionary and sexist views which they represent here in the UK.
The Tories have shown that they are not up to the fight to defend Britain’s vital national interests. The Lib Dems have lost all credibility – a vote for the Lib Dems in the European elections will be a wasted vote. Only Labour has got what it takes, and every vote will count. A strong vote for Labour in the European elections on 22nd May will send a powerful signal across the country that Britain’s future lies with Labour.
David Harley is chair of Twickenham Labour Party