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On June 23rd the Country and the majority of citizens in our city voted to quit the European Union. What this means in reality nobody knows. The people I spoke to who wanted out had a variety of reasons. Some wanted control over who was allowed to come and live here some felt that the laws that we live our lives by should be decided by the people we elect others said they were voting out because David and George wanted to stay in.  But now the long process of negotiation will have to begin. 

So what assurances do we need from our own government? 

There are significant amounts of direct funding that the Council gets from the EU and which we would hope could be honoured by the government.  One example is that we receive millions to help Southampton people overcome health problems like depression and addiction so they can get back to work and start paying in rather than taking out. 

In terms of key priorities for Southampton in any Brexit negotiation, I have the following suggestions:

Firstly, following a unanimous City Council decision to seek certainty for those European citizens that have chosen to live work and contribute to our city, we ask the government not to use them as a pawn in the negotiations, and make an early announcement that gives them leave to remain in this country. 

Secondly, I agree with Owen Smith who is standing for the Labour Leadership that any settlement over immigration should include an agreement to invest in public services in the places that immigrants choose to live regardless of which part of the world they come from.  Local people should not have to suffer worse services because of an influx of outsiders. 

Thirdly, as a result of European legislation we are now starting to make progress on a solution for poor air quality in our city and I don’t want to see any government backsliding on their support for our proposals for a clean air zone because of Brexit. 

Finally I would want to see all of the workplace protections such as paid holidays written swiftly into British Law. Ordinary working people should not have their quality of life reduced because the current Tory government puts the interests of big business above that of ordinary people.

These are my priorities - what are yours?

Getting the best deal for Southampton from Brexit

On June 23rd the Country and the majority of citizens in our city voted to quit the European Union. What this means in reality nobody knows. The people I spoke...

Simon Letts, Labour Leader of Southampton City Council, has today written an open letter to all members of Southampton and Romsey Labour Party expressing unanimous support for Alan Whitehead from the 25 Labour Councillors in the city.  See below for the text of the letter:

Dear Labour Member,

I am writing on behalf of all Southampton Labour Councillors to express our full support for Alan Whitehead MP at this uncertain time for the Labour Party.  Alan has served the city as both a Councillor and MP for much of the last 35 years. His contribution to the City and to the Labour party is second to none and his decision to stand down as a Shadow Minister from the job that he loved would have been done with a heavy heart.

 

At this time of political turbulence and uncertainty it is essential that we remember what brought all of us to the Labour party in the first place. We all believe in a fairer society where the gap between the richest and poorest is reduced. We all believe in a National Health Service free at the point of delivery and the provision of decent homes at a cost that working families can afford.  We all believe in rights at work protected by free trade unions and a tolerant society which respects the differences between us.

 

The Labour party is not a pressure group or a personality cult but a political party that seeks to take and exercise power on behalf of working people. Along with my Councillor colleagues in Southampton I call for us to come together in Solidarity to offer effective opposition to the government and campaign for a better tomorrow under a Labour Government.

 

 

Simon Letts (Labour Leader of Southampton City Council)

Letter on behalf of all councillors supporting Alan Whitehead

Simon Letts, Labour Leader of Southampton City Council, has today written an open letter to all members of Southampton and Romsey Labour Party expressing unanimous support for Alan Whitehead from...

The details of the leadership contest timetable have now been finalised and can be found here:

http://www.labour.org.uk/pages/labour-party-leadership-election-2016

Labour Leadership election: timetable

The details of the leadership contest timetable have now been finalised and can be found here: http://www.labour.org.uk/pages/labour-party-leadership-election-2016

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