Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Nelson’s Column: Labour and Brexit: Deal with it….

OVER 17 million people voted Brexit on 23 June. Not all of them were UKIP supporters, they were people of all walks of life across the country who support different political parties.Labour MP Emily Thornberry was booed and heckled on BBC Question Time after suggesting that 17 million people voted Brexit ‘against their neighbour’s job’.It’s rhetoric like that which is turning Labour supporters to UKIP. It was also rhetoric like that which resulted in Labour’s Remain Campaign falling flat on its face when Alan Johnson labelled Brexit supporters as ‘extremists’ while Labour MP Pat Glass suggested Brexit supporters were ‘racist old white men’. Yet, despite these slurs, Jeremy Corbyn was blamed for Labour’s Remain Campaign performing badly during the EU referendum.I voted Brexit in solidarity with 73% of Thurrock and I based my decision on immigration, border control, sovereignty and EU bureaucracy, I never took any notice of Boris Johnson’s ‘the NHS will receive £350 million a week’ pledge. Nor was I influenced by the far-right xenophobic, racist and divisive rhetoric coming from politicians and Leave campaigners.I take great exception being vilified for my democratic decision to vote Brexit in solidarity with 17 million other people in Britain. Voting Brexit and having concerns with immigration does not make me racist, xenophobic or divisive. And it does not make me ‘Red UKIP’, either. I have always had left-wing political views and my heart has always been with the Labour Party.Millions of Labour supporters also voted Brexit and that does not make them Red UKIP. Some people seem to assume that only UKIP supporters have concerns with immigration and voted Brexit, and this just proves how out of touch and ignorant they really are.I want a sensible points-based immigration system that will allow Britain to control the numbers of people coming but also having a sympathetic approach towards refugees and asylum seekers. I certainly don’t support the Tories’ view that all foreign workers should be named and shamed, while EU nationals and overseas workers in the NHS, for example, are repatriated when Article 50 is triggered. Anyone who knows me will tell you that I am not a racist.Emily Thornberry’s comments on BBC Question Time were deeply unhelpful and disrespectful and will only further anger Labour’s Brexit supporters and Brexit supporters on the whole. She talks about the importance of Britain being united yet vilifies Brexit supporters. This attitude will only make Labour more toxic in working class areas especially where the Brexit vote was high.If the Remain supporters including politicians are serious about Britain becoming a united country, then they need to stop attacking and vilifying Brexit supporters, otherwise we will become more marginalised which will cause further division across the country.


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