Lyn Brown MP

Member of Parliament for West Ham

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This week, as a nation, we make the most important decision in a generation, one that will impact upon our nation’s wealth and well-being, upon job opportunities and security, for us our children and our grandchildren.

I want to remain.  I see no benefit whatsoever in leaving the European Union.  Half our trade is tied up in our EU membership.  We cannot afford to sacrifice all that.

Some argue we could negotiate trade deals with the EU, like Norway and Switzerland.  That means accepting common rules and regulations.  Sometimes we’ll object, but we’ll have no voice at the top table:  no vote.  That’s not taking control back; it’s chucking it away.

Many international businesses may abandon Britain, if we leave.  For foreign firms, the UK is their gateway into European Markets.  They provide thousands of UK jobs that would relocate to France or Germany.

It’s said that EU membership is too expensive, costing us £350million-a-week.  It is a lie.  It takes no account of the rebate Mrs Thatcher secured, nor the money we receive from the EU to support our fishing and farming industries, urban regeneration or our research scientists; 42% of UK cancer research funding comes from the EU!

The Treasury calculates that every £1 we invest in Europe earns us £10, in increased trade, investment, jobs, growth and lower prices.  We get a good deal.

Nastiest of all the messages from the Leave campaign has been about immigration.

Leaving the EU means fewer immigrants from Europe, they say.  It’s a way to control immigration.  It simply is not true.  Leaving the EU, but retaining single market access, would force us to accept free movement of people, just like Norway and Switzerland.  There will be no change.  Arguably, our control over immigration will loosen.  Our border controls will no longer be at Calais, but instead in Dover and other UK ports.

Let's think long and hard about this decision.  Avoid jumping into the unknown and risking our economic stability.  Let’s not be deceived into quitting the EU.  Please vote to Remain in the European Union on 23rd June.

Newham Recorder Column 22nd June

This week, as a nation, we make the most important decision in a generation, one that will impact upon our nation’s wealth and well-being, upon job opportunities and security, for...

The State Opening of Parliament and the Queen’s Speech are always lavish and exciting occasions, but the pomp and ceremony have masked a Government coming apart at the seams.  The Tories are bitterly fighting amongst themselves.  Whilst Cameron’s eye is on Europe, his potential successors are sizing up his job.  A Tory Game of Thrones!  The White Walkers are out to get him.  Winter is coming.  Before we pity this beleaguered Prime Minister, remember it’s his weakness that brought us to the brink of exit from Europe, an exit that would be disastrous for Britain.

A vote to leave will almost certainly mean another recession, higher prices, fewer jobs, more years of austerity and further cuts to struggling public services, upon which we all rely.

EU membership gives us access to half-a-billion people, the largest single market in the world.  British companies can trade across Europe without paying tariffs or facing other barriers.  We export more goods and services to Europe than anywhere else.  Four million British jobs depend on it.  We attract investment from overseas companies, because we are a gateway to the rest of the Europe.

There are many reasons for voting to stay in the EU.  The rights we enjoy at work, such as rest periods and paid holiday, are underpinned by EU rules.  If Johnson, Gove and the Tory Brexiters get their way, many hard-won rights will go.

Being in the EU makes us safer.  Former heads of MI5 and MI6, former police chiefs and army generals have argued that by working with our closest neighbours, we are better able to tackle cross-border crime and terrorism.  These challenges do not stop at the White Cliffs of Dover.  Pulling up the drawbridge won’t help us resolve them.

Talking to people on Newham’s streets over recent weeks, I get a sense that a majority of Newham voters want to remain in the EU.  This might be true across much of London, but let’s not be complacent.  London is often different to the rest of the country.  Please make sure you vote, because every vote will count.

Winter Is Coming - June 1st

The State Opening of Parliament and the Queen’s Speech are always lavish and exciting occasions, but the pomp and ceremony have masked a Government coming apart at the seams.  The...

On the 5th February, I spoke about the tragic passing of Labour MP Harry Harpham and in favour of amendments to the Riot Compensation Bill supporting riot victims. Speech below.

 

If it is okay with you, Mr Speaker, I would like to associate myself with your kind and apposite remarks about Harry. My sympathies go to his wife Gill and all those who mourn him. My friends on these Benches are in real shock and great sadness at his passing.

I rise to speak to amendments 1, 2 and 3, which have been tabled by Mike Wood. I shall also speak to amendment 8, which has been tabled by my excellent right hon. Friend Mr Lammy.

Amendment 1 would ensure that victims of rioting had at least 42 days in which to make a claim for compensation and then a further 90 days in which to submit the necessary evidence. We support that amendment. The Bill is about supporting riot victims, and in order to do that we need to give them adequate time to complete claims for compensation. Can any of us imagine trying to rapidly process a legal claim when our papers have been destroyed, we have no access to our home or business, and our life has been completely and utterly turned upside down? That is exactly the situation in which many riot victims found themselves in 2011. That situation was made all the more difficult by the fact that so many of the victims were unaware that they were entitled to compensation. They needed the time to get their affairs in order.

In 2011, the Home Office appeared to recognise that a short time limit on claims was unfair, and extended the time limit from 14 to 42 days. Amendment 1 gives us certainty that any future victims will be guaranteed at least 42 days in future. That has to be right. The amendment also provides an additional 90 days for victims to gather the necessary evidence to complete their application for compensation. Three months’ breathing room seems entirely appropriate, given the total upheaval that can be wrought to businesses and individuals by the kind of rioting we saw.

My right hon. Friend—the magnificent Member for Tottenham—spoke movingly in Committee about some of the challenges faced by his constituents in 2011. Many had English as a second language, some had their health devastated by the riots, and all had their daily routines completely shattered. They desperately needed more time to put their lives back together before they could deal with compensation claims. I congratulate him on raising the issue of time limits in Committee. If the House accepts amendment 1 today, he will have played a vital role in ensuring that any future victims of rioting are not left in the lurch, as his constituents and those of my hon. Friend Mr Reed were.

 

 

Riot Compensation Bill

On the 5th February, I spoke about the tragic passing of Labour MP Harry Harpham and in favour of amendments to the Riot Compensation Bill supporting riot victims. Speech below.


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