I am so proud to represent part of Southwark and Lambeth, both boroughs which voted overwhelmingly in favour of the UK remaining in the European Union last week.
I have always been passionately pro-European, and I campaigned very hard for a strong Remain vote in my constituency. Like many residents who have been in touch with me since the referendum, I am devastated that the UK voted to leave the EU and very concerned about the profound consequences this may have for all of us.
It is very concerning, given the closeness of the result, that so many of the core claims of the Leave campaign have been exposed as dishonest. Within days of the result being announced, Nigel Farage has said that it was a “mistake” for the Leave campaign to promise additional funding for the NHS, and a leading architect of the Leave campaign has said that leaving the EU will not bring immigration numbers down because we will still have to accept the free movement of Labour in order to remain a part of the Single Market. It is very worrying to hear many reports of increased racial abuse and graffiti as a direct consequence of the referendum result.
Given the narrowness of the result, the dishonesty of the campaign, the lack of a plan to safeguard the UK’s interests through the Brexit negotiations and the very strong support for the EU in my constituency, I will be doing everything possible to press the government to consider a second referendum when the consequences of Brexit are more fully known, to allow people across the country to have a final, fully informed say, on this decision of the utmost importance.
I firmly believe that we do better when we work together to resolve our differences, whether at home in our communities or internationally.
While the EU is not perfect and we should listen carefully to those locally and nationally who voted for Leave, the EU has delivered huge benefits to the UK, and these should not be surrendered lightly on the basis of such a close result.