Last week, Parliament held a vote on triggering Article 50 to begin the process of leaving the European Union.
I voted against the Government’s plans which will cost jobs, investment and cause prices to rise for British people.
I made a promise to local people in the 2015 election that I would not back anything in Parliament that had the potential to damage our community.
I stand by that promise and I’m extremely grateful for all the positive correspondence I’ve received on the issue.
Since the referendum, I’ve heard from many local people and businesses concerned about the impact. Universities in our area like King’s, the LSE, UAL and LSBU face losing EU research funding, the Erasmus scheme and a drop in international student numbers which could mean British students face higher fees.
I can’t vote for that. Nor can I vote for higher food costs – but our vibrant local specialist importers and restaurants like Brindisa and Mamuska have seen costs rise by as much as 15%, which risks being passed on to customers.
I cannot support jobs being lost but local companies have told me that they have withheld investment in our community, not opened planned outlets or moved jobs abroad, including in the financial sector which has announced 7,000 jobs relocating to Frankfurt and Paris.
I will never vote for people to wait longer for NHS treatments but the current crisis could be worsened if non-UK NHS employees from other EU states are no longer able to work at Guys & St Thomas’ or Kings.
There is simply too much harm to come from backing Brexit – especially now the Prime Minister has confirmed her best possible deal in negotiations is worse than what we have now.
I also visit schools and colleges and always ask their views. The Government should have allowed 16 and 17 year olds a vote last year. Young people are concerned about their prospects and I am here to fight for them too. Not least because the Government has also announced unfair plans to cut millions of pounds from Southwark schools, penalising children in our part of London.
Every single school in Bermondsey and Old Southwark would lose out.
Please don’t allow the Government to undermine local children’s prospects; sign my petition opposing the Government plans online: www.boslabour.org.uk/stop_tory_education_cuts