On 23 May we shall be electing our Members of the European Parliament. Through this democratic process we shall be electing those who, along with the Council of Ministers, make those European laws that affect all the citizens of the European Union.
The Tories would have you believe that this election is all about backing a Brexit deal, but it is not. It is about how Europe is run. It may be that our MEPs are not there for very long, if we leave on or before the extended deadline, but during that period our MEPs will not be dealing with Brexit, but with European legislation.
The Labour manifesto for these elections has recently been launched. This manifesto is about the actions that need to be taken in partnership with the rest of Europe, whether we have a deal of close co-operation with the EU or whether we remain members of it.
Jeremy Corbyn said that we need to “restore pride and prosperity to parts of our country that have been neglected for too long”. He continued: “That neglect was, I believe, a major reason behind the vote for Brexit in the first place.”
The manifesto, therefore, sets out some key areas of action that are needed in the UK and in Europe, like ending austerity and rebuilding our economies, tackling climate change, improving rights and protections at work, keeping us safe through cross-border co-operation, promoting equality for our citizens and building unity.
Jeremy emphasized the over-riding importance of the climate change emergency: “The biggest issue of all – the climate and environment emergency that threatens everyone’s future – cannot be averted by one country alone.”
As the manifesto says, Labour has the ambition to lead a green industrial revolution on our continent, with the aim of making Europe the first zero carbon continent in the world.
Read the full manifesto here.