Crawley Observer Column, Wednesday 3rd April 2019

Every weekend, year round, I spend at least a few hours going door-to-door asking residents if there are any problems in their area or if there’s anything they’d like to raise with me. Most of the time I find this quite fun; it’s a good way of keeping up with neighbourhood issues and you can have some great conversations with people.

Over recent weeks this has changed. People are still happy to talk, but there’s an increasing anxiety about what is happening to our country and what that means for our community. While I’d like to be a reassuring voice, I believe it’s more important to be honest and the truth is no one, not even the Prime Minister, knows how this is all going to end and yet the stakes are extremely high.

Like most people, I have loved ones whose lives depend upon medicines whose supply now is now in question. Few jobs would completely avoid the economic impact of trade with the rest of Europe suddenly grinding to a halt–although fortunately for those working at Gatwick, Chris Grayling has announced planes would still be able to fly for another 52 weeks in the event of ‘No Deal’. Everyone would unfortunately feel the effect in shortages of goods and higher prices, it’s worth remembering even Stone Age Britain traded with the rest of Europe.

The problem ultimately originates in the referendum question’s poor wording, which asked if citizens wanted to leave the EU but not what they wanted instead, meaning MPs know what people voted ‘against’ but are uncertain on what they voted ‘for’. The options MPs have voted on range from leaving the EU but retaining a relationship so close no one would notice to cutting ties entirely and becoming the only country in the world reliant upon WTO-terms. This uncertainty is something it appears only a General Election or referendum on the options can resolve.

In the meantime, whatever happens next, all I can promise is that on the ground Crawley Labour will continue standing up for our community and working hard to deliver for Crawley.

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