What kind of Brexit for Vauxhall?


The Vauxhall Liberal Democrats have written to the local Labour Member of Parliament, Kate Hoey, to ask that she supports amendments to the Brexit bill that would protect the environment, increase funding for the NHS and prevent the Tory government from carrying out their threat to turn the UK into a tax haven.

When the public went to the polls last year to vote on whether or not to leave the European Union, nobody was given a choice over what kind of country we would like to live in once we decided to leave.

That decision is in the hands of our MPs, who are voting on amendments to the Brexit Bill. These amendments include vital clauses that would protect our environment and prevent us from becoming a tax haven in the event that the UK leaves the European Union.

How will Vauxhall's Brexit supporting MP vote?

The Vauxhall Liberal Democrats have written to the local Labour Member of Parliament, Kate Hoey, to ask that she supports amendments to the Brexit bill that would protect the environment, increase funding for the NHS and prevent the Tory government from carrying out their threat to turn the UK into a tax haven.

The letter asks her to explain why she voted against the UK Parliament having the same rights as members of the European Parliament in scrutinising the brexit negotiations. 

It asks her to support the Liberal Democrat proposal for a referendum on the outcome of the negotiations, to give the public the opportunity to reject a bad deal for Britain.

The full text of the letter, which was sent by our Prospective Parliamentary Candidate George Turner is below.

Dear Ms Hoey, 

As you are aware, in June last year the UK public were given a straight up or down vote on whether or not to leave the European Union. They were not given a choice on what kind of relationship we should seek with the EU after leaving, the kinds of rules and regulations that we will pursue after we leave and how any deal would be negotiated. As an MP, you have the opportunity to vote on these issues.

I would therefore be grateful if you could confirm that you will be voting to support the following amendments to the Brexit Bill. I would be grateful for a response and an explanation of your position.

The NHS

In October 2015 you were quoted in the Daily Mirror as saying:

“If we vote to leave, then the £350 million we send to Brussels every week can be spent on our priorities like the NHS.”

As you know, the notion that the UK sent £350m a week to Brussels was complete fabrication. However, that did not stop the Leave campaign from making this one of the central claims of their campaign.

MPs are proposing an amendment to the Brexit Bill that would compel the government to report to parliament how it will seek to meet that spending commitment.

Will you vote to ensure that the government seeks to make good on the promise from your colleagues in the leave campaign to increase funding for the NHS?

The threat of the UK becoming a tax haven

The UK government has recently threatened to turn the UK into a tax haven if it does not get its way in negotiations with the European Union.

If the government makes good on this threat, the impact on the people of Vauxhall will be devastating. The people who stand to gain most from the UK becoming a tax haven will be the super rich, who can afford private health care, private education and live in gated communities. Those who will lose out will be those many people in our community who depend on public services and will see those public services defunded.

Nobody who voted Leave in the referendum voted to turn the UK into a tax haven. That was simply not an option on the ballot paper.

Will you therefore use your vote to make sure that the government cannot use the future of our public services as a weapon in the Brexit negotiations?

Environmental Protection

An amendment being proposed seeks to adopt all existing European Union legislation on the protection of the environment into UK law, and prevent the removal of environmental law without a proper vote in Parliament.

This is a vital issue for people in Vauxhall. The EU is currently forcing the UK government, against their will, to clean up our dirty air which is killing many people in our community. It is also forcing government to clean up the Thames which sees rivers of raw sewage flow into it every year.

European environmental legislation allowed me to challenge Lambeth Council and the Secretary of State’s backing of the redevelopment of the Shell Centre in Waterloo into luxury flats. It also allowed campaigners from the Garden Bridge to successfully challenge Lambeth’s approval of that deeply unpopular waste of public money.

Will you vote to make sure that we continue to enjoy the advances in environmental protection that have been made possible by our membership of the European Union?

Giving the public a choice on the Brexit deal

As should be clear from this letter, there are many many different possible outcomes from the Brexit negotiations. The Liberal Democrats are proposing the public be given a choice on the outcome of those negations, through a referendum on the final proposed deal.

Given that the public were not given any opportunity to express a view on what kind of relationship they would want to pursue with the European Union in the event that they voted to leave, this is an entirely reasonable measure to ensure that government action aligns with the will of the people.

I do hope you will support this amendment to the bill.

Your vote on Parliamentary Sovereignty

During the referendum campaign you made 'parliamentary sovereignty' a central theme of your pitch to the electorate.

I would be grateful therefore if you could explain why you voted to reject an amendment to the Brexit Bill that would compel the government to report to Parliament on progress on the Brexit talks?

As a result of your actions, our MPs will now have less power of scrutiny over the deal being done than MEPs in the European Parliament. So much for restoring sovereignty back to the UK Parliament from Europe!

The way in which the government conducts itself over the next two years will have a profound effect on Vauxhall’s prosperity. For the general benefit of the people of Vauxhall, I do hope that you will consider carefully how you will vote on the amendments to the Brexit Bill, rather than continue to let your ideological hostility towards the European Union take over your actions.

George Turner,

Liberal Democrat Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Vauxhall


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