10th March 2018
Rutherglen & Hamilton West Labour MP Gerard Killen has been challenged by the Liberal Democrats to “back his constituents and his Party members” and pledge to vote to stay in the European Single Market and Customs Union.
Rutherglen Liberal Democrat Councillor Robert Brown said that Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn’s speech to the Scottish Labour Party Conference should be the last straw for anyone who was serious about defending jobs and the economy. It was, he said, a final wake up call for those who had backed Labour at the General Election on the basis that that they were pro-European.
Robert Brown said:
“It is now decision time for Ged Killen and many other Labour MPs like him. It is obvious that he is very concerned about the damaging effects of Brexit, and particularly of leaving the Single Market. Jeremy Corbyn has now ended his sponsored dither and come off the fence on the issue. The only trouble is he has jumped off on the wrong side and landed in the mud!
It is no longer possible for Labour MPs to prevaricate. Either they follow Jeremy Corbyn in rejecting the Single Market and backing the Tory hard Brexit – causing huge damage to British jobs and businesses – or they stand up for their constituents and use their power in Parliament to help stop Theresa May’s shredding of our European partnerships. In this constituency, there is no doubt a big majority of the public wanted and want to stay in the European Union – the same is true for local Labour Party members if their views are the same as a recent national poll of Labour supporters.
Gerard Killen has made much of the implications for the Irish Border. It is surely clear to him that, without continuing membership of both the Single Market and the Customs Union, a new and damaging border across Ireland is inevitable.
Liberal Democrats make these two specific challenges to Ged Killen today. Will he now back the Single Market and give the public the final vote on the Brexit terms? If he will not, he is selling out the many people who thought that voting Labour was a vote against a damaging hard Brexit.”