I had written a speech for the European motion at conference, and I wanted to share it with you all:
I was going to tell you about how angry I was.
I was going to talk about how the Leave campaign lied, how they cheated, how they preyed on fear, and how fear won.
I was going to demand we take action.
I was going to implore you to stand fast in your support for internationalism and your support for Britain’s membership of the EU.
But then I remembered that it isn’t just about us, that it isn’t just about the 16 million people who voted for an open and tolerant nation.
It is about our friends and neighbours, the 3 million EU nationals who live and work with us in Britain who never had a voice during the referendum.
In true Jeremy Corbyn-style, I have a letter. A letter from the voiceless – who I give my voice to now:
“My name is Claudia and I have been living in the UK since 2003. I arrived here from Germany with my husband and children and we have made a life in Britain. My husband is an electrician and my children have grown up here. This was our home.
That was until the Brexit campaign started. People were telling us that we will be deported if Brexit wins and we were told we had no voice in this. My husband had similar remarks at work from tenants who thought they can now come out with things like: you take our jobs; you are a drain our NHS, you steal our benefits…
The day after the result I went shopping with my youngest daughter at Aldi, and whilst standing on the till, I asked my daughter in German if we need anything else. A couple at the next till turned their heads around, and said “You lot should go back where you came from”
My daughter looked at me, and I could see her eyes were filled with tears. I just told her in a firm manner, in German, that she should swallow the tears for now. I paid, and we both went out with heads held high. We loaded the car, we drove away, and I had to stop at a lay by because we both could not keep back our tears anymore.
The abuse never stops now. People make fun of foreigners and refugees, singing “Rule Britannia” at us as they pass by and talking about Britain belonging only to the British.
Our son has a British partner and their children are both German and British. We fear for them having to go through this abuse as well. Our son is now at the point where he thinks about going to Germany with his partner and his children. My oldest daughter wants to leave as soon as she has finished her studies, and my youngest daughter is already in the process of researching places in Europe where she can live and study.
Brexit is ripping my family apart and we no longer feel welcome here. This is no longer our home.”
We should support our membership of the EU – not just because we believe in an Open, Tolerant and Unites society, not just because we believe that communities should be seen for what they contribute and not from where they’ve come from but because, as other parties turn their backs on those who need them the most we will not, and we never will.