Posted: 27 August 2017
***** FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE *****
In response to Keir Starmer’s announcement that he would back continued membership of the EU single market beyond March 2019, the Labour Campaign for Free Movement has affirmed its commitment to defending and extending free movement of people. Our supporters have many different views on Brexit and single market membership, but across the many wings of the Labour movement, we are united in saying that raising borders can only hurt working people, both UK and migrant.
Ian Hodson, National President of the Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union (BFAWU) and a founding signatory of the Labour Campaign for Free Movement, said: “The Tories and unscrupulous employers want to set UK and migrant workers against each other: we need to see through their lies and misdirection and stand together to build a country where the human right to live decently and move freely around the globe is not just for the rich but for all. It’s our members in McDonald’s, coming together and striking for better pay and working conditions, who are showing the real way to improve life for all workers.”
Ana Oppenheim, a spokesperson for the Labour Campaign for Free Movement and an international students’ representative for the National Union of Students, said: “Our party should stand for a system of free movement. This is in the interests of all workers, by giving everyone the right to work legally, join a union and stand up to their boss without fear of deportation or destitution. Migrants’ rights are workers’ rights.”
The Labour Campaign for Free Movement was launched on 4 August by trade unionists and Labour Party members and supporters. Prominent signatories to its founding statement include MPs Clive Lewis, David Lammy, Geraint Davies and Tulip Siddiq, and the General Secretaries of the TSSA, BFAWU, UCU and UVW trade unions. Over 2,300 Labour members and supporters are already backing the campaign, which intends to bring proposals for free movement policy to next month’s Labour Party Conference.