EU socialists: Labour must stand up for truth in lie-infested debate
People are being lied to about Europe, and the Labour party must take responsibility for exposing the truth, Party of European Socialists president Sergei Stanishev will say in London today (Friday).
His speech comes at the start of a Labour conference on Brexit, and takes the form of a message from other EU socialist parties and governments to the British Labour party.
Mr Stanishev leads the Party of European Socialists, the umbrella organisation that links Labour with its fellow progressive parties across Europe — including prime ministers and senior government ministers from several European countries who will be around the table when Brexit negotiations begin later this year.
The speech will be immediately followed by an address from party leader Jeremy Corbyn. In the audience will be shadow ministers and British MPs, plus MEPs and experts from across Europe and a large number of Labour’s own activists.
His speech will emphasise the close bonds that exist between Labour and its like-minded political parties across Europe. But it will also challenge Labour to stand up for its pro-European values and speak for its own voters and supporters — two thirds of whom voted to Remain in the referendum last June.
And on behalf of fellow European leaders, Mr Stanishev will make a sharp attack on the anti-European campaigners who continue to peddle lies about the EU and the UK’s prospects for a future relationship with it.
In the speech shortly after 10am GMT tomorrow, Mr Stanishev will say:
“The Conservatives are heading for complete disaster in negotiations with the other 27 EU governments. Theresa May thinks she can walk into the restaurant, order everything on the menu and make the EU pay. This is a delusion: it simply cannot happen. […]
“Britain needs Labour to stand up and tell the truth about the government’s disastrous approach. Britain desperately needs an honest voice to hold the liars to account, to be the guardian of the 48%, and to be the advocate of the people who were lied to. […]
“Make no mistake about it. The British people were conned. They were sold ‘Brexit at no cost’: the softest of soft Brexits. But what they have ended up with is ‘Brexit at any cost’: the hardest of hard Brexits. […]
“The Tories have already begun to deploy a dishonest strategy of their own. If anybody disagrees with their approach to Brexit – on any question, large or small – the Tories accuse them of trying to frustrate the will of the people. This, too, is a lie, but a very effective one, and Labour must call it out.”
The speech comes the morning after Mr Stanishev chaired a high-level meeting in London, hosted by Jeremy Corbyn and attended by representatives from almost all Europe's socialist and democrat parties, to discuss issues related to Brexit.
For more information, please contact Toby Wardman
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