What is Luke’s position on Brexit?
Labour will put Brexit to bed within six months of the General Election. We will negotiate a better deal, which prioritises jobs, workers’ rights and the environment. Then we will put it back to you for a final say, between Labour’s better deal and Remain.
Does Luke support the Prime Minister’s Brexit deal?
Luke Pollard MP says:
“When I was elected I promised to listen to the people of Plymouth and what they needed and expected from Brexit. That’s why since the election last June, I have consulted with the public and groups across the city hosting four Brexit Summits.
I have read the withdrawal agreement and draft agreement for the future relationship and they do not meet Labour’s six tests, more importantly they do not deliver on what people told me they wanted in the Plymouth Brexit Summits and more importantly they do not deliver for Plymouth and our local economy.
Theresa May has failed to deliver a deal which provides what Plymouth and far south west needs from Brexit. Over the last two years we’ve a government at war with itself and what we are left with is this shambolic document that confirms we won’t have a free trade deal for years but the uncertainty will continue as we hand powers and money over to the EU but lose the say we currently enjoy. Whether you voted Leave or Remain, this not what anyone in Plymouth voted for.”
What did Luke say about the draft political declaration?
Commenting on the draft agreement on the future relationship with the European Union Luke Pollard MP said:
“This is a waste of 26 pages that fails to deliver what Plymouth and far south west needs from Brexit. Over the last two years we’ve a government at war with itself and what we are left with is this shambolic document that confirms we won’t have a free trade deal for years. It doesn’t match Labour’s six tests and it does not match my 10 Plymouth Brexit Principles. Whether you voted Leave or Remain, this not what anyone voted for and I cannot vote for this.”
Luke’s urgent Brexit public meetings
On Saturday 1 December and Sunday 2 December, Luke Pollard, the Member of Parliament for Plymouth Sutton and Devonport, hosted two public meetings to hear from the people of Plymouth before he has to vote on Theresa May’s Brexit Deal.
The open public meetings were held at Devonport Live and at Plymouth Guildhall.
Following the publication of Theresa May’s deal, Luke Pollard expressed his concerns that it does not provide what the city needs after we leave the European Union.
Since his election last June, the new Plymouth MP has been determined to keep up a dialogue with the city on Brexit, holding a number of public events to continue the debate. Luke Pollard has held four Plymouth Brexit Summits since his election – the first in his first 100 days as an MP. This urgent meeting was another chance for the city to share their views with their local MP before he votes on Theresa May’s deal.
What are Luke’s 10 Plymouth Brexit Principles?
The 10 principles are a result of the ideas from Luke Pollard’s Brexit Summits, as well ongoing discussions he has had with groups and people across Plymouth since the referendum result:
1. A Brexit deal must ensure that Plymouth stays an open and welcoming city, able to attract and retain world-class talent.
2. A good deal for jobs must protect Plymouth’s businesses, funding, and rights at work, while modernising and up-skilling Plymouth’s workforce.
3. A good deal for education will protect higher education funding and participation in Horizon 2020 and allow Plymouth students to continue to study abroad in the EU as part of Erasmus+.
4. A good deal for marine must deliver a fairer deal for Plymouth’s fisheries, especially the under ten fleet, maintain the funding of Plymouth’s world-class marine science institutions and the ability to collaborate with EU universities to draw down on lucrative EU funding programmes.
5. A good Brexit deal must protect Plymouth’s local environment by retaining European environmental protections, establishing a new environmental regulator and ensure the UK’s ongoing participation in European efforts to tackle climate change.
6. A good Brexit deal for food and farming must maintain high regulatory standards and ensure frictionless and tariff-free access for the South West’s agricultural goods to EU markets.
7. A good Brexit deal for investment and funding will ensure that the UK Government matches every penny of EU funding the far south west stands to lose as result of leaving the EU.
8. A good deal for Plymouth’s manufacturers, exporters and importers will have no new tariff barriers and will include a sufficient transition period so that there is no cliff edge that will hurt local businesses.
9. A good defence and security deal will ensure Plymouth is no less safe than we were in the EU, and will properly review and fund the UK’s defences and continued access to the successful EU arrest warrant, Europol and security co-operation systems.
10. A good Brexit deal for Plymouth will be resilient and prevent a cliff edge no-deal scenario. Plymouth’s port at Millbay must be kept open and planes must be able to fly in and out of the United Kingdom without new hinderances.
Does Luke support a People’s Vote?
Luke Pollard says:
“I was proud to lead Labour’s Remain campaign in the 2016 referendum in Plymouth and believe a hard Brexit will really hurt our city. I also recognise I represent an area that voted to leave in 2016.
I respect and accept the outcome of the June 2016 referendum on our membership of the EU. That’s why Labour’s priority is to push for a Brexit deal that secures jobs and protects working and environmental rights. However, after the shambles of the last two years, I believe we should be prepared for the possibility that the Prime Minister may fail to deliver the Brexit deal that our country needs, or that Parliament can support.
If Parliament votes down the Prime Minister’s Brexit deal, or she cannot reach a deal with the EU, I want a General Election to elect a government who can get a good deal. If we cannot have a General Election, I believe we must keep all options on the table including a people’s vote. We cannot afford to crash out of the European Union with no deal on 29 March 2019.”
2018 Plymouth Brexit Summit
You can read a roundup of the 2018 Plymouth Brexit Summit here.
The Second Annual Plymouth Brexit Summit was organised by Luke Pollard – bringing together the region’s political leaders from Westminster and Europe, along with the heads of local business and other sectors at the University of Plymouth’s Roland Levinsky Lecture Theatre in front of a lively audience.
At the Summit, Plymouth’s political and business leaders delivered a damning verdict about the city’s readiness for leaving the European Union.
Boasting a list of high-profile speakers, Labour and Green Party South West and Gibraltar MEP’s Claire Moody and Molly Scott Cato gave their views from Europe. Neil Parish, Conservative MP for Tiverton and Honiton debated Labour Member of Parliament for Exeter, Ben Bradshaw on the impact of Brexit for the South West.
Labour Member of Parliament for Aberavon, Stephen Kinnock, who sits on Parliament’s influential Exiting the European Union Select Committee gave the keynote speech with the view from Westminster.
This year’s summit was even more popular than last year’s with hundreds gathering to listen to the speakers and take part in the following interactive Q&A sessions on jobs and trade; community and health; fishing farming and the environment.
Luke Pollard said:
“The theme of this year’s summit was ‘How Prepared is Plymouth for Brexit?’ What we have learnt today from key voices across our city and wider region’s businesses, trade bodies, trade unions, industries and the Universities including Plymouth City Council, Plymouth Citybus, Devon Chamber of Commerce, Brittany Ferries and many more is that Plymouth is simply not prepared for Brexit.”
“The message from the day is clear that we are not prepared, because we are no closer to finding out what kind of Brexit we are going to get. In particular, our readiness to cope with a cliff edge, no deal Brexit is limited because of the lack of time we will have to make the necessary transition.”
“This is not in any way the fault of people in Plymouth, but of a Government that has prioritised infighting over the national interest and failed to put in place the proper measures required for a smooth and orderly transition from the European Union.”
“Labour wants a good Brexit deal and we all want Theresa May to come back to Parliament with an agreement that MPs can vote for in the Autumn. But I’m very worried that the type of Brexit we are heading towards is one that will harm rather than help our city. I’ll be briefing Labour’s Shadow Brexit Secretary, Sir Keir Starmer MP on the day and sharing my thoughts with the rest of the Shadow Cabinet.”