IslingtonTribune

The independent London newspaper

Islington’s Europeans call on Corbyn to back new Brexit vote

Foreign nationals who live in Labour leader’s borough campaign for a second referendum

30 November, 2018

Members of the Islington in Europe group: Sabrina Urban, Matthias Rosenberg, Luisa Fulci and Nick Turton

JEREMY Corbyn has come under pressure from a group of Europeans in his own back yard who are calling for a second Brexit referendum.

Islington in Europe includes members from all political parties who go out on the streets of Archway every weekend to canvass opinion on a new vote. Nick Turton, who is chairman of the group, said he believes it is a “critical” time as more people across the country back a second referendum.

“The message we want to deliver is that this should not be a leap into the dark for the Labour party and Jeremy Corbyn,” he added.

“Almost without fail everyone we meet in the street backs a second referendum. There is a mandate for it – that’s the message we want to deliver to him. We are finding that people really want another say now. It’s been two years from the referendum and a lot has happened.”

Islington delivered one of the highest levels of support for remaining in the EU at the 2016 referendum with around three-quarters of residents who took part voting to stay in the union.

Islington in Europe members Luisa Fulci, Sabrina Urban and Matthias Rosenberg are long-term residents in the borough who were born in Italy and Germany.

Ms Fulci said that the Islington North MP and Labour leader Mr Corbyn should back a second referendum – dubbed the “People’s Vote” – to protect vulnerable European citizens who she says are at risk of losing their rights following Brexit.

“The current deal on the table is not covering people from Europe who work in the NHS, the hospitality industry which keeps London alive, and cleaners. Jeremy should be supporting a People’s Vote because it’s about the vulnerable,” she added.

Around 200 people attended the group’s free advice event at the Town Hall earlier this year where they offered immigration guidance to people from Europe.

Ms Fulci said she forked out £1,700 to register for British citizenship, something she recognised most people could not afford.

Ms Urban, a researcher who lives in Tufnell Park, said she is “concerned” about having her child in this country just before the planned date of leaving the EU in March.

She added: “I’m worried, not just about being European, but about the economy. What will be our future? If we crash out, how will it affect our livelihoods? We adore our lives here and I’ve been here for 10 years. We have so many questions and worries.”

Matthias Rosenberg, a charity worker from Germany, said he felt “less welcome” in the country after the referendum.

MPs are set to vote on prime minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal on December 11. Shadow chancellor John McDonnell said this week that a second referendum was beginning to look “inevitable” due to the uncertain prospects of it being approved by the Commons and no general election on the table.

Green councillor: ‘Let’s follow our neighbours on ‘People’s Vote’’

Green Party councillor Caroline Russell

THE Town Hall’s sole opposition councillor has tabled a debate supporting a second referendum on Brexit for next Thursday’s full council meeting.

The Green Party’s Cllr Caroline Russell has called for the council – made up of 47 Labour members – to back a “People’s Vote” on Britain’s membership of the EU.

She told the Tribune: “With every passing day the worrying impact of an exit from the EU becomes more and more clear. I think in a borough that voted massively to remain, I think it is extraordinary if my fellow councillors are not convinced of the need to let people have a say on the terms of leaving the EU.” She added: “It seems to me that Islington Council should join with other councils and the London Assembly and other elected bodies to put pressure on the Prime Minister to let people have a say on the actual deal.”

Camden Council backed a similar motion earlier this month which was supported by all Labour and Liberal Democrat councillors.

Islington Council leader Richard Watts, from the Labour Party, would not comment on how he would individually vote yesterday (Thursday). He said: “We’re a democratic group and our line will be decided collectively.”

A Labour Group spokesman said: “The agenda for full council will be discussed with members at the Labour Group Meeting on Monday, as is the case before every full council meeting.”

Labour councillors in neighbouring Camden – including some representing wards in the constituency held by Sir Keir Starmer, the party’s shadow Brexit secretary – voted with the Lib Dems and Greens by supporting a motion calling for a new national vote, significantly without the clause of calling for a general election as a first preference and with the demand for remaining in Europe to be on the ballot paper.

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