I have been elected leader of Labour MEPs

I am greatly honoured to have been elected Leader of the Labour Members of the European Parliament today by a vote of my peers.

I still believe in the value of the European Union, which has helped establish peace and prosperity in our continent. If we leave it, we must work to ensure that we maintain the closest possible relationship with it, both as a matter of principle and also as a matter of practical national interest when a ‘No Deal Brexit’ or a ‘Bad Deal Brexit’ would wreak economic havoc.

I look forward to a very busy time in the next eighteen months, leading the EPLP in drawing attention to the problems, the difficulties, and the multiple issues that have not yet been addressed around Brexit and cooperating with my Westminster parliamentary colleagues in the shadow cabinet and with the members of Labour’s National Executive Committee.

These are challenging times for our party, and our country, as we try to prevent this terrible Tory government making mistake after mistake in its shambolic approach to the Brexit negotiations with our European allies. I hope to be able to offer my experience and expertise to my colleagues in leading this debate.

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  1. Please fight Brexit – it is nothing but a ridiculous populist right wing bun fight between UKIP and the tories whuch has the potential to destroy the economy, make us all very much poorer and destroy the consensus for peace in Europe

  2. Virtually every voter I know is a Labour voter and virtually all of us are ardent and lifelong Europeans. We do not wish to lose our EU Citizenship, we do not wish that our country should lose its influence on EU policy making. We hope that our representatives will continue the struggle to overcome the difficulties which face us in our attempts to maintain and enhance Britain’s current status as a full member of the Union.

  3. Many congratulations Richard.
    This is richly deserved.
    Best wishes
    Mike and Cynthia Collier
    West Wolds Branch of the Labour Party

  4. Really pleased to hear this, Richard. I know you will continue to be a voice of reason and of knowledge! (Even if some will vilify you for the latter)
    You said at last week’s Policy Forum that most Leave voters didn’t vote to erect trade barriers, stop Erasmus, ground planes. They didn’t vote for Brexit at all cost.
    But even if they did! There were 48% who voted for the status quo (plus millions of us denied a vote) – surely that sort of result calls for a compromise! The softest Brexit possible perhaps. An extreme Brexit will deepen the divide and throw the country not only into an economic abyss but also into social and civil turmoil.
    It is time that *all* politicians put country before party, and I know that you will do just that.

  5. Well done, as an “ordinary” member of the public, I have always appreciated your informative articles. It has made me understand a little more clearly, a very, at times, complex Brexit.

  6. Congratulations Richard. All the best wishes for your success in your new role.
    You have a difficult task ahead, but I know you are the right person for it.

  7. A very well deserved role. And thanks very much for your very informative page of all the EU Brexit study papers, which was highlighted to me in the email bulletin from Alyn Smith MEP (SNP). A great example of MEPs of different parties co-operating.

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