EU Referendum: Newham’s MPs want to remain in Europe

Newham MPs Lyn Brown and Stephen Timms

Newham MPs Lyn Brown and Stephen Timms - Credit: Archant

Newham’s two MPs, Lyn Brown and Stephen Timms, have outlined their views on Europe ahead of the referendum on Britain’s membership.

The two Labour politicians have spoken out about why they support the remain campaign ahead of the vote on June 23.

Lyn Brown, MP for West Ham:

“The EU grew out of the catastrophe of the Second World War. People realised that our prosperity and security depended upon never again falling into nationalistic state rivalry.

“We need to work together with our neighbours even when we disagree.

“The EU is also vital to our internal security. Osman Hussain helped carry out the vile 7/7 bombings in London, after the attacks he immediately and cowardly fled to the continent. Rather than having to wait years for an extradition case to go through, as we often did in the past, Britain used the European Arrest Warrant and he was flown back to the UK in the same week to face our justice system. Membership also allows us to share DNA profiles, fingerprints and vehicle registration information, so that we can catch criminals.

“On the economy, the European Social Charter helps to stop a race to scrap workers’ rights. Every EU country must have laws that: prevent bosses from making workers work impossibly long hours; guarantee paid paternity leave; and secure equal pay for those doing equal work.

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“The EU is not perfect, but throwing the baby out with the bathwater is not the answer. The Britain I love has the self-confidence and power to make the case for a Europe with greater democracy and even better protection for workers.”

Stephen Timms, MP for East Ham:

“I’m strongly in favour of us staying in the EU for one reason above all – the Asian Business Port at the Royal Docks.

“The idea is that Chinese banks and others wanting to access the European market will locate their European headquarters there, bringing 20,000 jobs.

“This investment is a really big opportunity for Newham and if London isn’t in the European Union, these people aren’t going to want to set up their European headquarters here. We need those jobs and this investment in this part of London.

“I understand people’s concerns about the EU but if we leave we’ll have to carry on trading with them and have the same sort of deal the Swiss have. For them to have access to the single market they have to obey all the EU’s rules but have no say at all about what will be in those rules.

“So if we left, we wouldn’t have a voice at all but we’d still have to obey them – it’s the worst of both worlds.

“If our small and medium-sized enterprises want to export to Europe they’ll have to obey the rules.

“They could trade with people outside Europe, but businesses want to trade with neighbours because they’re close, which makes it cheaper and easier.

“We also wouldn’t have free movement of people anymore, which would make it harder for us to go to Europe and people to come to the UK. I don’t think we should be pulling the draw bridge up between ourselves and Europe.

“There are problems with the EU and it needs but walking away would be an ill-advised move for Britain. I hope people will recognise that and vote to stay in.”