Momentum on 'Brexit' vote: Labour movement must show way forward for the working class

The statement below was published on June 24 by Momentum, a grassroots group within the Labour Party that seeks to organise in support of the left platform of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

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Yesterday, the British people voted to leave the European Union. Momentum, which campaigned to remain in the EU in order to transform the EU, respects the decision taken by the electorate.

We recognise that people voted 'Leave' for many reasons. Much of this vote reflected anger in communities which have experienced many years of industrial decline with the subsequent loss of secure employment. Many such working class communities have been utterly neglected for years by those in power.

Millions appear to have chosen 'Leave' to vote against the unfettered globalisation that has seen living standards stagnate or fall, as the cost of living rises. We share this scepticism of big business dominance, austerity and distant elites, be they British, European or global, and share that demand for a country where working people have control.

Many 'Leave' voters usually vote for Labour or are working people Labour should represent. Now the party and the whole labour movement needs to show the country that it alone can offer working people genuine control over their lives, workplaces and communities.

Labour must clearly demonstrate how it will improve lives through policies that will increase wages, tackle the housing crisis, and give people a greater say at work and in their communities.BIf we do not, we will not only be failing to advance the policies that will benefit working people but also could enable the populist right, who blame immigrants, not the powerful for the problems in our country.

Part of the Leave campaign empowered these racist, reactionary forces, who peddle hatred and offer false hope. We must redouble our efforts to stop migrant scapegoating, focus our attention on the needs and desires of the overwhelming majority, and offer a real programme of hope for our people.

Although we will leave the EU, our movement remains an internationalist one. We must continue to work with our friends, partners and allies across Europe in the shared struggle against austerity, to tackle climate change and to build a sustainable economy with full employment for all the peoples of Europe.

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