‘One of the big problems in this country is everybody’s talking about Brexit,’ Labour chair tells The Canary

Ian Lavery
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On 5 December, Labour Party chair Ian Lavery spoke as part of a Corbyn-led initiative called community organising. And the MP led the call for a people-powered revolution to start in Cornwall and across the UK. The Canary attended and spoke to Lavery about some of the issues facing the country at a historically unique moment in time. And he was clear that, behind Brexit, we must not ignore the deeper problems people in this country face.


On 4 December, Theresa May’s government became the first in history to be found in contempt of parliament. And Lavery called the current situation “outrageous”, explaining that:

they’ve just added to the huge problems which parliament are facing now because of Theresa May’s shambolic negotiations and unbelievably bad deal which she’s bringing before parliament next week. So we’ve got huge problems and the thing is… these things are new to parliament and we’re not sure what will happen.

Things are moving fast. And as Lavery said, “we’re not sure what will happen in the next day or so never mind the next week”. A “week’s a long time in politics”, he went on, but right now, even “half an hour’s a long time”:

But one thing’s certain, the government – and rightly so – are on the rack.

“What about?”

But although Brexit is dominating headlines, Lavery is acutely aware of the deeper issues in society that the situation masks. As he said, “one of the big problems in this country is everybody’s talking about Brexit”. But there are equally important issues, affecting millions of people, that need urgent attention:

What about the public sector? What about the attack on the vulnerable? What about the people who are suffering greatly because of austerity? What about the underinvestment in the NHS? What about the problems in the prison service? What about the rise in crime due to 21,000 police officers being taken off the front line?

Read on...

“The country’s on its knees,” Lavery went on, “that’s the problem.” Yet despite this, “we’re discussing Brexit and Brexit only”.

“Support everybody in the country”

Lavery was also clear that it doesn’t have to be this way. “We’ve got to push,” he said, “to recognise that we’ve got to get a much better deal than what Theresa May has come back with.” May’s deal isn’t good enough; nor is the choice she’s given parliament. Because as Lavery explained, “the option isn’t her way or the highway”. And amid constant speculation about Jeremy Corbyn and Labour’s plans, Lavery stated:

The option should be that we would like a general election and we would send our team – negotiate a Brexit deal which would support everybody in the country, not just a political party as in the Tory party.

“Hope, opportunity, aspiration”

The Canary asked Lavery if Labour was ready for a general election if May loses the Brexit vote on 11 December. He replied emphatically:

We’re ready for a snap election at any time. We really are. And we think that the country needs a Labour government that will look after the many and not the few in all of the departments I’ve already mentioned.


“The country is in chaos,” he said, “and it needs a government who cares for the people of the country and not just looks after the select few at the very top.” And he continued:

That’s what the Labour Party will bring: hope, opportunity, aspiration. A huge difference to what we’ve got at this moment in time, where only the wealthy and the elite count in society.

May and the Tories lunge further into chaos each day. But after speaking to Lavery, it seems clear that – far from this chaos – Labour really is a government in waiting. And it sounds like it’s truly ready to put the needs of the country’s most vulnerable people first.

Featured image used with permission from Labour Party community organising

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  • Show Comments
    1. Its true I’m tired of hearing about Brexit the can constantly being kicked down the road and new gall posts but I don’t think Labour will win if they keep banging on as the Greens, SNP, Plaid Cmyru, and the Liberal Democrats keep pushing for another referendum which will piss off the many, silent majority of the left who supported Brexit, want Lexit, the ability to nationalize various industries but can’t if your a member of the EU. No such thing as soft Brexit, compromise can be made between honest actors but leaving the EU does mean leaving the single market and customs union unless you want a deal like Switzerland, Norway or Turkey. And I’m scared that the more the Greens and others and vocally Labour keep banging on about another referendum in the event they have another election they’ll be in for a rude awakening.

    2. WILL Labour M.P.–WILL Tory M.P.
      SELL our country out to E.U. 27 Countries
      By passing this C**p withdrawal bill
      With the BACKSTOP written in it that also,
      Sell out Northern Ireland people as well.
      Yes or no? — Ian Lavery
      One of the big problems in this country is everybody’s,
      talking, about Brexit,’ Labour chair tells The Canary.
      You are right we are taking about our future we leave voters,
      do not wish to be sold out by Tory Govt M.P. or Labour M.P,
      the withdrawal bill with backstop in it will sell us all out to E.U.
      Not just us British but also Northern Ireland People as well.
      Also, a fact the Tory Govt did not give the young voters,
      a say in their future,– (a vote on E.U.)
      so, we must look after their say as well NOW.
      When leaving E.U. Mess not sell them out
      By passing a bill of law they had NO say IN
      But will have to live with it forever not, just,
      5 years while a new G.E. is held but forever
      The deal is permanent them in E.U. will not,
      Change laws the ruling they will keep us in
      E.U. not let us go.
      (do I trust them to let us go NO)
      Just like “I do not trust Tory Govt ever.

    3. UPDATE!
      We local have in Lancashire area (pendle area COLNE)

      LINK to post 7.12.2018

      HI—voter of Pendle area.
      D-day on way over C**p withdrawal bill
      My points on C**p withdrawal bill below!
      Can we trust our Tory M.P. YES OR NO?
      WILL our Tory M.P. Mr. Stephenson sell us
      OUT to E.U. WHEN HE VOTES next week
      “I have asked him about this matter,
      but he refuses to reply to “me WHY?
      Andrew Stephenson in my area of Lancashire,
      COLNE–(Pendle area?)
      Today when Ms. May Orders her M.P. out into,
      the country to peddle her lies to us public over,
      her C**P, Withdrawal bill that sell out the U.K.
      + Northern Ireland out to E.U. 27 Country,
      and keep us paying into it forever!
      But also sell out all the leave voters in our area
      that voted to leave not stay half in half out
      forever and keep paying in the E.U.
      Or will our Tory M.P. of Pendle area just stay in,
      LONDON area hiding from us leave voters in Colne,
      like he has been doing for the past,
      2-1/2 years now?
      And just vote blindly YES to Ms. May withdrawal bill,
      just to, clime the Tory party ladder in Govt and for, him, to
      benefit ONLY! OFF personal deals,
      done with Ms. May ONLY for his vote?
      (if he votes yes to C**p withdrawal bill?)
      Our country + Northern Ireland, will he
      Sell us all out in Pendle area????

    4. I’ll say first I live in Canada , and am watching the confusion about Brexit, and the social mess its creating.
      Who initiated this were the Tories under Cameron, and the pro- Brexit referendum now is under a criminal investigation for fraud.
      This speaks to the truth.
      So in who’s interest is this Brexit in??
      The Tories are ruling under a vote of being in Contempt of Parliament .
      Who’s political mess is this??
      Fooled people?

      1. fully the mess is of Tory Govt M.P.s + Minister
        also including David Cameron
        X Prime Minister of U.K. that did a runner
        soon as he lost the vote in our referendum,
        vote to leave E.U. 27 Country.
        Our Tory Govt asked us to vote we did to leave E.U.
        then are now selling, us out to the E.U.
        By way of a withdrawal bill that keep sus half in half out
        of E.U. and us British taxpayer still paying them in E.U.
        to run our country.
        WHY Tory Govt are you selling us out in U.K.,
        Northern Ireland,Scotland ,Wales with your C**p
        withdrawal bill –Tory Govt must tell us voters why!

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