Berkshire for Europe
18 June 2018
We should be talking about Crossrail benefits for Reading, instead we are distracted by Brexit
Lord Andrew Adonis,addressing a public meeting in Reading last Thursday, said Brexit is diverting our attention from away from important issues for the town, notably how Crossrail can boost the town’s prosperity.
Speaking in a packed hall at Maiden Erlegh School, Lord Adonis said: ‘It is great to be here in Reading!’ and went on to say, ‘Crossrail has the opportunity to transform Reading, and what we should be debating is how we turn this into one of the most vibrant and dynamic places in the country … instead of which, we are having to come here this evening to talk about stopping Brexit from wrecking the country”
Lord Adonis spoke about what has been happening in Parliament in the past 10 days. ‘There is a battle taking place in Parliament with the Right trying to suppress debate. The battle is about whether people are going to be allowed to take stock … of the Treaty that is going to be agreed or if it is going to be put before Parliament … What is essentially happening is that the nationalist right are trying to suppress debate and they absolutely do not want a People’s Vote or even a meaningful vote in Parliament.’
Axel Antoni, spokesperson for the campaigning group 3Million, said that despite initial promises to the contrary, the 3 million EU citizens living and working in the UK, have been kept in limbo as regards to their rights, and used as bargaining chips: ‘So far the government has been busy not making any tangible decisions. Every certainty they could have given us has been fended off with verbal promises.’ Mr Antoni was born in Hamburg and has lived in the UK for 20 years. He said that many who are in a similar situation could be left without any rights at all if there is a hard Brexit.
On the government’s proposal for ‘Settled Status’, he said that the publication of the details on how applications will be processed has been postponed until just before recess, ‘to a time when scrutiny and challenge will be impossible.’
Mr Antoni encouraged the audience to keep questioning Brexit – keep writing letters, keep talking to people: ‘Combined people power can and will make a difference. With common goals, together everything is possible.’
Tahir Maher, member of the National Executive for the Liberal Democrats in England and local resident, highlighted the financial costs of Brexit. He reminded the audience that we’re currently looking at a transitional period between April 2019 and December 2020 – when we will no longer be in EU, but we will still have to adhere to all the rules, with no say. He warned that companies are already leaving the country and raised concerns about the impact on the economy. Comparing Brexit to a house purchase: ‘Say we agree to buy a house, we’re happy and make an agreement – but before we sign on the dotted line we have a survey done – if the survey’s bad would you buy the house?’
Notes for Editors:
Brexit: Are you being served? – A dialogue with Lord Adonis – Thursday 14 June – Reading
Organised by Berkshire for Europe
The event took place on Thursday 14 June at Maiden Erlegh School, Reading. Speakers were:
Lord Andrew Adonis https://www.andrewadonistour.org/
Axel Antoni, Spokesperson for the 3Million https://www.the3million.org.uk/
Tahir Maher, Member of the National Executive for the Liberal Democrats in England
The debate was chaired by Andrew Knapp, Emeritus Professor of French Politics and Contemporary History at the University of Reading.
Berkshire for Europe represents a collective of pro-EU grassroots campaigning groups in and around the Thames Valley, and is affiliated to Britain for Europe and the European Movement. The event was supported by: Maidenhead for EU Windsor for EU, West Berkshire Stronger
Together, Pulse of Europe High Wycombe. The event partner was Open Britain Reading.
Contact for Editors: Peter Leisupe firstname.lastname@example.org Mobile: 07789 958528