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‘In Hampstead and Kilburn we do not scapegoat migrants’ – Tulip Siddiq explains vote against Brexit

PUBLISHED: 11:47 02 February 2017 | UPDATED: 11:59 02 February 2017

Hampstead and Kilburn MP Tulip Siddiq

Hampstead and Kilburn MP Tulip Siddiq

Supplied by Tulip Siddiq

MPs Tulip Siddiq and Catherine West both made impassioned speeches before voting against allowing Britain to leave the EU.

Hampstead and Kilburn representative Ms Siddiq told the Commons she was taking a stand in defence of her constituency’s migrants.

Explaing her reasons for voting to block Brexit, she said: “In Hampstead and Kilburn we do not wince when we hear people speaking in a different language on public transport.

“We do not blame the very real pressures on our health system, our criminal justice system and on our housing by scapegoating others just because they do not look like us and because they do not sound like us.”

She added: “In Hampstead and Kilburn we do not indulge in baseless theories that our country is at breaking point. In Hampstead and Kilburn we celebrate these EU nationals; they are a part of our fabric as much as everybody else.

Catherine West MP                Picture: Stephen D Way Catherine West MP Picture: Stephen D Way

“They have a right to be here as much as the successive generations that came before them.”

The Government’s bill – which will allow it to trigger negotiations to remove the UK from the EU – passed its second reading by 498 votes to 114 yesterday.

Ms Siddiq resigned from the Labour frontbench, where she served as shadow minister for early years, on Thursday last week after leader Jeremy Corbyn instructed his MPs to vote in favour of Brexit.

Hornsey and Wood Green MP Catherine West, however, remains a foreign office shadow minister despite also voting against the bill.

No response was given to requests by the Ham&High for clarity on her position in the frontbench.

Before the vote, Ms West told MPs she was worried about the economy, a “realignment” with the United States and the futures of young people.

She said: “Household debt is up 13 per cent in the last 12 months. We also know that our currency is dropping. The dropping of the currency is an external assessment of our economy, which is a cause for concern as well.

“We know that when the economy declines, it is not the well-off communities that are affected, but the poorer ones.”

She added: “How did we get to this point, with a nation so divided?”

Finchley and Golders Green MP Mike Freer, meanwhile, voted with the Government.

Keir Starmer, MP for Holborn and St Pancras and the Labour Party’s Brexit shadow minister, also voted to begin exit negotiations with the EU.

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