MPs united across party barriers on EU ‘yes’ vote
PUBLISHED: 14:11 25 February 2016 | UPDATED: 14:11 25 February 2016
Four local MPs are united across the political divide in their wish for the UK to remain within the EU.
Conservative MP Mike Freer confirmed this week that he will vote to stay following the end of Prime Minister David Cameron’s renegotiation deal with Brussels.
His office said that Mr Freer would not actively campaign to stay, instead leaving this to the official canvassing groups, and offered no further comment at this point.
Mr Freer finds himself at odds with many in his own party who want the UK to leave, including his own immediate boss, Chris Grayling, to whom he is Parliamentary Private Secretary.
The Labour Party is not completely united on the issue either, although there is unanimity on its front bench for the “yes” campaign.
Hampstead and Kilburn MP Tulip Siddiq, Sir Keir Starmer (Holborn and St Pancras) and Catherine West (Hornsey and Wood Green) have all spoken out strongly in favour of remaining within the EU.
Sir Keir said: “I am strongly in favour of UK membership of the EU and will campaign for an ‘in’ vote.
“The challenges facing the UK in the 21st century, including the environment, trade and security, are global and the UK needs to work with its EU counter-part to meet these challenges.
“The deal struck by the Prime Minister is not the central issue. Our place in the world is at stake.”
On the announcement that Mayor Boris Johnson will play a central role in the campaign to leave, Sir Keir said: “It is regrettable that Boris Johnson has put his personal ambition before the public interest.”
Ms West said that whilst the EU is “not perfect”, she would rather see the UK at the heart of it than in self-imposed exile.
She said: I strongly support the campaign to stay in the EU and I am one proud to be one the political champions for the Britain Stronger in Europe campaign.
“At a time when there is so much instability around the world, I’ll be voting ‘yes’ because I want to be part of a group of nations committed to peace, security and democracy. Not only that, being part of Europe Union has brought Britain jobs, growth and provided important protections for workers, consumers and the environment.
“Crucially, so many of the issues we face today, from terrorism to the need to tackle climate change are issues that transcend our nation’s borders. Through working with our neighbours in Europe to solve these problems, we can achieve so much more than by cutting ourselves off.”
Ms Siddiq wrote an opinion piece for the Ham&High last week in which she outlined her reasons for wishing to remain.
The referendum is set to take place on June 23.