As your three local Labour cllrs here in Thurlow Park we campaigned across Lambeth urging a Remain vote in the referendum, and have received many emails and had many conversations with local residents about the outcome.

In Thurlow Park 78% voted to Remain in the EU which was in line with the average across Lambeth where 79% voted to Remain – the highest level of support for Remain in mainland Britain.

The outcome of the referendum continues to raise a large number of complex questions but in particular the issue surrounding the 1000s of EU citizens living in Lambeth. While the Leader of the Council Lib Peck and the London Mayor, Sadiq Khan, have issued statements strongly defending their rights to reside in the UK after Britain leaves the EU, we were disappointed to learn at Full Council this week that having sent ‘a joint letter to the Government with 21 other Local Authorities back in November 2016 urging the Government to guarantee the rights of EU citizens Lambeth Council has still not received any response’.

Please find the full exchange between Cllr Ed Davie and Leader of the Council Cllr Lib Peck below;

Future of EU citizens in Lambeth  

Cllr. Ed Davie – Can  the  leader  provide  Council  with  an  update  on  any  communications  received  from  the government  advising  councils  on  how  to  cope  with  the  impact  of  Brexit  or  any  specific guarantees  the  borough  has  been  given  about  the  future  of  EU  citizens  living  in  our community?

Cllr. Lib Peck – Despite written communications from Lambeth Council to the government, including from the Leader of the Council in a joint letter with 21 other London council leaders to the Prime Minister in  November  urging  her  to  guarantee  the  rights  of  EU  citizens,  Lambeth  council  has  not received any response from the government. While we welcome the step forward in the Brexit negotiations that offered some reassurance to EU citizens, many people are still extremely worried that the agreement does not guarantee sufficient rights for existing residents, that the rights are time limited and are not clear on who will qualify, as the campaign group 3 Million has made clear.

We have argued consistently as a council that this government should have acted immediately to guarantee EU citizens’ rights after the referendum and that it is disgraceful to use people as a bargaining chip in negotiations. We will continue to fight for their rights and make clear that a Labour government would absolutely guarantee the rights of our friends and neighbours on day one.

On the wider issue of Brexit, the government has offered no guarantees about EU funding that funds vital programmes in our borough, particularly in relation to employment.

EU Referendum Result update

Since the UK narrowly voted to Leave the European Union on the 23rd of June there has been some considerable political turmoil.  

Thurlow Park Labour, all three Councillors, our London Assembly Member Florence Eshalomi and our MP Helen Hayes, campaigned across Lambeth for the Labour In campaign urging a Remain vote in the referendum.  We were also pleased to have been joined by many volunteers from the community and to see the great positive reception the Britain Stronger In Europe campaign had at the Herne Hill market in the run up to the referendum.  

In Thurlow Park 78% voted to Remain in the EU which was in line with the average across Lambeth where 79% voted to Remain – the highest level of support for Remain in mainland Britain. The Leader of Lambeth Council Lib Peck said she was proud of Lambeth’s result and that it was a “testament to the people of this borough and the hard work of all those who campaigned to achieve it.”

There has been considerable campaigning since the result as millions have signed a petition calling for a second referendum and there have been two large public demonstrations in support of the EU. 

Thurlow Park Labour respects the result of the nation more broadly but recognise that it raises a large number of complex questions and are very concerned about some of the outcomes. In particular the 1000s of EU citizens living in Lambeth should be reassured that both the Leader of the Council Lib Peck and Sadiq Khan have issued statements strongly defending their rights to reside in the UK after Britain leaves the EU.  We have also been alarmed at the number of hate crimes in the UK directed against people of all nationalities which appear to have risen in the aftermath of the referendum. We think incidents such as the attack on the Polish community centre in Hammersmith are disgusting and have no place in society.  

In response we supported a motion that came forward at the last meeting of Lambeth Council condemning hate crime and we will work to allocate the resources that we have to prevent such incidents from occurring in our area. 

In particular if anyone living in the ward feels in anyway unsafe or is targeted please report this to the Thurlow Park Safer Neighbourhood team – http://content.met.police.uk/Team/Lambeth/Thurlowpark – or you can contact us. We want to do as much as we can to help protect our wonderful, rich and diverse community.

Finally in relation to the road ahead – there may be a number of political and economic challenges to come. We are committed to ensuring that over the next few months we work closely with the council leadership to ensure that the economic uncertainty in Lambeth is minimised as far as is possible.