“Every single vote will count” Labour’s Ann Reeder on the European elections

ann reeder at Minehead
Ann Reeder,Labour Euro candidate, visits party members in Minehead

On May 22nd we have the chance to put socialism at the heart of Europe – in an election when every vote will count.That was the message from Labour candidate Ann Reeder, speaking to Party members in West Somerset. Ann told a meeting in Minehead that Labour wants a Europe that is about jobs and recovery. And she accused the Tory and Lib Dem government of a “terrible failure” by not applying for EU funds to help Somerset cope with this winter’s floods.

Ann explained the importance of the May election, saying “we will be trying to boost the Socialist group who challenge the austerity which the right in the European Union is imposing.”

She said membership of the EU was vital to Britain’s prosperity. Three and a half million jobs and 52 per cent of our trade depend on Europe. Ann said that if we were not in the EU, there would be a race to the bottom – with jobs, investment and workers’ and consumer rights all threatened. “If we were outside the EU, Britain would be the sweatshop of Europe,” she said.

All votes across the South West will be tallied together

ann and mick
Ann Reeder with Bridgwater and West Somerset PPC Cllr Mick Lerry

Labour faces a big task in the election. We do not currently have an MEP in the South West.Ann said Labour members and supporters should remember that “every single vote counts,” in an election where all votes across the South West will be tallied together.

She derided UKIP, saying they stood in elections without a manifesto and when elected did not turn up to do the hard work of representing those who had voted for them. “Don’t expect them to deliver,” she said.

On the question of a Referendum on EU membership, Ann said she does not believe there is a case for one now. She backed the policy of Ed Miliband, who has given a guarantee of a referendum if the UK is asked to transfer more power to Brussels. But she said this was a guarantee unlikely to be needed.

Ann told the meeting that the response to flooding in Somerset showed the danger of a negative attitude to Europe, when the government did not apply for emergency funds. Ann said: “The European Union could be helping our people. But there was a terrible failure by this government to care.”

The election on May 22nd will choose six MEPs for the South West, using proportional representation. Strange fact: for the purposes of this election, Gibraltar is part of South West England.


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