Burnley MP Julie Cooper column: I have no intention of voting for a second referendum

Burnley MP Julie Cooper
Burnley MP Julie Cooper

I know that you are all sick and fed up of hearing about Brexit - well so am I - but still the pantomime goes on and I would be remiss if I did not keep you up to date.

Incidentally pantomime was not my description but that of senior Conservative MP Ken Clark.

I agree, the Prime Minister has created absolute chaos, and in so doing not only jeopardises all that we hold dear in this country but has made the UK an international laughing stock.

No aspect of this mess though is funny and the sooner the PM gets her act together and gets a decent deal before Parliament the better I will like it.

Contrary to some of the comments that are circulating, since the Referendum I have never tried to stop Brexit. I won’t bore you by re-running all the arguments but I will just briefly re-iterate my own position on this very important matter.

Ahead of the General Election in 2017, I promised that I would respect the outcome of the Referendum and I would work to achieve an exit deal that would protect jobs, workers’ rights and living standards.

I publicised my views on leaflets, in the media, in response to hundreds of emails and face to face on thousands of doorsteps because I wanted everyone to know what they would be getting if they voted for me and on that basis, I was proud to be re-elected.

I have kept the promise that I made, and I will do so going forward. I have no intention of voting for a Second Referendum

On another subject, I was genuinely saddened to hear of the resignations of some of my Labour colleagues and whilst I was sorry to see them go I want to assure you that I will not be joining them.

I am proud to represent you as a Labour MP.

This is not a choice that I took lightly.

I did not join the Labour Party by accident, 38 years ago nor did I join blindly, following any family or community traditions.

I joined the Labour Party because I believe in equality and chances for everyone not just a privileged few.

My Labour is not a party of ‘do-gooders’ but a party of fairness and decency.

I genuinely believe that every child should have a chance of a decent life, afforded every opportunity. It really pains me to know that right now, in the 21st Century, a third of all children in Burnley and Padiham are growing up in poverty, many as their teachers, will testify going to school hungry and ill clad.

Similarly, surely every old person should have the right to a safe and dignified, retirement but this is sadly not the experience for too many of our older people.

I am appalled every week to hear of old people and the disabled going without social care. The UK is the fifth richest economy in the world and we can afford decent services.

My Labour founded the NHS and I’m proud of it and it is just not acceptable to see waiting lists soaring and patient health targets abandoned.

My Labour understands that fair funding means allocating resources according to need. It surely cannot be okay that Burnley Council and Lancashire County Council have had their funding cut by as much as 60% since 2010 whilst wealthier authorities have enjoyed increased funding.

No wonder our roads are full of potholes and when it comes to service provision the roads are just the tip of the iceberg.

My Labour believes in hard work and support for workers, the clue is in the name.

How can it be right that so many of our people work a full week and still don’t earn enough to keep themselves and their families?

My Labour understands that investing in the well-being, education and training for all is the key to a strong economy. Every child left behind is a missed opportunity.

There is a world of difference between spending and investment. My Labour understands that industry and business need a reliable infrastructure and a well educated workforce, if they are to grow and compete on an international stage and crucially create good employment opportunities.

These are some of the things that inspire me in my work to get the very best for everyone who lives in Burnley and Padiham.

My next MP’s surgery will be on Saturday from 10am - noon at my Constituency Office at 8 Keirby walk Burnley.

No appointments are necessary and people attending will be seen on a first come first served basis. Alternatively email me at julie.cooper.mp@parliament.uk or call 01282 425744.

The constituency office opens Mon-Fri from 10am - 4pm (half day Tuesday) where my staff will do their best to assist you and keep me informed of the issues you raise.