Helen Cross: If Boris won’t lie down in front of the bulldozers, I will

October 10, 2019 12:00 PM
By Helen Cross in Chiswick Herald

Chiswick resident Helen Cross, the prospective parliamentary candidate for the Liberal Democrats for Brentford and Isleworth, writes in the Chiswick Herald about the current political situation.

I've lived in the Brentford & Isleworth constituency for over 18 years. It's a wonderful, culturally diverse place with an incredible mix of people from Europe, Asia, the Americas and the UK.

I am one of them.

Born in the North of England in my local NHS hospital, a child of a mixed race family, I went to a local comprehensive school before graduating from Bristol. But it is London, where I have worked as businesswoman specialising in robotics, which has become home. Especially, Brentford & Isleworth, which represents much of what's best in London - being friendly, diverse, and multi-cultural.

But Brexit has turned that on its head.

Brexit has made EU citizens, who live, work and have settled in the constituency feel like second-class citizens. They have had their human rights put at risk (and even as I write) cannot be sure that the so-called 'Settled Status Scheme' won't turn into another Windrush scandal.

Brexit has encouraged racism and division.

The Polish Centre, dear to many of the local Polish community, whose parents fought alongside the UK in the Second World War, was defaced in an outburst of xenophobic behaviour sanctioned by the bile of Brexit.

(The Brexit Party leadership, having shamelessly used race during the referendum, is STILL playing the same 'hate game' and, only this week, were forced into an apology for their disgusting anti-German Twitter ads).

This has to stop.

Which is why I stand with the Liberal Democrats, who have called for automatic right to remain for EU citizens, while unashamedly defending immigration and internationalism as a good thing.

As the daughter of an immigrant from the Commonwealth, I will stand with every EU citizen and will fight for your rights and the rights of immigrants in this country, unfairly attacked by the Conservatives' hostile environment approach to immigration.

So Brexit is the catalyst behind my standing as the Liberal Democrat candidate for Brentford and Isleworth.

We have a clear set of policies, which will help STOP BREXIT.

The Liberal Democrats are the largest pro EU party. A vote for the Liberal Democrats is a vote to stop Brexit. Jeremy Corbyn is pro Brexit. His party's ambiguous positioning is a cop out.

Our preference is a referendum with an option to remain, but if a general election comes first and we win a majority we will revoke Article 50. Stopping Brexit and letting us get on with fixing the issues in our country that caused Brexit in the first place and driving greater prosperity for all.

But it isn't just Brexit. We will address the causes of Brexit, too. Unaffordable housing, low growth and social injustice.

We will also fight to stop Heathrow expansion.

The Liberal Democrats are clear the expansion of Heathrow is an environmental disaster. Increased pollution and noise are unacceptable for local communities like Chiswick and I fully support Liberal Democrat policy against any airport expansion to get us to zero carbon emissions by 2045.

It's now clear, Boris Johnson won't stick to his pledge when he said he would lay down in front of bulldozers to stop Heathrow. But if he won't, I will. I will stand in front of those bulldozers before I let Heathrow go ahead. Our children need a planet and clean air to breath; their needs should be put before those of BAA, who have continually gone back on their word about no further expansion.

In the next election, your choice is between a Labour fudging Brexit, which is also supporting the environmentally damaging expansion of Heathrow or the Conservatives who want a No Deal Brexit with all the harm that will do to investment, jobs and EU Citizens. It's time for a change from the two old parties.

Note: This article first appeared in the Chiswick Herald on 10 October 2019 - https://chiswickherald.co.uk/helen-cross-if-boris-wonxt-lie-down-in-front-of-the-bulldozers-i-will-p10588-314.htm