Opposing the Prime Minister’s Brexit deal
Last week MPs finally had our ‘meaningful vote’ on Theresa May’s Brexit deal. I joined colleagues in voting this damaging proposal down, resulting in an unprecedented defeat of the Government by 432 votes to 202. Take a look at the Guardian’s ‘behind the scenes’ video of my campaigning in the week leading up to the vote.
Immediately following that vote, the Leader of the Opposition, Jeremy Corbyn, tabled a cross-party motion of no confidence, which I signed alongside the Liberal Democrat leader and the Commons leaders of the SNP and Plaid Cymru. That motion was debated by MPs and I argued that the Government has failed to address the underlying reasons so many people voted for Brexit – but that a general election wouldn’t resolve this crisis. I voted for the motion of no confidence, but a majority supported the Government.
The following morning the Prime Minister invited me to meet her at No 10. I took the opportunity to reiterate many of the points people in Brighton have been raising with me since the referendum result. I pressed on the rights of EU citizens who’ve built their lives here and UK citizens living in the EU, and made a strong case for a People’s Vote. On Friday I spoke to Newsnight about my meeting and the need for the Government to tackle the inequality that contributed to the Brexit vote.
Today Theresa May must present her ‘Plan B’ to Parliament, and I’ll be working to ensure both Parliament and the public have a say over what happens next.
Protecting circus animals
I’ve long argued that animal acts in circuses are degrading and inhumane – and the vast majority of the public agree.
Last week I wrote to the Council calling on them to stop allowing circuses such as Zippos that use performing animals to come to Brighton. Zippos have now announced that their next performance won't feature animals - but still refuse to rule out ever using them again. Please add your voice to the petition to help kick this cruelty out of our city for good.
Banning lead ammunition
Even low levels of lead are toxic to humans and other animals – and despite the ban on its use in petrol, paint and water pipes, lead gunshot and bullets remain a largely unregulated exception. At least 5,000 tonnes of lead ammunition is deposited into the UK’s environment every year, accumulating a toxic legacy and causing up to 100,000 birds to die of lead poisoning each winter.
Last week I tabled an Early Day Motion in Parliament calling on the Government to ban the sale, possession and use of all lead ammunition in the UK.
Defending human rights
Last Monday I was among the signatories to a letter to the Guardian calling on the Government of the United Arab Emirates to urgently release Ahmed Mansoor.
Mr Mansoor is an internationally acclaimed human rights campaigner, sentenced in May 2018 to 10 years in prison for “defaming” the UAE on social media. As a member of the UN human rights council, the UAE must act on its obligation to protect the rights of all its citizens.