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James Beckles, London (Labour Party)

I’m standing in the European Elections because I care about the future of the UK and the opportunities that will be deprived from young people and all those who currently benefit from what the EU has to offer.

This includes workers’ rights, environmental protection, Erasmus, freedom of movement, the single market and the customs union. Not to mention our shared values of democracy, pluralism and tolerance.

I was dismayed by the initial EU referendum vote in 2016 and I’ve been continually disappointed by the lack of progress in the withdrawal negotiations. The multiple red lines imposed by the Tory government has meant that we were never going to agree a deal that would retain some of the benefits of membership such as a compromise EEA membership the so-called “Norwegian Model” or a deal that seriously safeguards the Good Friday Agreement. Theresa May while appeasing those who want a hard Brexit has jeopardised peace in Northern Ireland and the finances of ordinary people and families who will be hardest hit by a tariff heavy no deal Brexit.

So I’m standing to ensure those concerns are not forgotten in the debate about whether we stay or go or the type of deal we get. I want guarantees for the rights of workers, people from minority groups like me and to make sure  environmental regulations will be protected and not lowered but enhanced if or when we leave the EU.

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