Hilary Benn brings remain message to Ipswich
Shadow Foreign Secretary Hilary Benn has brought Labour’s campaign to get voters to stay in the EU to Ipswich town centre.
A day after Leave campaigners Boris Johnson and Michael Gove got a lively reception on the Waterfront the Labour battlebus pulled on to the Cornhill.
Mr Benn’s main theme during the visit was the threat to the economy – as he saw it.
He said: “We are the most successful country in Europe in attracting foreign investment – more successful than France, more successful than Germany.”
And the EU’s role in protecting workers’ rights was very important.
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“It protects workers’ rights from the Shetlands to the tip of the Pelloponnese, protection for temporary workers. The right to paid holiday.”
Mr Benn said everyone had the right to make their views known in the referendum, but it was important for Labour supporters to talk to their friends, their families and their colleagues to make it clear why it was important to vote to remain in the EU.
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Labour has run its own separate campaign in the referendum build-up after the party suffered in Scotland by sharing platforms with other parties during that country’s independence vote.
Speaking after addressing the crowd, Mr Benn denied that the party had stood aside and let Tory politicians dominate the debate.
He said: “We have been campaigning all over the country. We are working as hard as we can and we have a very distinctive Labour campaign and yes people have concerns and fears and worries but the truth is we are not going to be able to turn the clock back.
“And damaging the economy and losing the benefits of our membership of Europe isn’t going to help deal with any of the problems we have got. In fact it will make them worse.”
He was joined by former shadow minister Emma Reynolds and East of England MEP Richard Howitt meeting people on the street of Ipswich to explain the party’s position.