After more than a year and a half of delay, the Russia Report was finally released to the public this morning. The report’s conclusion that the government “did not take action to protect the UK’s process in 2016” highlights the need for greater oversight over our democratic processes, and we wholeheartedly welcome the report’s recommendation for a post-referendum assessment of Russian attempts at interference, similar to what happened in the United States.
The people who were most in favour of Brexit love to speak about British sovereignty - yet fall remarkably silent when presented with concrete evidence that a foreign power has interfered in our democracy on multiple occasions. It is shameful that the government has been so reluctant to act in the face of such a blatant threat from a hostile actor. This is not a partisan issue - the extent of Russian influence poses a significant challenge for us all, and it must be tackled in order to protect our democracy.
But the Russia Report isn’t the only thing that we should be talking about today. Last night, parliament voted on amendments to the Trade Bill. They began by voting down New Clause 17, an amendment designed to prevent the NHS being subject to any form of foreign control by 340 votes to 251.
New Clause 17 also sought to:
- Protect NHS staff from having their wages slashed by any future trade deal
- Regulate medicine prices
- Protect patient data from being sold off
The Conservatives clapped for the NHS - and then put it on the negotiating table.
Pretty bad, right? But wait - there’s more!
MPs also voted against New Clause 11, which sought to protect food standards and animal welfare.
We’re not done yet!
Perhaps most alarmingly, MPs then voted against ensuring that parliament would have a vote on any post-Brexit trade deal. They literally voted against giving themselves a say.
Angry? So are we. But here’s the good news - the European Movement has more than 120 groups across the country that are leading the fightback. Join us:
Together, we can hold the government to account.
Hugo Mann, CEO