'Brexiteers backing no-deal haven't experienced real poverty' - Watch David Lammy's heartfelt speech to the Commons
PUBLISHED: 16:33 28 February 2019 | UPDATED: 16:47 28 February 2019
"You do not have control when you cannot find work. You do not have control when your rights are sold off and dismantled for profit."
David Lammy has said that a no-deal Brexit would mean a “whole generation of families will be impoverished” in a rousing speech to the House of Commons.
The Labour MP for Tottenham told MPs that “Project Fear will become Project Reality” if a deal is not found.
Lammy said: “I have not met a member who supports no deal who has experienced real poverty — the scarcity that, in previous eras, was so common, the destitution that families endured in workhouses in Victorian England, the deprivation in the east end that led to the birth of the Salvation Army. There may be a few left now who experienced forced rationing during the Second World War.”
Growing up “in the shadow of the Broadwater Farm estate in Tottenham in the 1970s” introduced the MP to the indignity and melancholy of deprivation, Lammy added.
Lammy’s speech outlined damning government estimates including that the economy will be weakened by 9% over 15 years, and the health secretary’s refusal to rule out medicine shortages causing early deaths.
He said: “No-deal Brexit is a dereliction of the first duty of a government, which is to keep the public safe, so I suggest to the Government that they should say tonight that they would vote against that no deal.
“Crashing out of the EU without a deal would be the single greatest failure of this government and of any government in modern British history: a failure of leave campaigners to deliver the utopia they sold to voters in 2016; a failure of parliament to stand up for our constituents, and, most of all, a failure of the prime minister to put the country before her party and her narrow self-interest.”
Lammy went on to call Brexit a con by multi-millionaires “knowing full well that the financial crisis is the fault of their own gambling on the markets and that Brexit is a chance to double down on it again.”
He then “called out” fellow MPs Jacob Rees-Mogg and John Redwood, Lord Lawson, Sir James Dyson and Nigel Farage as Brexiteers with “enough capital to profit out of this disaster,” saying “leave really did mean leave for these men.”
Lammy finished with speech with a direct appeal to those who told the country that Brexit was about taking back control: “You do not have control when you are living in destitution. You do not have control when you cannot find work. You do not have control when your rights are sold off and dismantled for profit.
“There is no dignity in poverty, only shame.
“So shame on the ERG for what they are doing to this country. Shame on the prime minister for failing to say no. And shame on anyone who would vote to make this country poorer. We should take no deal off the table.”
His speech was made the day before a spat with documentary maker and Strictly Come Dancing winner Stacey Dooley over her role in this year’s Comic Relief, accusing her of perpetuating the “white saviour” stereotype.