Poplar & Limehouse Liberal Democrat candidate, Elaine Bagshaw, says Labour politicians representing Tower Hamlets aren’t planning for the potential impact of Brexit, pointing to the loss of two European Union agencies based at Canary Wharf as just the start of a wider exit from the borough of Tower Hamlets.
Bagshaw met with staffers at both the European Medicines Agency and the European Banking Authority last week. Together, the EMA and EBA employ around 1,000 people and spend around 90 percent of their budgets within Britain. Scientific, and other visits to the EMA, account for around 30,000 hotel nights a year, boosting local business and jobs. Post-Brexit, these agencies and jobs will leave Canary Wharf for new bases in EU countries.
“We have an incumbent Labour MP who has said that Brexit is ‘done and dusted’ at a time when negotiations haven’t started; Britain hasn’t felt the full consequences of leaving the Single Market, and EU agencies that help support our local economy haven’t left yet,” Bagshaw says. “Liberal Democrats fought to have a Brexit impact committee set up on Tower Hamlets Council to help address this lack of due attention.
“With their twin stances on leaving the Single Market, Labour cannot any longer call themselves the party of jobs any more than the Tories can call themselves the party of business,” she says. “The agencies’ departure gives us but a preview of the damage that Hard Brexit is doing to both businesses and jobs. That’s why the Liberal Democrats will continue to support remaining in the Single Market.”