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Meeting Marsha
29 May, 2018

On Wednesday May 23rd three members of the European Movement in Wandsworth met with their constituency MP, Marsha de Cordova, MP for Battersea, to discuss her views on Brexit and its progress.

Peter Pollard, Amanda Short and Barbara Callender spent a highly fruitful 45 minutes discussing a range of Brexit related issues with Marsha at Westminster Hall in the Houses of Parliament.

Peter opened the meeting with a brief introduction to the European Movement, its history, and its activities regarding fighting Brexit. The organisation is now sharing offices at Millbank with other anti-Brexit groups including Open Britain Britain for Europe, Scientis ts for EU, Healthier IN the EU, and InFacts.

Key points:

* We gave Marsha a bundle of 73 postcards addressed to her by her constituents all requesting that she fight Brexit.

* We invited her to join us on the People’s Vote March taking place in London on June 23rd.

* We invited her to come to Battersea to address a meeting of The European Movement in Wandsworth to discuss and share their thoughts on Brexit.

* We asked her for her views on Brexit and where she thought Labour currently stood. She said they were frustrated by the time it is taking for the Lords' amendmends to be returned to the Commons for debate.

* We were pleased to note that she had seen the Wandsworth Brexit Audit of local businesses.

* We presented Marsha's assistant Dan with a further bundle of 23 anti-Brexit postcards for distribution to the relevant MPs via the internal post system.

Marsha informed us that she would like to get Sir Keir Starmer to come to Battersea and in any event would be delighted to join us at a meeting as discussed.

She considered that the current aim to roll out the audit of local businesses country-wide would be highly beneficial.

She confirmed her personal commitment to the EU and what it stood for and her regret at the Referendum result. She reiterated the Labour party aim to hold the Government to account over Brexit and ensure that the final proposals met the 6 tests as set out by Sir Keir.

We pointed out that Wandsworth voted overwhelmingly to remain in the EU, and that the previous MP lost her seat in the June 2017 election because, although she supported Remain, she was part of a Tory Cabinet pursuing Brexit. At the next election Marsha will be judged on how strongly she fought against the Brexit that is currently destroying the UK and all it once stood for. We informed her that many of the long term Labour supporters in Wandsworth were prepared to abandon party loyalty if it meant that Brexit could be overturned.

Marsha stated that in her view all options remain on the table, including the possibility of a People’s Vote on the final deal, although at present that is not Labour Party policy. Her personal red lines are that the UK stays in a Single Market and Customs Union. She assured us she would represent her constituents and is prepared to listen to them.

The meeting closed with an agreement that the European Movement in Wandsworth will set up an open meeting for Marsha’s constituents before Parliament adjourns for the summer recess.

Ms De Cordova's office states that: "Marsha supports a comprehensive UK-EU customs union and she supports a strong new relationship with the Single Market that ensures full tariff free access, no new impediments to trade and no drop in rights and protections, but it's not the case that a red line of her's is staying in the Single Market."

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