By Cllr Julian Bell, Leader of Ealing Council
This week Boris Johnson’s government has again failed to present a coherent and serious proposal on Brexit. After over three years, the Tories still haven’t found a solution to the issue of the Irish border and the Good Friday Agreement, and they continue to ignore every warning from business, trade unions and campaigners about the impact of Brexit on industry, jobs, environmental protections and workers’ rights. It is increasingly clear to me that there is no Brexit deal better than what we currently have as members of the EU. It is extraordinary to watch the prime minister continue to risk our country’s future and sow division for his own political advantage.
While Tory Brexit chaos is ongoing in Westminster, Ealing Labour are getting on with the job of supporting our residents. Last week I spoke with community and faith groups at a Brexit cohesion meeting about the preparations the council is making for Brexit (if and when it actually happens). I made clear that Ealing is a welcoming borough with a zero tolerance approach to hate crime and discrimination, and listened to the very real concerns local people have about community tensions in the current political climate.
I’m proud to live in such a diverse borough; Ealing is home to people from all over the world who make a huge contribution to the community, including around 55,000 residents from other countries in the European Union.
To further support Ealing residents from other EU countries, the council is hosting five Brexit advice surgeries across the borough in the run-up to and immediately after 31st October. These will have representatives from the council, community groups and the police to provide advice and support for EU citizens and other residents and for local businesses on issues around Brexit, community cohesion and hate crime.
Last year, Ealing Labour passed a motion at Full Council calling for the rights of all EU citizens to live and work in the UK to be guaranteed immediately, even in the event of a no-deal Brexit. Ealing Labour will continue to do all we can to support residents from the EU during the uncertainty of Tory Brexit negotiations.
The drop-in clinic dates and locations are:
- Wednesday 23 October, 5.30-7.30pm – Ealing Town Hall, New Broadway, Ealing W52BY
- Monday 28 October, 2-4pm – Northolt Leisure Centre, Eastcote Lane North, Northolt UB5 4AB
- Tuesday 29 October, 10am-12noon – Greenford Hall, Ruislip Road, Greenford UB6 9QN
- Wednesday 6 November, 2-4pm – Everyone Active Acton Centre, 44 High Street, Acton W3 6NE
- Thursday 7 November, 6.30-8.30pm – Dominion Centre, 112 The Green, Southall UB2 4BQ
More information and advice for EU citizens in Ealing can be found on the council website: https://www.ealing.gov.uk/EUSS