“The Tories’ chaotic handling of Brexit has left our country in crisis. People’s jobs and industries are at risk.
After nearly three years of Conservative failure and botched negotiations, we now face these unexpected European elections.
Britain is divided as a nation, and some politicians view these elections as an opportunity to stoke those divisions. Labour is the only party trying to bring our country back together.
Whether you voted to Leave or to Remain, our politics needs to change because it is only working for a few at the top – whether in Westminster or in Brussels.
Labour has the policies that will deliver the change our country needs, and will work across Europe to take on the challenges facing our continent.
This Conservative government is too weak and divided to deliver a Brexit deal that meets the needs of our communities, already under huge pressure from years of austerity.
Labour has put forward an alternative plan to seek a close and cooperative relationship with the European Union, including a new comprehensive customs union with a UK say, close single market alignment, guaranteed rights and standards, and the protection of the Good Friday peace agreement in Northern Ireland.
We believe such a deal could bring our country back together and deliver on the result of the referendum. However, the Government has refused to listen and compromise. They have spent more of the last three years arguing among themselves than negotiating a good deal for the people of Britain.
Labour will continue to oppose the Government’s bad deal or a disastrous no deal. And if we can’t get agreement along the lines of our alternative plan, or a general election, Labour backs the option of a public vote.
If the Government is confident that it has negotiated a deal that benefits our economy and our communities then they should not be afraid to put that deal to the public.
Labour has worked across the European Union to improve people’s lives: from delivering rights at work and protecting our environment to taking on the worst excesses of global capitalism.
We will build on those achievements, cooperating closely with our progressive allies in Europe and across the world.
This manifesto highlights Labour’s policies to transform Britain and Europe, for the many, not the few.”
– Jeremy Corbyn, Leader of the Labour Party
Labour MEPs in the European Parliament have fought hard to deliver changes that have made a difference to people’s lives.
It was Labour that delivered laws to improve people’s lives at work, leading the way in ensuring part-time workers could not be treated less favourably than full-time workers. Labour helped deliver minimum maternity and paternity leave across the EU, and Labour MEPs delivered the working time directive, limiting the hours people are forced to work.
Labour MEPs pushed through the climate package that first recognised the dangers of climate change, and set binding EU-wide targets on reducing emissions and promoting renewable energy. We promoted the very first EU habitats laws, ensuring the maintenance of biodiversity and measures to protect wildlife, including by prohibiting neonicotinoids. And it was Labour that took on big tobacco by introducing new laws on plain packaging and putting a halt to targeting young people.
Labour led the fight against the excesses of the few, delivering a cap on bankers’ bonuses and supporting regulation to curb casino capitalism. Labour also helped deliver an end to rip off mobile phone roaming charges, delivered compensation rights for all passengers on air, land and sea, and access for disabled passengers.
From delivering the Charter of Fundamental Rights to securing the European Arrest Warrant and access to vital databases, which have helped take criminals off our streets, Labour has worked to balance the need to make our country safer, with the duty to protect and promote our human rights.
On equality, Labour has delivered new EU laws banning discrimination in the workplace or in educational establishments on the grounds of race or ethnicity.
It is time to leave behind the failed conservative and neoliberal economic models of the past.
Labour will take a different approach. We will end austerity, invest in communities, protect our public services, and ensure those with the broadest shoulders pay their fair share.
In the European Parliament, Labour will work to direct EU investment to areas that are struggling.
Labour will work with others to ensure procurement and competition laws work to benefit and encourage investment towards a greener economy and in areas that need investment most.
Labour will only support trade deals that promote human rights, consumer standards, environmental protections, and rights at work. Labour will protect our public services, like the NHS, from being opened up to further privatisation.
Trade policy should be used to raise standards across the world, not to engage in a race to the bottom. We will work with EU partners to protect our industries, like steel, from the dumping of cheap imports, and we will defend UK products against cheap imitations, from Scotch whisky to Welsh lamb and Cornish pasties.
For too long many multinational corporations have exploited the system, happy to take the profits without paying their fair share of tax. It is a scandal that large corporations and super-rich individuals have ruthlessly exploited loopholes to avoid paying their fair share.
Labour will continue to support EU-wide efforts to close the loopholes, increase transparency, and take action on the tax havens that operate in Europe or with the support of EU countries (like UK overseas territories, where the UK Government has failed to take action).
Labour is also committed to working across Europe to establish a Robin Hood Tax on financial transactions, as a fair way to raise extra revenue to help fund our public services.
Action at EU level would be complemented by our commitment to deliver a National Transformation Fund providing £250 billion of investment benefiting every region and nation of the UK. And we will protect funding for research at UK universities.
Combined with a network of national and regional development banks, this would reverse years of chronic underfunding that has held back communities and industries in too many parts of our country. Under Labour, no region or nation would lose out on funding, and power over decisions affecting investment will be taken in Scotland, Wales and in English regions.
And we will bring our railways, water, energy and mail into public ownership – run for public service not private profit.
Although we are living through unprecedented political times we must not forget that our country, our continent and our planet is facing a climate emergency.
We cannot afford to put off the action needed to mitigate the threat of climate change, which is already devastating large parts of our planet and threatening our existence.
Labour will fight to make sure the UK is a leader for action in Europe, showing the way for the rest of the world.
We will continue to support a clear commitment to the Paris climate agreement.
At a time when some major economies outside Europe have turned their backs on taking action, it is vital that we in Europe remain fully committed to our climate responsibilities and commitments.
We will demand that the EU follows the pledge of the next UK Labour government, to commit to 60% of the UK’s energy supply from renewable or low-carbon sources by 2030, and net zero carbon emissions by 2050 at the latest. Our plans would make Britain the only developed country outside Scandinavia to be on track to meet our climate change obligations.
Unlike the Tories, Labour will ban fracking – matching action already taken by the Labour Government in Wales.
Labour has the ambition to lead a green industrial revolution on our continent with the aim of making Europe the first zero carbon continent in the world.
We will invest to help make the radical green transition for industry across the UK, while protecting jobs and creating opportunities in the new industries of the future.
Just like climate change, air pollution does not respect national boundaries. We can only tackle it through international action. And the air quality in our major towns and cities is reaching dangerous levels, putting lives at risk.
So in the UK, Labour would introduce a new clean air act, creating a network of clean air zones at home and working towards an ambitious clean transport strategy across the EU to tackle air pollution.
The EU has the highest food and animal welfare standards in the world. Labour will continue to work with others to not just maintain these standards but improve on them where necessary – and we would never allow food or animal welfare standards be cut as part of any future trade arrangement.
Labour will safeguard habitats and species in the ‘blue belts’ of the seas and oceans. We will set targets for reducing the use of plastics and work with food manufacturers and retailers to reduce waste.
Labour led the drive to bring rights and protections at work into law across the EU, delivering many of the protections we still value to this day. EU laws underpin our rights to paid holidays, maternity and paternity leave, and on limiting working time.
Labour will continue to lead efforts for a new comprehensive plan to deliver rights and protections that meet the needs of the 21st century workplace.
For too long unscrupulous employers have exploited migrant workers and undercut local wages. At UK level, Labour would strengthen trade union rights, increase the minimum wage to a real living wage, fund proper enforcement, and give trade unions access to workplaces. We will ban the overseas-only advertising of jobs in the UK, and ensure every worker has the same basic rights from day one in the job.
In Europe, we have backed the reform of the Posted Workers’ Directive that guarantees the principle of equal pay for equal work in the same place, and ensures that UK workers are treated no less favourably than workers in Europe.
Labour will also lead the fight to end precarious zero hours contracts – so that every worker gets a guaranteed number of hours work each week.
We will continue to campaign at domestic and European level to strengthen health & safety laws, and assist those who have suffered as a result of injuries and illness due to work. We will lead efforts to strengthen current EU rules on building regulation and fire safety, with the aim of delivering a robust and comprehensive European fire safety strategy fit for the 21st century.
Labour is the party of equality. We brought in the Equal Pay Act, the Sex Discrimination Act, the Equality Act, and the Minimum Wage. Every progressive piece of equality legislation has been delivered by Labour. Working with our allies in the Party of European Socialists, Labour will lead the fight to tackle all forms of racism, antisemitism and Islamophobia.
Labour has a strong record on progressing women’s rights and freedoms that we can be proud of. However, more can be done. Labour will maintain its commitment to ratify the Istanbul Convention on domestic abuse. It is shameful the UK remains one of only a handful of countries in the EU not to have ratified the convention.
Labour will work across the EU to deliver an ambitious equality plan including a comprehensive disability strategy based on the recommendations of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Disgracefully, the UN has said the Conservative government has committed “systematic violations” of disabled people’s rights in the UK.
We will ensure women are equally represented across political and decision-making structures, take effective measures to close the gender pay gap and protect and enforce the principle of equal treatment between persons irrespective of racial or ethnic origin.
Labour will continue to protect and promote LGBT+ rights and will stand up and speak out against any forms of discrimination across the EU.
Events in the UK and across the world over the past decade or so have shown that security and counter-terrorism efforts can only work to full effect with cross-border cooperation.
It is the duty of us all to keep our citizens safe yet at the same time respect the rule of law and protect human rights.
Labour would urgently recruit 10,000 more police officers in England and Wales alone, and rebuild community policing, and commit to maintaining access to the European Arrest Warrant, which has taken thousands of dangerous criminals off our streets.
Labour will campaign to secure the continued access to vital databases, which have helped take criminals off our streets and in the fight against terrorism.
Brexit has and continues to cause great uncertainty, stress and worry for many people. None more so than for those EU citizens who live in the UK and for UK citizens living in Europe, whatever their heritage.
Labour believes that immigration has positive benefits for our communities and economy. Greater diversity and inward investment enriches our culture and enables the new skills and dynamism needed to create economic growth.
Three million EU citizens live in the UK. They are our friends, neighbours and family. It is wrong that they still face any uncertainty when they have contributed so much to our society.
The Windrush scandal shows this Government cannot be trusted to protect citizens’ rights. In both Westminster and Brussels, Labour will commit to fight for the full rights of all EU citizens in the UK and to defend the rights of UK citizens who have chosen to make their lives in the EU.
Labour rejects the Government’s plan to class as ‘unskilled’ any migrant worker earning less than £30,000. This would include nurses, teachers and social care workers who we desperately need. Labour will ensure our NHS and care sector can recruit the staff needed to care for our sick and elderly now and in the future.
Globally, climate change and conflict has brought a desperate migration crisis to Europe’s shores. We must and can do more. The migration crisis is not just a political challenge, but a moral test for all of Europe – which it has failed, as thousands drown each year in the Mediterranean.
Labour will continue to call for the UK to play a bigger role to support fair asylum and migration policies based on shared responsibility and solidarity between nations and people, respecting the rights of, and our duties to, refugees.
There has been a worrying rise in racism, xenophobia and hate crime across Europe. Far right terror has increased, with attacks on communities and the murder of Labour MP Jo Cox.
Political and economic failure, austerity, insecure work and low wages inevitably cause frustration and disillusion. While Labour offers better policies and solutions, some other parties standing in this election offer only division and someone to blame.
Labour will lead the fight against racism at home and across Europe, wherever and however it arises. Labour wants to bring our country back together.