Guest blog by Helen Cross
Helen is the parliamentary candidate for Lib Dems for the Brentford & Isleworth constituency, 2019 general election
Chiswick is a tolerant, international community. EU citizens are core to its identity, commerce and culture. Many Chiswick residents have enjoyed the freedom to move to the EU to live, work and love.
Brexit changed that. It made many EU people feel that they had become ‘second rate’ citizens. It is contributing to falls in inward investment and even house prices. It is destroying the prospects of British citizens who have moved to EU countries or who would like to.
Not that the voters of Chiswick wanted Brexit. We voted overwhelmingly against it in the Referendum and we backed the Liberal Democrats in the recent European Parliament Elections. It is the Tories who imposed Brexit on us. It is the Tory Party, which has spent the last twenty years tearing itself apart with its Euroscepticism.
Brexit has led to the death of moderation in the Tory party. Brexit is its new evangelism. Which is why so many moderate One Nation Tories like Justine Greening, Nick Bowles, Sam Gyimah, Dr Phillip Lee, Sarah Wollaston and Dominic Grieve have left the party (or been expunged from it). The current Tory Party has little to do with the party of Ken Clarke, Michael Heseltine and John Major. Instead, Boris Johnson’s party is backed by Tommy Robinson and Nigel Farage.
That’s why I want to make an appeal directly to Conservative voters in this constituency: Vote Liberal Democrat.
Vote Liberal Democrat if you believe your children and grandchildren deserve the benefits of EU citizenship and freedom of movement which you’ve enjoyed.
Vote Liberal Democrat if you want our businesses to continue enjoying being part of the largest single market in the world.
Vote Liberal Democrat if you want to avoid years of trade negotiations with the EU27 and the rest of the world extending the nation’s focus on Brexit for years.
Vote Liberal Democrat if you want to unlock the potential of a £50bn Remain Bonus, which would finance proper childcare and the NHS.
Vote Liberal Democrat if you want to end Heathrow expansion – which would see hundreds of planes a day flying the length of Chiswick High Road.
Vote Liberal Democrat if you want to protect our local business community, which is so reliant on EU27 workers and entrepreneurs.
Do not vote for a Conservative party, which could give us a no deal Brexit at the end of next year. (Does anyone believe that Johnson can get a free trade deal in a few months?).
Read what the Bedford Park Society, HACAN and others are saying about the impact on the local community of Heathrow expansion. Then ask yourself do I want to vote for a Tory government?
Read Peter Oborne’s devastating blog about the Johnson government’s attitude to truth and ask yourself: Do I want to reward this sort of behaviour?
Do you want to vote for a Tory candidate who isn’t local and voted Leave or for someone who has lived here for over 15 years and cares about the place?
In this constituency, many moderate conservatives have already joined the Liberal Democrats or are supporting us on the doorstep. We are the alternative to a Labour and Conservative Party, gone to the extremes. There is no way that Jeremy Corbyn will be Prime Minister on December 13th based on the current polling and in any case it is clear that as long as he is in charge of Labour it will supportive of Brexit.
So, if you want to stop Brexit, this election is probably your last chance to put an end to the waste and prevent years and years of trade talks leaving the country’s businesses in limbo. This is the last chance to stop a prime minister whose personality and track record make him unfit for office. This is a time to stand up and be counted. Vote Liberal Democrat.