Poverty Alliance Responds to EU Referendum Result
For Immediate Release, 24 June 2016
The Poverty Alliance, coordinator of the European Anti-Poverty Network (EAPN) in the UK, released this statement after the result of the EU referendum:
The result of the UK referendum is clear and the decision to leave the European Union will have long standing consequences for anti-poverty campaigners here and across the continent. Those forces across Europe that seek to reduce social rights, who wish to increase deregulation, and who see migration only as a problem, will be bolstered by the UK result. Campaigners who want their national governments to take real action to address poverty, or to protect and extend rights at work, who want moves for greater equality between men and women, may now find that their task has become somewhat harder.
Tackling poverty and seeking social justice is ultimately about solidarity. It is about taking action to care for and protect each other. Whether that solidarity is expressed at the community level, within a country or at the international level, it is the bedrock of what is needed for better society. Unfortunately, many of the actions of the European Union, and of many member states, have undermined any notion of solidarity between countries, particularly since the economic crisis of 2008. The referendum result in the UK is perhaps the clearest sign yet of the weakening of notions of solidarity across Europe.
We are yet to understand fully the economic, social and constitutional impact of the UK’s departure from the EU. All of those who care about the protection of rights and social justice must work together to ensure that impact of Brexit does not fall most heavily on those already living in difficult circumstances. In particular, campaigners will need to work together to begin to turn the tide on the anti-immigrant arguments that appear to have gained widespread acceptance across many parts of the UK. This means refocusing on key issues such as inequality, spiraling housing costs, food insecurity and in-work poverty, which successive UK Governments and the European Union have failed to address effectively.
The Poverty Alliance has been a leading member of the European Anti-Poverty Network for more than 20 years. We have long understood that the fight against poverty requires coordination at local, regional, national and international levels. Despite the decision of the UK to leave the EU, we will continue to play an active part in EAPN, and will seek to build relationships with anti-poverty campaigners across Europe. Now, more than ever, solidarity will be required to fight poverty in the UK and across Europe.
For further comment contact:
Peter Kelly, Director, Poverty Alliance: 0141 353 0440
The European Anti-Poverty Network will be holding an event in London on the 8th of July to discuss the referendum result: After the Referendum: Tackling Poverty in the UK and Europe. Click here for more details