Message from Richard Howitt MEP to my constituents following the EU Referendum, 24 June 2016.
The EU Referendum has produced a 'leave' vote in most of my constituency and of the country.
Politics are based on the principle of consent and we have to accept that the popular will is for Britain to leave the European Union.
As an elected representative and on behalf of the Labour Party, I respect the result and must commit to its outcome. I am proud of the way Labour fought the Referendum campaign. United as a party, I believe we told the truth and regret the outcome.
I do not believe Britain's independence or democracy were ever jeopardised. I am concerned that the economic consequences of leaving the EU will prove to be fact not fear.
In Westminster, Labour must and will give the greatest priority to defending jobs and services for working people, from the shocks which will follow.
I worry about the divisive nature of the debate and for the continuing loss of tolerance, respect and openness in our democracy. It is not how I choose to practice my own politics. It is why I wanted our country to continue to have an open and inclusive politics in relation to our neighbours in Europe.
I was elected on public trust to serve the interests of my constituents in the East of England and to represent our country. I pledge to continue to uphold those responsibilities for as long as I remain as your Member of the European Parliament.
Labour will play our own part to seek to heal the divisions created during the referendum campaign.
In Europe, Labour must play our own role in the negotiations to secure the best future relationships for our country.
It has been an immense privilege to serve you and I am deeply proud of the work I have always sought to undertake to the very best of my efforts - both in the region and in the European Parliament.
I greatly value the support and friendship I have been given from Labour colleagues, members and supporters across the East of England and from very many organisations and individuals across the wider electorate. That support and friendship has come too from my fellow Labour Euro MPs and from our colleagues from the other European countries.
However the immediate future sees my own work and responsibilities continue, and other personal considerations are for the future. I always said that the EU Referendum was far more important than any one political party or politician.
On that too, we told the truth.
However, I do not shed a tear at the resignation of David Cameron, who was the author of his own downfall, right from the time he made promises to his own Eurosceptic backbench MPs to secure election as the leader of his party.
It proved impossible to overcome the years of acceding to Euroscepticism in British domestic politics, in the few short weeks of a referendum campaign.
I fear that our country will suffer deeply because of the internal divisions of the Conservative Party. Today I prefer to emphasize the positive convictions in my own and our Labour Party's politics. We remain firmly internationalist, anti-racist and committed to the pursuit of social justice.
We were not able to fully realise those values in campaigning for Britain to remain in the European Union.
But these are values in which we will always believe and for which I and we will always campaign.
Thank-you to everyone with whom I have campaigned in the past few weeks and thank-you to everyone who voted for Britain to remain in the European Union.
I am proud to be both British and European.
I wish more of our fellow citizens had felt that too.
A hard-working, campaigning champion in Europe
Welcome to my website and thank-you for taking an interest in my work as your Labour Member of the European Parliament, working hard to make a difference for my East of England constituency and on key issues where I have political responsibility from fighting poverty and discrimination to promoting sustainable business to building democracy and human rights in the wider world.
Brought up in a single parent family on a council housing estate and the product of comprehensive education, it is a huge privilege to serve as your representative in Europe. As a former disability rights worker and eleven years a Harlow councillor, I will always try to put local people and local organisations first.
Now based in Cambridge with my partner Diana and our two children, my commitment is to faithfully represent all six counties of the East of England and I travel extensively around the region, always willing to meet individuals and organisations locally whenever possible.
I believe only Labour can protect the jobs and business which result from our membership of the European Union, forge constructive links with colleagues from different countries and parties to promote British interests, whilst securing key reforms on behalf of my constituents, our country and for a better Europe for all.
14.06.2016: What's Right For Purfleet's Carpetright Is Right For Britain - Essex Euro MP
More than three hundred jobs at the UK headquarters of Britain's biggest selling carpet retailer, will be safeguarded if Britain votes to remain in the European Union.
The retail industry will be the first to suffer if Britain votes to leave, a 'town hall' style meeting of staff at 'Carpetright' in Purfleet was told by the Essex Labour Euro MP Richard Howitt today (14 June 2016)......................Read more