Cheadle & Hazel Grove Fundraiser

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Afzal Khan MEP with Cheadle CLP Chair, Yvonne Guariento (right) and Kath Priestly

 

I was delighted to be invited by Cheadle and Hazel Grove CLPs to speak at their fundraiser on Friday 18th September.  The evening was both entertaining and informative as we enjoyed a quizz, a raffle and a great dinner.

I was asked to speak on three different topics, namely the Greek Crisis, the Refugee Crisis and the EU Referendum.

The choice of topics indicates the real concern the North West Labour membership has about what is taking place in Europe.  With Greece now subject to even more rigorous austerity measures, the EU’s borders being overwhelmed by refugees fleeing violence and conflict in their countries and Britain’s membership of the EU now being put to the vote, there is much uncertainty ahead of us.

Lots of questions were asked on the subjects and answers are very much needed!

Greek creditors must understand that harsh austerity measures will damage its economy further.  Unless all sides come up with a workable, long-term plan, then we’re just going to have exactly the same set of problems in three years’ time when this third bailout package expires.

On the refugee crisis, whilst Cameron’s offer to take in 20,000 refugees over the next five years is welcome, it is simply not enough and pales massively in comparison to other EU countries such as Germany who will be expecting to take in 800,000.  We also need a long term solution to the crisis.  Peace and stability in the Middle East is the only answer – the International community must now work to support peaceful groups to gain strength in order to counter extremist groups such as ISIS.

On EU membership, there is no question that Brexit will be devastating to the UK as we risk jobs, the strength of our economy and our say on the world stage as a member of one of the world’s largest trading blocs.  Jeremy Corbyn has announced the Labour Party’s support for a Yes campaign and it is crucial that we now put a plan together to start working.

Securing a strong Labour government is our first step towards affecting positive changes.  For Cheadle & Hazel Grove, it is important that they continue to come together to strengthen the Labour base in the CLP in order to combat the LibDem and Tory vote in next year’s local elections.

I would like to thank Yvonne Guariento, Garry Smith and others for inviting me to speak. I look forward to working further with both CLPs and particularly to any campaigning activity they will be organising in the future.