OPINION
21/11/2019 12:21 GMT | Updated 21/11/2019 15:24 GMT

This General Election Is About So Much More Than Brexit

After years of cuts to vital services and tax handouts for the rich, the future is ours to make, shadow communities secretary Andrew Gwynne writes.

This election is a once-in-a-generation chance to transform our country and take on the vested interests that have held people back for too long. And now, with the launch of our manifesto today, Labour has the blueprint for the real change that Britain needs.

Our manifesto is a transformative document that will change the lives of the people of this country for the better. With Labour’s bold vision for change, the choice at this election could not be clearer: You simply cannot trust Boris Johnson’s Conservatives, who think they’re born to rule and will only ever look after the privileged few, while the Liberal Democrats’ Austerity Manifesto shows that they have learnt nothing from the damage they wreaked on people’s lives in coalition. 

After years of cuts to vital services and tax handouts for the rich, we are laying out the path to a better and fairer future. A Labour government will end austerity and rebuild the public services we all rely on. Under our plan for real change, we will invest in every region and nation across the UK to ensure that no community is left behind.

On Brexit, the Tories and the Lib Dems seek to divide us further with the extremes of revoking Article 50 or a sell-out Trump trade deal that could cost our NHS £500 million a week. Labour will get Brexit sorted within six months and bring our country together by giving the people the final say between a sensible leave option and remaining in the EU.

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Jeremy Corbyn, Leader of Britain's opposition Labour Party speaks on stage at the launch of Labour's General Election manifesto, at Birmingham City University, England, Thursday, Nov. 21, 2019. Britain goes to the polls on Dec. 12. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

But this election is about so much more than Brexit. It is about building a fairer Britain that cares for all, where wealth and power are shared. Labour will taking on the big polluters, financial speculators and corporate tax-dodgers who have had a free ride for too long. We’ll stand up for the overwhelming majority of people in our country who want to live in a decent, fair, diverse and prosperous society. Our manifesto outlines how we will rebuild our public services, and give our NHS, schools and police the money they need. And 95% of people won’t pay any more tax. We will simply ask those at the top to pay a little bit more so that we can properly fund the services we all rely on.

Whilst the Conservatives have overseen a decline in living standards and a crisis in housing, Labour is on the side of workers and renters. We will deliver decent jobs and secure homes, better pay and fairer rents, and hundreds of thousands of new genuinely affordable homes. We will end in-work poverty, food poverty, foodbank use and rough sleeping – all of which have risen to shocking levels under the Conservatives. We will put record levels of funding into our health service to bring down waiting times for GP appointments and cancer treatment, scrap tuition fees, reduce school class sizes, bring rail, mail and water into public ownership and deliver free and fast full fibre broadband for all.

A Green Industrial Revolution is at the heart of our plans to transform Britain. This election could be our last chance to introduce the sweeping changes we need to save our planet. Only a Labour government will act with the urgency the climate crisis demands in a way that makes a real difference to people’s lives: install solar panels on homes to bring down energy bills, give free bus travel for under 25s to reduce car journeys and provide interest free loans for electric vehicles.

The future is ours to make. We can reject the failed policies of the past, in favour of bold and radical plans to bring about a just society where the aspirations of the poorest are met alongside those of the rest. The manifesto we are releasing today outlines how we will bring this vision into reality. After nearly a decade of Conservative failure, it’s time for real change – for the many, not the few.

Andrew Gwynne is Labour candidate for Denton and Reddish and shadow communities secretary.