The UK’s Shadow Transport Secretary Lilian Greenwood, sent her letter of resignation to Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn on Sunday, 26 June 2016. She was one of 11 Shadow Cabinet Ministers to resign that day, following the sacking of Hilary Benn, Shadow Foreign Secretary. The series of resignations were an unwelcome addition to the political chaos following the UK’s referendum result to leave the European Union.
As Shadow Transport Secretary, Lilian Greenwood campaigned for less costly public transport, infrastructure projects including the electrification of the Great Western Main Line, the North TransPennine route and the Midland Main Line. She also was in favour of nationalisation as against the current franchise system. She spoke in parliament about rising rail fares, poor service and subsidies for private train operating companies.
Lilian Greenwood’s resignation was part of the slew of resignations, demanding a vote of no confidence in Jeremy Corbyn and a new party leader.
In her letter to Jeremy Corbyn, she wrote:
“I share the concern that our strong collective position in favour of remaining in Europe was not consistently communicated to Labour supporters. I am deeply worried about the economic impact on our communities, especially in those areas that are already bearing the brunt of Tory cuts, and also by the divisions and messages of intolerance that came to the fore during the campaign.”
The UK is currently in crisis: Prime Minister David Cameron has resigned, the Conservative cabinet have been largely absent all weekend, no formal plans have been put forward as to Britain and Europe’s negotiating positions, Scotland is discussing the possibility of holding another referendum to leave the UK, social divisions in the country are as great as ever and Nigel Farage is happy. The Pound opened at 1.21 against the Euro on the Asian stock markets on Monday morning. It is uncertain what the status of infrastructure projects, such as HS2 and Crossrail 2, will be following Britain’s departure from the EU.
President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, hosted a meeting in Brussels over the weekend to discuss the next steps in terms of both the negotiation with Britain to establish its new position in relation to the EU, and also to discuss the way forward for the European Union now that it has 27 Member States.
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