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TSSA Delegate's Brexit speech at Scottish Labour Conference

12 March 2019

Martin Hartley, EC member elect for Scotland, spoke in favour of the SEC's statement on Brexit at the Scottish Labour Party, which included the points made in TSSA's motion on Brexit. The text of his speech is below.

Good Morning

Chair, comrades, conference, Martin Hartley, Transport Salaried Staff Association, first time delegate to the Scottish Labour Party Conference.

(Thank you),

Conference, exactly as our originally reads, Brexit is a Frankenstein policy created by a group of idealistic, self serving, right wing millionaires.

I represent workers in the transport industry, in particular the railway. Another fine Frankenstein monster the Tories put together by selling off the family silver.

A lot of these passenger services and freight operators are operated by European companies, Arriva, an arm of Deutsche Bahn the German State railway operates 5 passenger franchises and freight services. Abellio the Dutch state railway operates our own shambolic Scotrail and another Franchise in the London area. Trenitalia an Italian Company operates a franchise in the south east, and Keolis (French) operate Govia.

We’ve already seen big employers plan to leave the UK because of brexit, they’ve not wasted anytime, BMW, Honda, and Dieago moved vodka production out of Scotland. ¾ of Scottish businesses surveyed last year said they have concern about their businesses in Scotland after Brexit.

Make no mistake these European companies will look to up sticks and go if things get too difficult for them to manage legislation and trade following brexit. As Much as our party wants to get public ownership of our transport, this is not how to do it.
And, and
The Tories won’t see it as an opportunity to usher in a socialist paradise of public ownership on the railways – despite mealy-mouthed claims from May.

The devastation our communities will feel as our manufacturing companies fall over each other to go, will be second only to that we experienced when the coal industries were destroyed. Make no mistake comrades, they’re feet will be on fire to get out of this country.

Theresa May’s government has had two years to negotiate a deal for the UK leaving the EU, and we’re no further forward than day one. Brexit is now only a Tory party policy to hold her weakening government together.

Conference, Chair the TSSA support the SEC’s Brexit statement. Let’s stand firm behind our Scottish Labour Party, and Jeremy’s team in London, we want a final say referendum with remain on the ballot.
let’s delay article 50, comrades…. even better…let’s scrap brexit altogether and get the self serving Tory party out of Downing Street, and get a Labour government in to Number 10, and the Scottish parliament. In solidarity comrades, for the many not for the few.

Thank you

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