September 16, 2014

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The Scottish referendum is a matter for the Scottish people. 

It is up to people registered to vote in Scotland to decide whether to stay with the rest of the United Kingdom or not but if Scotland leaves it will have a profound effect on the rest of us as well as on Scotland.

 

And in the Liverpool City Region, we have much in common with people in Glasgow and elsewhere in Scotland. 

Labour MPs from the Liverpool City Region wrote to the Glasgow Herald newspaper to express our solidarity with the people of Glasgow and in the hope that they will continue to join with us in opposing the Tories across the UK as a whole. 
Along with a number of my Labour colleagues, I visited Glasgow to show support to the Scottish people and to say that whatever the SNP has been saying, people in Merseyside want them to stay in the UK. After all people in Glasgow have suffered as much as people in Merseyside as a result of the destruction of industry in the 1980s which Margaret Thatcher did so much to promote. 
And the impact of low pay, zero hours contracts, the cuts in services and the high energy prices are all felt especially hard in both places.

Our two communities have more in common than we each have with more prosperous Tory, SNP and Lib Dem areas in Scotland and England.

People in Merseyside and in Glasgow vigorously opposed and brought down the Poll Tax.  Together, we oppose the Bedroom Tax, which the next Labour government will abolish.  As the letter from Merseyside Labour MPs says: “We too, believe that the creation of a fairer and more equal society in which providing opportunity and support for people regardless of their family circumstances is, and always has been, our central joint purpose.

Our communities have so much in common and so much that we want to achieve together that it would be an irreversible setback if we could no longer look to our Glaswegian friends and allies for the solidarity needed to progressively change our two communities for the better.”

The letter ends with a simple message: “Glasgow and Liverpool: two together for progress.”

The referendum is on Thursday, September 18. If you have friends or relatives in Scotland, phone them and let them know that you want them to stay as part of the UK. You never know, your solidarity with them may just make all the difference in encouraging them to vote to do just that.