Today Tom launches Labour's campaign to ensure every party member is able to play their part in the most important vote in a generation.
Thank you all for coming out today on a Saturday morning. It’s good to see you all.
Thank you to Lucy Powell for hosting us. And thank you also to Labour MEPs Theresa
Griffin, Afzal Khan and Julie Ward for being here.
It was wonderful to wake up this morning in Labour-controlled Manchester.
I am delighted to see that Manchester's Labour group now has more women than men.
And all of us woke up this morning with a Labour mayor of London for the first time since 2012. That is a cause for celebration. Sadiq Khan will be a brilliant mayor. He endured one of the most vicious campaigns in my political lifetime
We have just fought a tough election campaign. All of us have worked hard and many of us are tired. We’ve knocked on doors, delivered leaflets and staffed phone banks.
But now we have to dust ourselves down, regroup and do it all over again.
I know it's hard. But in six weeks time the country will go to the polls to vote on whether the UK remains in the EU.
It is one of the most important decisions of our lifetimes.
For me, the answer to the question: “Should we stay in the EU” is an emphatic and unequivocal ‘Yes’.
I passionately believe it is the interests of every working person in this country that we stay in the EU.
You won’t ever hear David Cameron list the benefits workers derive from our membership of the EU - because half his cabinet would like to scrap them.
So let me list some of them now.
A minimum of four weeks paid holiday, plus public holidays – guaranteed by EU law.
The right to equal pay for women - underpinned by EU law.
Equal treatment for part time workers – also guaranteed by EU law.
No discrimination against fixed-term workers.
Equal treatment for agency workers after 6 months.
An individual right to limit the working week to a maximum of 48 hours.
Protection for workers facing outsourcing, privatisation, or a change of employer
Comprehensive protection on health and safety in the workplace.
Previous Labour governments introduced many of those rights. And the EU has protected or extended them.
Those rights would be at risk if we were to walk away from Europe.
IDS and Michael Gove and Boris Johnson are itching to remove them.
That’s why we have to fight to "remain" in Europe. And that’s why every major union is campaigning to stay in the EU.
We owe it to working people to campaign hard for a ‘yes’ vote.
The referendum will be closely-fought. So there is no time to waste. We have to start campaigning now.
And that’s what we are going to do this morning in Manchester.