The Conservative Party Conference in Manchester marks the end of the conference season, and as it is the conference of the party in government, it also demands the most attention.
Brexit is essentially a revolutionary ideology, and as such, it really is ideologically incompatible with conservatism, which abhors change.
If you believe that it’s time to send the Brexiteers back to the back-benches where they belong, and let some cooler heads take over, then join us on the first of October in Manchester as we march on the Conservative Party Conference to demand that Brexit is stopped! Continue reading “Stop Brexit in Manchester – Oct 1st”
On Sunday 24 September, the Labour Party Conference arrives in Brighton. Brighton and Hove for EU and many other Remain groups will be ready with an important message for the Labour leadership, MPs and delegates.
Sevenoaks and Swanley Together In Europe will be supporting this event. Due to the close distance to Brighton, it makes more sense for us to travel indenpendently, sharing cars rather than a coach. However, we do plan to march as a group, so please join us! Continue reading “Stop Brexit in Brighton – Sept 24th”
Over the coming weeks, the #StopBrexit movement will be at all the major UK-wide party conferences, talking to party members and MPs, the local public and the media. At each stop there are different debates to be had and different dynamics to be built. No one UK party can stop Brexit. There needs to be new thinking and brave action inside each major party, as well as new dialogue across parties driven on by a turning tide of public awareness.
The Liberal Party Conference
The Liberal Democrat Conference is the first in the autumn party conference season – and for the Remain movement, it is a key event. Continue reading “Stop Brexit in Bournemouth – Sept 17th”
Cooperation between South East Remain Groups
On the 12 August SSTIE ran a Workshop in Sevenoaks which drew representatives of 14 Remain groups from Kent, Sussex, Surrey, Essex and Hertfordshire. We had expected 25 participants and were delighted that more than that turned up. This is most unusual for an event like this and demonstrates just how many like-minded people there are around. Continue reading “Newsletter August 2017”
The Cambridge Brexit Report is a collaboration between Cambridge for Europe, the Cambridge University European Society, The Wilberforce Society, Polygeia, and Cambridge Stays. It was commissioned by Daniel Zeichner MP, and is the second part of a project that began with a Conference on 24 February, entitled Cambridge and Brexit: Discussing our Future. This Conference brought together more than 100 Cambridge community members across the political spectrum in a series of presentations and discussions about the implications of Brexit on various sectors. Both the Conference and the Report seek to understand how we can work together in mapping the way forward for Britain after Brexit, and integrate both local and national perspectives.
The Cambridge Brexit Report consists of twelve chapters, covering the Economy, Trade and Business, the Pharmaceutical Industry, Creative Industries, Agriculture, Universities and Research, Freedom of Movement and Immigration, the Constitution, Devolution and the Regions, Human Rights, the Environment, and the NHS. Each has its own approach, structure, and conclusions.
These two recommendations cut across all chapters:
- The vote to leave the European Union has created uncertainty as to the United Kingdom’s future; all should be done to dispel such uncertainty as soon as possible, for it proves damaging to business, investment plans, research projects, life decisions, etc.
- Brexit will be a momentous transition for the United Kingdom, opening up a range of opportunities in a number of fields. This Report puts forward the concerns, hopes, and recommendations of the Greater Cambridge community; other communities across the country should be offered a similar opportunity to have their say. What was achieved by a team of volunteers in Cambridge could easily be achieved by local and central government on a larger scale; we therefore recommend that the Government launch public consultations in cities and towns all over the UK, and rely on the resulting reports to inform its Brexit negotiations and policies.
The Cambridge Brexit Report
Introduction & Executive Summary
Chapter I: The Economy
Chapter II: Trade and Business
Chapter III: The Pharmaceutical Industry
Chapter IV: Creative Industries
Chapter V: Agriculture
Chapter VI: Universities and Research
Chapter VII: Freedom of Movement and Immigration
Chapter VIII: The Constitution
Chapter IX: Devolution and the Regions
Chapter X: Human Rights
Chapter XI: The Environment & Climate Change
Chapter XII: The NHS
‘Stop Brexit’ is the message of the times and the forthcoming Autumn of Discontent represents an attempt to restore democracy
The period before the last general election was a time of immense anguish for those who believe in the potential of the EU. During the election campaign Theresa May, backed by the majority of polls predicting an overwhelming electoral victory for her party, repeatedly stated that every vote for her was a vote to strengthen her hands in negotiating Brexit. The outcome of the recent general election in effect wiped out the mandate she claimed; her ‘strong and stable’ election slogan was followed by an electoral result revealing instead that she was weak and wobbly. And so the referendum mandate, based on the myth that it represented the will of the people, was significantly undermined.
The political cowardice of the Labour Party to hide behind the myth of the will of the people has only served to deepen divisions in British society and highlight further the lack of consensus. Tory hardliners and Corbynistas have hijacked the agenda. Party politics prevails over true democracy.
Yet despite the lack of a clear and overwhelming support for Brexit, Theresa May and her party continue to pursue the Brexit agenda. Having failed to provide any detailed plans beyond a jingoistic narrative for a ‘Global Britain’ trading with unknown countries at this stage and with access to endless chlorinated chickens, she continues to ignore a number of recent polls clearly showing that the original protest vote has now switched sides. The Labour Party, mainly through statements by Corbyn, seeks a Brexit that is good for jobs and employment; a contradiction evident to most sensible people.
The folly of Brexit is revealed through numerous reports predicting economic and social upheaval. There has not been a single report that Brexit can deliver a better society. The blindness and moral cowardice of the two main political parties caught in a vicious circle of groupthink reminiscent of the ‘Abilene paradox’ undermines the democratic will of the majority of people. The status of three million EU citizens remains unclear. And all this in a country with over two thousand food banks and over one million children below the poverty line. None of the two political parties has attempted to explain how Brexit might address austerity.
It was George Orwell who stated that speaking the truth in times of universal deceit is a revolutionary act. The deceit is blatantly obvious not only through the white letters on the side of the red bus but also through the endless appeals to xenophobia, hatred and division in the pages of some mainstream media. During these times of deep crisis muddling the message with slogans that might appeal to ‘soft leavers/Brexiters’ is an act of complacency. There is nothing to rethink. There is a lot to reject.
The three Stop Brexit marches (September 17, Bournemouth, Lib. Dem party conference – September 24, Brighton, Labour party conference – October 1, Manchester, Tory party conference) as well as varied other actions with an explicit Stop Brexit focus during this forthcoming autumn, represent a message that is timely and are an attempt to restore democracy.
Don’t forget, imports from the USA could also mean:-
- Beef washed in ammonia (american pink slime)
- Genetically modified food
- Meat products laced with antibiotics
- Swine flu (from battery pigs)
- Flawed drugs testing (FDA)
- Contaminated blood & blood products
- Fake Whisky (Jack Daniels could wipe-out our Scottish industry)
- Fake French Wines from California, labelled “produit de E-U“
- Aggressive marketing (MLM – Pyramid selling – Ponzi schemes)
- Litigation culture
- High CO2 emission manufactured goods (outside Paris accord)
- 3-D printed guns that can kill, but cannot be detected
- Erosion of personal privacy
And Sajjad Karim has a good blog here of how negotiations with Donald Trump are likely to go: Hey Brexiteers – watch out Liam Fox! – The European public (especially UK citizens) did not want TTIP; we’re unlikely to change our mind now.
Seems the Tories now agree: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4806180/Tories-warn-David-Davies-avoid-trade-deals-US.html
Sevenoaks and Swanley Together in Europe are pleased to announce this workshop for local groups in the South East.
The event will use interactive peer-to-peer learning techniques to allow participants to share experiences, learn from each other and explore ideas for cooperation.
TIME: 9.30-13.00 followed by networking until c.15.00
VENUE: 71 London Road, Sevenoaks, Kent TN3 1AX
-identify common areas of interest;
-consider the potential for Remain groups to cooperate;
-identify areas where cooperation would be helpful;
-exchange experiences and discuss ideas to overcome commonpbstacles;
-discuss ways of achieving our similar aims in opposing Brexit;
-facilitate networking and to open communication channels between Remain groups in the Southeast;
– establish cooperation working groups;and
-discuss specific projects being organised by participating Remain groups.
Strolling along the quiet fishing quay at Scheveningen, I met an old fisherman who said he hoped Brexit would not happen because then they would not be able to fish in English waters. – He himself had already given up fishing and become a lorry driver instead. The Scheveningen commercial fishing fleet consists of about 8 substantial ships (one of them sailing under a German flag), each of which I measured out as typically 70 to 90 meters long. Only a few weeks before they had taken part in a protest at sea against other fleets who had been catching under-size fish. Their slogan: “give little fishes a second chance”
The North Sea is divided according to the 12 Mile coastal zone which is protected by the London Fisheries Convention of 1964 and out of which all foreign fishermen are excluded unless given a special license (very few have this license). Then it is divided by the mid-way line in lieu of the 200 Mile Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) which is protected by the United Nations. The continental half of the North Sea is shared by Norway, Denmark, Germany, Holland, Belgium, and France. (https://www.nrc.nl/)
The Dutch fishing industry supports about 600 businesses; employs a crew of 2,000 and is worth about 1 Billion Euro per annum. They mainly fish for Plaice, Sole and Herring. (Herring is as important to the Dutch culture and national identity as is say Grouse or Haggis is to Scotland; they even have a national day to mark the start of the Herring season.) – On the other hand, the British preference is for Haddock and Cod. (Think of how important “Fish & Chips” is to our culture and national identity.)
The eight continental fishing lands get about one third of their catch from the British zone; with the Dutch taking 80% of their Herring, 60% of their Mackerel and 35% of their Plaice from the Western half of the North Sea. (Gerard van Balsfoort, chairman European Fisheries Alliance: http://fisheriesalliance.eu/) Loosing these sources will hit the Dutch fishing industries hard. One can expect lay-offs, business closures and ships being de-commissioned. (And even with the best will in the world, compensation will be demanded.) – But one can also expect losses on the English side as they lose access to Haddock and Cod which may be in the Eastern Sector. This can only be good news for the fish as the Herring learn to hide in the West and the Cod learn to hide in the East! – But I cannot imagine any fisherman allowing this situation to last for long. Besides, Dutch Fishermen have been granted Freedom of the City of London in perpetuity for their generous act of feeding Londoners in the havoc that followed the great fire of 1666. This freedom entitles them to land their catch in London for all eternity.
The next meeting of Sevenoaks & Swanley Together in Europe (SSTIE) will be held on Saturday 17th June, 2017, in Sevenoaks.
New members welcome. Please let us know via email or social media if you’re planning to attend.
Venue: 71 London Road, Sevenoaks
Agenda: (To follow)