Many a turning point in history has been decided by a margin smaller than 48%. For instance, the American referendum to use German as their official language (instead of English) was defeated by a narrower margin; and the French referendum to keep the Franc (instead of adopt the Euro) was defeated by a narrower margin. But:- Continue reading “We are not only the 48%”
A useful checklist of what leaving the European Union means…
A recent graph has been compiled showing trade volume against distance:- Continue reading “Looming trade disaster”
Report on SSTIE Workshop 12th Aug 2017, Sevenoaks
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.