In the British system of representative democracy, sovereignty lies with parliament, which means that MPs should have the final say on important matters of politics.
This is why all friends of British democracy should welcome yesterday’s vote to amend clause 9 of the European Union Withdrawal Bill. The passing of amendment 7 was a victory for parliamentary democracy, and marks an important first step by parliament to reassert its sovereignty and retake control of the important choices that this country has to make in the coming year.
But the passed amendment does not go far enough. While it will give MPs the choice of accepting or rejecting whatever the deal that the government may be able to secure, it does not yet offer MPs a truly meaningful say.
MPs are charged with acting in the interest of the country and their constituents, and for that reason they should be allowed to evaluate all the possible options for our future relationship with the EU.
To have a truly meaningful vote, MPs must also be given the choice of voting to remain in the European Union. Help them take back control by signing this petition:
SSTIE were campaigning on the streets of Tonbridge for the first time on Saturday 9th December. We had 21 volunteers over 4 hours from 10 am to 2 pm, during which time we spoke to hundreds of people and we were pleasantly surprised by how positive the overall response was.
The majority of the people we spoke to think that Brexit is a mess and that it is not what people voted for – no matter how they voted in the referendum.
The following is a full transcript of the keynote speech by Will Hutton, Political Economist, Writer, Journalist, held at the Remainers to Campaigners workshop on 21st October 2017 in Sevenoaks.
I’m delighted to be here, and delighted to see the two flags. I’m very keen that we should always fly the EU flag alongside the Union Jack. For me the EU flag stands for values that I really care about, and I know most Europeans and most British care about too. These are the values that we have inherited partly from our Christian tradition, and partly from the European Enlightenment. The Aquis Communitaire, the Four Freedoms, Europe’s collective commitment to democracy, the rule of law, evidence-based science, non-fake news, belief in objective reporting, tolerance of the Other, respect for argument, are essential conditions for our wonderful European civilisation.
On Saturday 21st Oct, SSTIE, sponsored by WKEM, ran an all day Remainers to Campaigners workshop at Sevenoaks Community Center which attracted 96 delegates from across the South East.
The event, which was described as “highly inspiring” by many of the participants, had a highly ambitious agenda, covering all aspects of remain campaigning from practical issues such as setting up a local groups and establishing communication channels, to discussions over the importance of remaining in the EU, and the political and psychological barriers that need to be overcome. Continue reading “Remainers to Campaigners – Workshop Report”
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”
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.
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.