Don’t stop, let’s have a People’s Vote!

Don’t stop, let’s have a People’s Vote!

A Bremain in Spain People’s Vote Toolkit 

Following on from the incredible success of the People’s Vote March on Oct 20th 2018, we at Bremain in Spain want to provide you with all the information and tools required to ensure that we keep up the pressure and momentum to secure a People’s Vote on the final Brexit deal, with the option to Remain.

We need the support of all of our members and to make things easier, we have brought together links to all current and upcoming campaigns and events. You can choose to participate in as many as you would like, but would suggest that you join in all. Please don’t forget to share far and wide with family and friends – just copy and paste the link into your Facebook timeline or share it on Twitter. 

This video below will hopefully motivate you to get writing and clicking! All of the links from the video are listed underneath. 

Best for Britain

Best for Britain –  Demand a People’s Vote on the final Brexit deal – with an option to Remain – by writing to your MP today. 

Demand your vote 

Your voice counts.Tell your MP you want a Final Say on Brexit by leaving a Voicemail.

Final Say App

Write this Wrong – MPs will vote on the final Brexit deal in just a few weeks. It looks like it’ll either be a bad one or no deal at all.

But there’s another option – a People’s Vote on the Brexit deal. So we can judge for ourselves whether it’s what we were promised.

They’ll only do it if they feel enough pressure from voters. So take a minute now to email your MP:

Personalise the template email. Even just a sentence on why you want a vote.

Write This Wrong

Include your full address. So your MP knows you live in their area. Be polite…. Your MP is more likely to respond.

Write This Wrong

Letter Storm

Letter Storm 

Friday 09 November

Message:

  • Democracy is not a single point in time.
  • We demand a People’s Vote with an option to Remain.

Letter Storm

Write to No 10

Just email the PM and tell her that you want a People’s Vote – simple!

Email the PM

10 Downing Street
Houses of Parliament

Write to any Peer

Beginning of email/letter… Dear Lord/Lady X
End of email/letter… Yours sincerely
Envelope… The (Rt Hon. the) Lord/Baroness X

Address your email to a specific member and send to: contactholmember@parliament.uk

Bulk emails to members are not accepted. If more than six copies of the same email are received, all will be deleted and you can only send six per day.

There is a list of some Peers’ personal email addresses in the Files section of the Bremain Facebook Group.

Write to a Peer

 

People’s Vote Petition

We, the undersigned, demand a People’s Vote on the Brexit deal.

People’s Vote Petition

People's Vote
Final Say

The Independent Petition

In 2016, the people were given their say on the principle of whether to stay in the EU or leave.

Now the facts are becoming clearer, it’s time for the people to have the final say on the real deal – before it’s too late.

Christian Broughton, Editor, The Independent

The Independent Final Say Petition

 

If you would like further advice or support about lobbying, please get in touch with us enquiries@bremaininspain.com

 

You might also find this video useful when lobbying MPs and Peers. 

Bremainers Ask….. Michael Dougan, Professor of EU Law University of Liverpool

Bremainers Ask….. Michael Dougan, Professor of EU Law University of Liverpool

The latest of our Bremainers Ask…. feature, where Bremain in Spain members ask topical questions of prominent individuals involved in the European Union debate, is with Michael Dougan – Professor of European Law and Jean Monnet Chair in EU Law at the University of Liverpool.

He is an established academic authority on EU constitutional law and Joint Editor of Common Market Law Review – the world’s leading scientific journal for European legal studies.  Michael’s work has also contributed to wider public and political debates about European law, e.g. through written evidence to numerous UK Parliamentary enquiries, as an expert witness before various Parliamentary select committees and external advice to a range of UK public bodies and Union institutions.  Michael’s public engagement activities, including videos of his lectures before and after the 2016 UK referendum, received extensive public and media attention and he continues to be a popular authority on the matter for individuals and groups all around the world.

Univ of Liverpool Prof Dougan

Pat Kennedy: What would your solution to the Irish Border be?

Prof Dougan: The Irish border problem is entirely of the UK Government’s making. After the referendum, the Government announced that the UK would be leaving the Single Market and the Customs Union. That inevitably means having a customs and regulatory frontier with the EU – including the Republic of Ireland. But the Government also promised there would be no return to a hard border on the island of Ireland – which the Government has consistently defined as having no physical infrastructure or indeed related checks and controls. The only feasible way to deliver that promise is for Northern Ireland to remain (de facto) within the Customs Union and at least parts of the Single Market (even if the rest of the UK does not). Yet the Government repeatedly insists that Northern Ireland will be leaving the Customs Union and the Single Market along with the rest of the UK and there will be no new trade barriers erected within the UK itself – a prospect the Government describes in increasingly apocalyptic terms as an existential threat to British constitutional integrity. However, the only way to avoid that prospect is… for the UK as a whole to remain within the Customs Union and the Single Market – so we’re right back where we started! In other words: the UK Government has been promising irreconcilable things to different groups of people. The only real question is: who is going to end up being disappointed by the eventual outcome? The most obvious solution to the whole mess is to cancel Brexit, of course. Otherwise, the Government could drop its ideological “red lines” and agree for the entire UK to stay within the Customs Union and Single Market – not because I think that is a sustainable model for the UK in the long term, but because it solves the Irish border problem while also making it much easier for the UK to rejoin the EU as quickly as possible. By default, we have the EU’s proposal for Northern Ireland to remain within the Customs Union and related elements of the Single Market – while trying to find ways to minimise the need for and visibility of checks between Northern Ireland and Great Britain. For its part, the UK Government has still failed to publish any more developed or credible alternative plans for the backstop. Recent statements from the UK Prime Minister do at least give us some insight into the Government’s thinking: for example, even the backstop should be defined in terms which cover the entire UK territory (not just Northern Ireland); but there should be an option to extend the post-withdrawal status quo transitional period (as an alternative to triggering that UK-wide backstop); though either such model would then have to contain provisions allowing for its termination (since any more indefinite UK-wide backstop or transitional period would remain utterly unacceptable to Leave supporters). The problem is: the UK Government is floating those ideas on the assumption that a solution to the Irish border problem can be and will soon be found at the level of the overall future EU-UK relationship – so that both the backstop and an extended transition are guarantees that might only be needed for a few months (if they are ever needed at all). That assumption flies in the face of every rational analyst’s view – that frictionless trade (of precisely the sort required to avoid a hard border in Ireland) is simply not possible once the UK leaves the Customs Union and the Single Market; no alternative future relationship, no matter how close (and certainly not the fantastical “Chequers Plan”), can deliver the same result. At some point very soon, the conundrum will have to be solved. Because as the EU has made clear: without a workable and acceptable backstop, the entire negotiations could break down. And if that happens: it means no withdrawal agreement; no transitional period; and the prospects for a reasonably prompt negotiation on the future EU-UK relationship set back considerably. Yet such a “no deal” scenario is perhaps the worst possible outcome for Northern Ireland and the Republic – since it risks precisely the prospect of an immediate customs and regulatory border and a direct threat to economic, social and political stability – something the UK’s contradictory promises in the Joint Report of December 2017 would then do precious little to help.

Ruth Woodhouse: You address a lot of student bodies. What is the mood amongst young people on Brexit?

Prof Dougan: It’s true that an important part of my current activities is knowledge exchange – sharing the results of my ongoing research around Brexit not only with my fellow academics but also with wider public and policy audiences. In particular, I give a lot of public talks: the University of Liverpool estimates that I’ve delivered or participated in face-to-face lectures, Q&As, panel debates etc for over 15,000 people across the UK since February 2016. I try not to refuse any bona fide invitation to speak from a citizen group or NGO – and the University of Liverpool are very generous in covering my travel and accommodation needs – though I have had to introduce a “two per week” rule (albeit not always rigorously enforced) just to limit the amount of time I spend on trains and in Premier Inns. But funnily enough, not many of my invitations are for student events or indeed to address younger audiences. I usually speak to audiences largely made up of middle aged (and often but certainly not entirely middle class) citizens: angry, knowledgeable, motivated and impassioned – but certainly not young! Of course, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Far from it: informing the public about Brexit, let alone fighting Brexit, requires engagement with / the mobilisation of every section of society. And my experience is just that: we know there is a lot of student interest in and younger activism around Brexit. That was evident from even a glance around the national march in London on 20th October 2018.

European Union Law

Alex Kennedy: Professor Catherine Barnard, another prominent expert on EU law, is also from Northern Ireland. Is there something about EU law which is particularly attractive to Northern Irish academics?

Prof Dougan: In December 2017, Leiden University organised a major conference to celebrate the 60th anniversary of their Europa Institute for the study of (what is now) EU law. Due to a last minute change in the programme, I was asked to offer a few comments on the position of Ireland in the whole debate about Brexit as well as wider EU reform. I made two introductory points: first, Ireland’s record as a fundamentally stable democracy fully engaged in the institutions of European cooperation is second to none; and secondly, Irish citizens (from the North as well as the South) have made an incredible contribution to the study and practice of EU law and indeed continue to work prominently (even disproportionately, given the relatively small population) at the forefront of such an international discipline. It would be an interesting research project for a social scientist to explore why that might be the case. It might be that people from smaller countries (especially those which have been on the receiving end of the imperial ambitions of their larger neighbours) understand and appreciate more readily the limits of “national sovereignty”, the value of rules-based international cooperation and the potential for collective action to expand the possibilities of national influence. It might well be that it is easier for the smaller participants in a multi-national union to feel more comfortable with complex, multiple, overlapping and mutually enriching identities: after all, I can happily feel like a Belfast boy, Northern Irish, Irish, British, Scouse and European – all at the same time, each one providing a unique and important part of my own sense of identity. It is also quite possible that, for many people from Northern Ireland, European integration provides such a successful model for overcoming historical legacies of conflict and division through peace building and finding ways for different communities to live and work together harmoniously and productively. Or there might be other explanations. And we need to wonder: are such features and qualities unique to Ireland (North or South)? And what should we make of the fact that Northern Ireland is also home to some of the most ideologically fanatical and delusional Europhobes of all, i.e. in the form of the Democratic Unionist Party?

Professor  Dougan wades through the rhetoric of Chequers and “chuck Chequers” to deliver another insightful reading of the UK and EU position as the clock ticks on Brexit.

Sue Scarrott: With timescales tight, how can we engage with those suffering from Brexit ‘apathy’ or those who believe Brexit won’t affect them?

Prof Dougan: It’s easy to understand why people feel apathy towards Brexit. I often feel it myself. But I find the best cure is to recite the main reasons for regarding the 2016 referendum and its aftermath as the most idiotic and self-damaging act any developed country has inflicted upon itself since 1945. 1) The referendum campaign itself made a mockery of the UK as a mature and responsible democracy.
2) The genuine risk that the UK might experience systematic regulatory and administrative malfunction upon withdrawal, particularly if we end up with no transitional period to protect us from the Government’s own woeful lack of preparations.
3) Even without any such short term disasters: Brexit is so self-evidently a disastrous act of long term and profound national diminishment – squandering our leadership and influence within one of the most important international organisations on earth, and through it, an important part of our leadership and influence in the world at large.
4) The vast waste of time and energy and money and resources that is being poured – not into trying to improve our country and the lives of its people – but simply into trying to limit the self-inflicted damage that Brexit will bring (is already bringing).
5) For millions of people now and into the future, their life choices and horizons have been diminished: many of the freedoms and opportunities and protections and aspirations that I have taken for granted throughout my entire life will no longer be open to you, or to your children, or to your grandchildren.
6) The stirring up of deep seated bigotries and long-lasting social division that will tarnish our collective morality and undermine our social cohesion for years to come.
7) Even if there were no other cause for concern, no other cause for complaint: the very fact that millions of people, here and across the rest of Europe, have seen their lives and futures thrown into uncertainty and anxiety is an unforgivable act of cruelty for which the Leave Campaign deserves to be called out as utterly morally bankrupt.
8) The damaging legacy of what happens when a democracy normalises, legitimises and indeed actively rewards and encourages systematic dishonesty by its political leaders.
9) Last but not least: for many of the leading Leave Campaigners, leaving the EU is not just an end itself. It is merely a means to further their ulterior political objectives: ill-defined and confused, but still very dangerous, hard right dreams of some sort of political, economic, social and cultural revolution in the UK. Let’s not forget the depressing correlation between many of the leading Leave campaigners and other politically and socially regressive ideologies: from climate change denial, to the return of capital punishment, opposition to equality legislation, the final destruction of the welfare state, and other hard neo-liberal economic preferences – all reflecting their natural affinity with the hard American right. And let’s not forget that Brexit hasn’t just fuelled support for anti-rational, socially divisive, politically aggressive movements in this country but elsewhere too. In America and all across Europe, Brexit has become an inspiration for nationalists and populists. See what can happen when you lie big, when you play on people’s fears, when you offer up enemies rather than solutions? You can win too! So any time I feel tired or bored or fed up with Brexit, I remind myself: this isn’t just about Brexit. It’s also about the fundamental values that we want our country to respect and represent. And for the fundamental values that we want to see reflected in the world around us. That usually works.

 

Prof Dougan on “Why the EU matters to you: five key reasons why the EU needs to exist”.

Sandra Stretton: Does Brexit detract from the work you were doing prior to the Referendum?

Prof Dougan: I’m an EU constitutional lawyer. By its very nature, EU constitutional law is a broad but also very fast changing subject: at any given time, there might be dozens of developments going on across the legal system which are of potential constitutional interest; and in the blink of an eye, entirely new fields of enquiry can appear out of nowhere (or indeed disappear into history). The challenge for myself and my colleagues in the discipline is to decide which developments to concentrate on studying in greater detail versus which ones we should just be aware of and keep an eye on. Whichever choices we make, the objective is always the same: to know how the EU system fits together, to understand the dynamics which are shaping its development, to draw out the key patterns and themes and to critically assess their significance for the overall system of European cooperation. From that perspective, Brexit isn’t a distraction or detraction at all: it’s one of several contemporary developments with significant implications for EU constitutional law – alongside, e.g. the continuing programme of Eurozone reforms, the serious “rule of law” problems in Poland and Hungary, debates about the changing nature of Union citizenship and free movement rights, contentions around the legal and policy responses to third country migration and the operation of the Schengen system etc. My only choice was whether to pay Brexit close attention versus whether just to keep an eye on it and concentrate on some other major development/s. Obviously, I chose the former – though the choice was certainly not a purely intellectual one. Perhaps the most important factor influencing my decision to spend a lot of time researching around Brexit was, of course, the fundamental importance of Brexit for the future of the UK and its people. I feel very strongly that it’s important for academics to offer their expertise and skills to help better inform their fellow citizens and (as far as possible) political leaders about such crucial decisions. That is particularly true when the leading proponents of Brexit – a contemptible gang of charlatans and demagogues if ever there were one – have employed tactics and arguments which (in their sheer dishonesty and cynicism) are the complete antithesis of the basic principles of scientific research and evidence-based, rational policymaking which lie at the heart of my own profession.

Many thanks to Professor Dougan for taking the time to answer our questions. We look forward to following his insight into Brexit through his You Tube videos and articles.
Fifty plus Bremainers march for a #PeoplesVote

Fifty plus Bremainers march for a #PeoplesVote

On Saturday October 20th 2018, more than fifty Bremainers joined an estimated crowd of over 700,000 people to march for a #peoplesvote.

The purpose of the march was to demonstrate the strength of feeling up and down the country for a #finalsay on whatever Brexit deal is negotiated, with the option to Remain, and was organised by both the People’s Vote group and The Independent newspaper’s Final Say campaign – links to both are at the bottom of this page.

Many Bremainers taking part had also bought Bremain branded T shirts and Baseball caps – they will be available soon for anyone to purchase – and they carried UK, Spanish, European and Bremain flags.

The atmosphere was incredible with many chanting for a People’s Vote (as well as another saying well known to the Remain community!). Bremainers also met some people marching who had voted Leave in the referendum but regret their choice and now believe that we need to have a say on what that deal looks like.

Bremainers met at Green Park Tube station at 11:15 and left to join the march at 12:00, but due to sheer numbers, it took them three hours to get back to Green Park! There was plenty of Remain themed music along the route too and we’ve used one of those tracks to share with you in our video below.

 

In order to keep up momentum following the March, the People’s Vote group have a new campaign called Write this Wrong. It’s about sending a message to MPs, who will vote very soon on the final Brexit deal, that we want a people’s vote. You can take part by clicking on this link – Write this Wrong

Over one million people have now signed The Independent newspaper’s petition for a Final Say. If you haven’t yet signed it, please click this link to do so – The Final Say Petition

Please share these links with family and friends and encourage them to share widely too.

Bremainer Gregory Hunt appears on Valencian channel À Punt

Bremainer Gregory Hunt appears on Valencian channel À Punt

Member Gregory Hunt represented Bremain in Spain on the channel À Punt on Friday Oct 26 2018.

The programme is in a mix of Valencian, Catalan and Spanish and Gregory can be seen taking part in the discussion from around 1:13:04 onwards.

We have some brave and very talented people in our group and are very grateful to Gregory for participating and getting our message across here in Spain.

Click the link below to watch the discussion.