Bremain BrexElection Briefing 5

Bremain BrexElection Briefing 5

Welcome to our 5th Briefing. Please scroll down to the end to make sure you read all the news extracts we have selected for you this week.  To read the whole story just click on the link.

As the political conversation moves further away from Brexit, Labour’s chances in the election increase With criticism of the so-called ‘dementia tax’ dominating the headlines and Corbyn focussing more in the left-wing social issues he’s known for, the gap between the two main parties appears to be closing.  Against all the odds, the general election campaign is beginning to develop into something vaguely approaching a contest. (Voices > Editorials The Independent 21 May)


The Remain strategy for this election is a simple one Politics is a matter of sentiment, of attitude and feeling.  Tactical voting is essential in this general election. It does not matter how big a majority a Brexiter MP has in your constituency, the national aggregate of votes cast for anti-Brexit candidates matters. And in constituencies where a combined tactical vote could oust a Conservative MP, that tactic is an absolute necessity. Give up the tribalism and antipathy of the past; matters are far too serious for that. (A C Grayling New European 22 May)

General Election 2017: who’s more likely to vote — Brexiteers or Remainers? People who voted Remain in the EU Referendum are more likely to vote in the upcoming General Election, according to a new poll. A Sunday Times/YouGov survey found that 76 per cent of those who voted to stay in the European Union say they are ‘absolutely certain’ to vote on June 8. (Anthony Pearce Yahoo News UK 22 May) 

The only constituency in the UK where you can’t vote for a man Every political party insists it is promoting women within its ranks and striving towards a more gender-balanced cabinet. But the proof of the pudding, as they say, is in the eating. And at the minute, the overall picture looks far from balanced. There are 104 constituencies in the UK where residents cannot vote for a woman to represent them in Parliament. But there is only one constituency in the whole of the UK where you cannot vote for a man: Glasgow Central. (Heather Saul additional reporting by Charlotte Leedham i News 26 May)


All party leaders except Theresa May and Paul Nuttall sign EU citizen pledge The Home is Here campaign asks candidates to commit to guaranteeing the rights of EU nationals. The leaders of the Tories and Ukip have refused to back a pledge to campaign for the rights of EU citizens signed by all the other mainstream parties. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, Lib Dem leader Tim Farron, SNP Westminster leader Angus Robertson, Green co-leader Caroline Lucas and Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood have all signed up to the Home is Here pledge. (Julia Rampen New Statesman 26 May)

Conservatives cancel election campaign relaunch as poll lead over Labour evaporates Tories decline to say why event was scrapped – a decision taken as news of major poll shift emerges The Conservatives cancelled the relaunch of their election campaign, as nervousness grew over the party’s evaporating lead in the opinion polls.  Faced with the likelihood of difficult questions about the Tory campaign, David Davis suddenly pulled out of a planned event in central London earlier today.  With Theresa May abroad at the G7 summit in Sicily, it meant the effective relaunch of the Tory campaign, after the three-day pause because of the Manchester bombings, was put on hold. (Rob Merrick Deputy Political Editor The Independent 26 May)

Defence secretary Michael Fallon slams Jeremy Corbyn’s terror quotes – only to realise they came from Boris Johnson Michael Fallon was left red-faced after he blasted quotes seemingly from Jeremy Corbyn on the war against terror – only to realise they were the views of Boris Johnson.  The defence secretary attacked the Labour leader’s policy on defence and views on extremism in Britain, with Mr Corbyn claiming on Friday the war on terror is “simply not working”.   (Jonathan Mitchell Evening Standard 27 May)


George Osborne in blistering attack on Theresa May’s manifesto pledges – ‘It’s clearly badly thought through’ George Osborne has publicly attacked key policies in Theresa May’s manifesto just days before the election as he pledged not to “pull punches” after quitting politics.  The former Tory chancellor, who was sacked by Mrs May when she became prime minister, called her social care proposals “badly thought through”.  He also said the Prime Minister’s repledged immigration target could force family members to live apart and accused her of abandoning liberal politics.  (Ben Riley-Smith Assistant Political Editor The Telegraph 27 May)



Bremain BrexElection Briefing 4

Bremain BrexElection Briefing 4

Nicola Sturgeon: I have a ‘girl job’ – it’s called running the country Nicola Sturgeon has hit out at Theresa May for gender stereotyping after the Prime Minister suggested there were “boy jobs and girl jobs” around the house. The Scottish First Minister said that in her house, her husband did the cooking and cleaning while she did the “girl job of running the country”.  When she appeared on the BBC’s The One Show last week alongside her husband Philip, Mrs May caused controversy by suggesting there were “boy jobs and girl jobs” in their household.

(Chris Green i News 14 May)

If you’re under 18, Theresa May doesn’t want you to be allowed a vote. Theresa May has resisted calls to lower the voting age to 16, insisting young people could get involved in politics without casting a ballot.  If you are 16 or 17 you can get married, join the armed forces and if you are working you will have to pay tax. And yet you have no say when it comes to picking the next Government. And the Prime Minister thinks this is fair. (Daisy McCorgray New European 15 May)

Have your say in the online vote





  Labour candidate Rupa Huq: We don’t want a load of Theresa May clones in Parliament “Brex-terminate, Brex-terminate,” mocks Rupa Huq in a robotic voice. It’s also an imitation of what Parliament could sound like, in her view, if too many MPs in favour of a hard Brexit are elected on 8 June. “We don’t want a load of Theresa May clones,” says the pro-EU Labour politician, who is fighting for re-selection in Ealing Central and Acton. ( Serina Sandhu i News 16 May)



Liberal Democrats offer fresh Brexit vote at the heart of manifesto pledges The Liberal Democrats put a pledge to offer the British people a second referendum on Brexit at the heart of their manifesto. The party says they would offer a fresh vote – including the option to reject Brexit – after the terms of the deal are made clear  .It has also laid out plans for major boosts to NHS and schools funding and said they would work to build 300,000 new homes a year.  (ITV Report, 17 May)

Not Maggie May, but muddled May The new manifesto reveals a lack of coherent philosophy from Theresa May, and no clear plan for Brexit The Conservative election campaign so far has been duller than an afternoon looking at Jeremy Corbyn’s collection of pictures of manhole covers.  Blessed by an extremist opposition and a big opinion poll lead, the government is coasting, muttering platitudes like “strong and stable” and emphasising its newish prime minister, Theresa May, rather than its party name. (by Buttonwood The Economist 18 May)

Theresa May says the Conservatives stand for gender equality. Tell that to the Tory councillor who says pregnant women shouldn’t become MPs.  I wonder if anyone asked David Cameron, Matthew Hancock or Jeremy Hunt if they would be too busy changing nappies to undertake their dual roles as MPs and cabinet ministers when their babies were born? “How can a woman who is just about to give birth take on a role as MP?” This is the question a Tory councillor asked of Catherine Atkinson, the Labour candidate for Erewash. Not fifty years ago. This happened last week. (Jo Swinson Voices The Independent 19 May)




Brexit takes centre stage in TV debate as Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn absent UKIP’s leader Paul Nuttall found himself outnumbered by 4-1 on Brexit and other issues in a party leaders’ TV debate that was snubbed by Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn.  Mr Nuttall was also isolated on immigration and grammar schools as he battled against the Lib Dems’ Tim Farron, Caroline Lucas of the Greens, the SNP’s Nicola Sturgeon and Leanne Wood of Plaid Cymru. (Jon Craig, Sky News, 19 May)


Comedian Eddie Izzard hoping to become Labour politician The 55-year-old comedian revealed his ambition to enter the political arena in an interview with The Times Magazine. He outlined a vision of “the whole world of seven billion people all having a fair chance”.  And Izzard issued his support for Labour leader Mr Corbyn, saying he “believes in what he [Corbyn] says”. (ITV News 20 May)


Thanks for reading. See you for the next bremain briefing next week!


Eligible voters urged to register despite ‘votes for life’ setback

Eligible voters urged to register despite ‘votes for life’ setback

Britons living abroad and Europeans living in the UK are suffering prolonged uncertainty while the snap election focuses on negotiations.

With just a month to go before the UK’s snap election on 8 June, Britons on the Costa del Sol who are still eligible to vote are being reminded to register to do so before 22 May.

The organisation Bremain in Spain has put together a fact sheet with links on its website (

The group is one of many representing Britons living in EU countries that have complained at the current Conservative government’s failure to bring in the ‘votes for life’ bill, which previous prime minister, David Cameron, made as an election promise in 2015.

 Under current UK law, any Briton who has lived outside of the country for over 15 years is unable to vote in general elections or a referendum, an issue which led to thousands of disaffected Britons not being able to vote in last June’s in-out ballot.

No time for votes for life

Bremain in Spain said this week, “The prime minister has called a general election on a date that disables people who have lived overseas for over 15 years from voting, despite the Tories’ 2015 manifesto promises to provide ‘votes for life’ in subsequent elections.” The organisation added that June 8 “does not allow enough time to enable votes for life through an Act of Parliament”.

In the Queen’s speech to Parliament on 27 May 2015, reference was made to the Votes for Life Bill, in which the Queen said the bill would “scrap the current 15-year time limit on the voting rights of British citizens living overseas for UK parliamentary and European parliamentary elections, including provisions relating to the registration of overseas electors”.

However, with a change of prime minister and Brexit top of the agenda since this manifesto, the bill has not been passed, once again leaving thousands without a voice in what some say is the most important general election for Britons living abroad in many years.

Bremain in Spain member Margaret King told the group, “All British citizens, including those who live outside the UK, were promised votes for life before the next general election. We now have a general election looming and still no votes for us. This election will culminate in the decision to leave the EU, or not, and will affect those of us living in the EU as much as anybody living in the UK. I want my vote that was promised.”

Brexit theme

Brexit remains at the core of June’s general election, with politicians from all parties using it in their campaigns. In a speech given outside 10 Downing Street on Wednesday, prime minister Theresa May accused European officials of “hardening” their stance on a Brexit deal and spoke of “threats” by European politicians, which she believes have been timed to “influence the polls.”

Using words which chimed with those used by David Cameron before the 2016 referendum, she addressed voters saying, “The choice you now face is all about the future,” referring to the winning party’s responsibility to get the best deal out of Brexit for “this United Kingdom”.

May also claimed in her speech, “Britain’s negotiating position in Europe has been misrepresented in the continental press.”

Opposition leaders immediately hit back, with Nicola Sturgeon of the Scottish National Party saying, “She is, it appears, almost wilfully sabotaging the prospects of getting the best possible deal.”

Groups representing EU nationals living in the UK and Britons living in other European countries have shown their concerns after Wednesday’s speech, suggesting that this stance could potentially lead to more difficult negotiations over guaranteeing rights of EU citizens post Brexit.

See original article from Sur in English

Expats like me living in the EU are being denied the right to vote in the general election

Expats like me living in the EU are being denied the right to vote in the general election

On 23 June last year, three million British citizens across Europe could not vote in the EU referendum because of a ban on voting for Brits who have lived overseas for more than 15 years. They were denied the opportunity to vote on their own futures, when they are amongst the most likely to be badly affected by the outcome. To say that many people were upset and angry is a gross understatement. I was disenchanted with the failings of this supposed “democratic exercise” and as a result became the Chair of Bremain in Spain, to campaign for our rights as British citizens in the EU.

Little did I know almost one year on we would be in the same position. We were relieved last October when the Government said it would keep its pledge to allow ‘Votes for Life’ in time for the next election. We were not prepared to take this ‘promise’ at face value and continued to lobby on the subject, including communicating directly with Chris Skidmore, MP. We said that, even if our voting rights were fully restored in time for the next election in 2020, what would happen if a second referendum occurred on any Brexit deal in the meantime, or heaven forbid there was a snap election? The only answer we received was that we would have the vote before the 2020 election. You can imagine our shock when Theresa May announced the early election.

If Britons living in the EU were angry about not voting in the referendum last year, can you imagine how they feel about being denied their democratic right once again? Some see it as a deliberate ploy by the Government to ensure that we cannot vote, in case we act against its own vested interests. Although this idea is a little misguided since many Brits living overseas did vote to leave. (Turkeys voting for Christmas springs to mind). In any case, that still leaves us disenfranchised yet again, at a time when more people are more politically aware and involved than ever before and absolutely want to have their say.

What is particularly galling is the urgency of this election. With more time in hand, we could have pushed for a short bill to resolve the ‘Votes for Life’ matter but I fear it’s impossible now.

With the election just six weeks away, also concerned about the short amount of time available to vote from overseas for those still able to. Voting from outside the UK involves a lead time: obtaining voting papers alone can take weeks. I strongly urge Britons based overseas to vote by proxy rather than by post.

Whatever happens on 8 June, we will fight to protect the rights and freedoms we enjoy as EU citizens – not some rights and freedoms, all of them. It seems that the EU agrees that we should keep all our existing rights and freedoms for life. I am waiting for the day when we hear the same reassurances from the UK government. I am not holding my breath.

 Sue Wilson is Chair of Bremain in Spain

See Yahoo Article

Bremain BrexElection Briefing

Bremain BrexElection Briefing

Welcome to Bremain in Spain’s first Brexit/Election update on the weeks’ news.  We have given a “taster” of each article and if you would like to read the whole story please click on the links.  We plan to produce the Bremain BrexElection Briefing each Monday right up to the General Election on 8 June.  

How do we get the best MPs for Brexit Britain?  

Vote thoughtfully…

Gina Miller has launched ‘Best for Britain,’ which she says that, “a campaign aimed at supporting candidates who will stand by their principles, insist on real debate, and have an open mind on the UK-EU deal in the years ahead. Put simply, we believe in real parliamentary democracy. We plan to use the money that has been so generously donated through our GoFundMe page to support parliamentary candidates committed to keeping the options open for the British people until the detail of the deal is on the table. We will do all we can to make sure the next government has no mandate to diminish our rights.”  (Gina Miller The Guardian 21 April)

Gina Miller - Advocate, Best for Britain Campaign.

General election 2017: Tony Blair says Brexit stance more important than party…

Tony Blair has urged voters not to elect MPs who “back Brexit at any cost”, whichever party they are from.  The ex-PM told the BBC that Brexit was a bigger issue than party allegiance for the general election on 8 June.  (UK Politics BBC News 23 April)

Remain campaigners urge voters to unseat Brexit-backing MPs…

Lord Mandelson, an Open Britain board member, claimed it was counterproductive for prime minister Theresa May to enter Brexit negotiations with a rigid set of red lines and said he believed millions of jobs were at stake.

Stephen Dorrell, the former Tory MP who chairs European Movement, said: “This election is about something much bigger than party politics – it is about our future relationship with the rest of Europe.” (Anushka Asthana, Rowena Mason and Jessica Elgot The Guardian 24 April)

Regrexit: Majority say Britain was wrong to vote to leave the EU…

The tide could be turning against Brexit: for the first time since the referendum, more people have said Britain was wrong to vote to leave the EU.  In a poll by YouGov for the Times newspaper, 45% of respondents said Britain was wrong to vote out, 43% said Britain was right to leave, while 12% answered ‘don’t know’. (Jane Howdle, Yahoo News, 27 April)


A Bremain expat campaigner has branded the UK’s upcoming general election as ‘good as a second referendum’…

John Moffett of Bremain in Spain insisted that expats had the power to influence the outcome of the EU divorce negotiations by backing pro EU candidates in the snap June 8 poll. He said even those who have lived in Spain too long to have a vote could have an impact by urging friends and family back in the UK to vote for an MP in favour of ‘at least a softer Brexit or associate EU membership.’ (Chloe Glover. Olive Press 27 April) 

Tories’ ‘imperial vision’ for post-Brexit trade branded disruptive and deluded…

The head of the African, Caribbean and Pacific group of nations, Dr Patrick Gomes, has ruled out a free trade deal with the UK until at least six years after Brexit and taken a sideswipe at the idea of a new British trade empire. He said that it had taken six years for his home country, Guyana, and other Caribbean States to negotiate a trade pact with the EU and that it would be “very disruptive” to push for a deal with the UK within two years of a formal Brexit. (Arthur Neslen, The Guardian 28 April)

Vote for an election that isn’t a total yawn

“There is a suggestion emanating from some respectable political quarters, and also from the office of Tony Blair, that voters should consider abandoning party loyalties on June 8 and voting for whichever local candidate offers the best chance of reversing or moderating Brexit.” (Giles Coren The Times 28 April)

Boris Johnson and (right) John Bruton

Theresa May was right to call the election before the public feels the real consequences of Brexit…

There can be no doubt that the UK’s economic situation is much more likely to deteriorate than improve in the next few years, and with it the Government’s popularity and electoral chances. Thus far, for understandable reasons, Brexit and the economy have usually been treated as separate election issues. What the latest depressingly depressed figures on economic growth show is that the two are, in fact, intimately related. Brexit is an economic issue as well as one about sovereignty and identity. (The Independent Voices Editorial 28 April)

Expats like me living in the EU are being denied the right to vote in the general election…

“If Britons living in the EU were angry about not voting in the referendum last year, can you imagine how they feel about being denied their democratic right once again?  On 23 June last year, three million British citizens across Europe could not vote in the EU referendum because of a ban on voting for Brits who have lived overseas for more than 15 years. They were denied the opportunity to vote on their own futures, when they are amongst the most likely to be badly affected by the outcome. To say that many people were upset and angry is a gross understatement. I was disenchanted with the failings of this supposed “democratic exercise” and as a result became the Chair of Bremain in Spain, to campaign for our rights as British citizens in the EU.” (Sue Wilson, The Independent Voices 30 April)

You will see we saved the best to last, our very own Sue Wilson’s article in The Independent and she promises she did not call us “expats”!  We hope you have enjoyed reading all the above extracts from important news stories published over the last 7 days and would welcome any comments you may have.