Alastair Campbell - “Whether you voted Leave or Remain two years ago, few believe it is going well” - People's Vote

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Alastair Campbell - “Whether you voted Leave or Remain two years ago, few believe it is going well”

Speaking to the CBI in the East Midlands tonight, Alastair Campbell, leading supporter of the People’s Vote campaign will say:

  • The Prime Minister appears to be advocating the UK should be “part-in and part-out of Europe.” An idea he describes as “beyond parody”.
  • That “there is now no such thing as a good deal on offer”.
  • “The only way for the Cabinet and Parliament impasse to be met is by putting the deal to a People’s Vote.”
  • That while manufacturers are making vocal complaints about the risks from Brexit, services companies are “just steadily moving overseas without fuss.”
  • He concludes “whether you voted Leave or Remain two years ago, few believe it is going well. And no one voted for a bad Brexit deal that made them and the country poorer.”

Extracts follow:

“And I am one of those campaigning for a People’s Vote on the final deal that Mrs May brings back to Parliament. Because I believe if you feel something strongly, you should say so, and I feel strongly there is a risk we are inflicting lasting damage to our economy and our strength and standing in the world, and the British people should be given the chance to say if this is what they voted for.

“The next chapter unfolds at Chequers tomorrow, two years and two weeks since the referendum.

“To bridge the divisions among those meeting tomorrow, her compromise solution seems to be part-in and part-out of Europe. If I am reading the signals right, it is beyond parody.

  • Still subject to some EU rules while having no say in agreeing them. So less of the control we were supposed to be taking back.
  • Paying through the nose for trade in goods that won’t even be completely frictionless.
  • Operating as tax collectors for the EU with a vast new bureaucracy in order to get close to a market we are already in for free. So much for sorting red tape.
  • And whatever progress on manufacturing, outside the Single market on services which account for 80% of the UK economy.


“They are calling it a third way, but it would seem to be no way at all for the overwhelming bulk of the UK economy. It is unlikely to satisfy the Brextremists on her own backbenches, who are determined to leave the EU’s economic structures, whatever the cost.

“But what will be confirmed tomorrow is that there is now no such thing as a good deal on offer. She has given up even pretending she can get a good deal for the country and is motivated purely by holding together her party. Her own Brexit tests are not being met. Labour’s six tests are not being met. Leave supporters say they are being sold down the river. Remain supporters fear huge damage to business and jobs and living standards.

“The only way for the Cabinet and Parliament impasse to be met is by putting the deal to a People’s Vote, and also by properly addressing some of the issues that led to the vote in the first place, not just immigration, but jobs and living standards, health and education, skills, crime, transport and housing – which are being pushed to one side, neglected, because of the government’s determination to deliver something it knows will do the country harm, and no longer even tries to pretend otherwise.

“On the economic front, we have gone from being the fastest growing G7 economy, to one of the slowest. Doubtless Brexit is not the only factor, but it is a big one. Bank of England governor Mark Carney has suggested the average household is already £900 worse off because of Brexit, even before we have left. This is dismissed by the Brextremists as little more than a continuation of David Cameron’s Project Fear tactics which were rejected in the referendum.

“This is something else that has happened in the past two years (perhaps unsurprising given we are now in the era of populism and Donald Trump) – a degeneration in the public debate, where anything other than full-throated support for the most extreme form of Brexit is met with messenger-shooting and whataboutery. Judges who seek to uphold the law enemies of the people. MPs and peers who seek to speak truth unto power saboteurs. Businesses who dare to spell out what is happening to their firms traitors, the dogs of war of the Brextremist media ready to bark, growl and bite. Manufacturers, thankfully, are getting heads finally above parapet. Services just steadily moving overseas without fuss.

“I suspect tomorrow we will get fudge, peace and harmony for a few hours, then either the EU will shoot it down, or the ERG will, or the Brextremists in her Cabinet will. And so we limp on.

“But whether you voted Leave or Remain two years ago, few believe it is going well. And no one voted for a bad Brexit deal that made them and the country poorer.”

/ends