Friday 16 August 2019 - People's Vote

Friday 16 August 2019

Morning Briefing: Anti-No Deal politicians agree to talks with Corbyn

Even sheep in Whitehall can make the case for a People’s Vote. But the fight against a destructive No Deal is going on all over the country.

This weekend, whatever the weather, local groups will be continuing to campaign for a People’s Vote in their communities with events in places including Llangollen, Henley, Leicester, Bradford and Wrexham. Join them and get involved in your area.

Next Thursday, the people of Edinburgh will give their full-throated support for a People’s Vote at a Let Us Be Heard rally. There will be a host of great speakers, including Labour MP Jess Phillips, so get your tickets here.

Our massive People’s Vote march in London on Saturday October 19 is set to be one of the biggest political demonstrations in history. Local campaign groups have already started to book coaches with North East for Europe - among many others - arranging travel with pick-ups from Newcastle, Durham and Darlington. Get your tickets here.

The fight to save the UK from a disastrous No Deal is being made by supporters all over the country. Get involved and Let Us Be Heard.

Anti-No Deal politicians agree to talks with Jeremy Corbyn

Organised action against Boris Johnson’s destructive No Deal is starting to get traction. No-one yet knows how it is going to play out but political opponents are at least starting to talk to each other about the best way forward.

After a brief period following Johnson’s elevation to prime minister, it seemed that opposition on all sides of the House was frozen by the media blitz of the new government’s promise-everything approach and Johnson's blatant electioneering. Now, as Boris Johnson has made clear that his plan is to force a scorched-earth No Deal, MPs motivated by concern about what this would do to our country and our democracy are using the recess to work out how to stop him. 

Jeremy Corbyn’s proposal yesterday to lead a caretaker government that blocks No Deal received a mixed response, but it has certainly sparked a debate among MPs, the result of which could prove very significant. Many opposition figures, as well as some Conservatives, have agreed to meet Corbyn for talks.

Mr Corbyn’s proposal is based on forcing a no confidence vote and a “strictly time limited” administration leading to a General Election, rather than a People’s Vote.

We believe only a People’s Vote can resolve this crisis, but welcome cross-party talks and action to block No Deal.

People’s Vote supporter Guto Bebb, a former Conservative minister said: “I do think that those who have said that they will do anything necessary to stop the long-term damage of a no-deal exit must take seriously this type of offer.”

Bebb and other Conservative MPs who are speaking out against the democratic outrage of No Deal - in many cases putting their careers on the line to do so - are disgracefully branded "un-Conservative" on the front page of today's Telegraph. This is outrageous. If the Conservative Party is to stay true to its tradition of standing up for the national interest, sound finances and British business, No Deal must not be forced on the country against its will. MPs bravely standing up for those values should be applauded.

Huge media coverage of Farmers for a People's Vote sheep in Whitehall

It’s not often you see sheep being herded down Whitehall, but that’s exactly what happened for our launch of the new Farmers for a People’s Vote campaign group.

Our sheep photocall caught the media attention with huge coverage on all main TV stations, including the BBC, ITN and Sky News plus national, international, local and industry news sites. Our six sheep were gently herded around Whitehall to the Farmers’ Club, while a herd of photographers and cameramen snapped away.

The launch came with warnings that half of all UK farms could go out of business in the event of a catastrophic No Deal – and deep threats to a lamb farming sector that relies on exports to the EU.

It followed a report by former chief economist of the National Farmers’ Union Dr Sean Rickard which said crashing out of the EU would lead to “utter trading madness”. He said: “I cannot see much opportunity of this sector growing in the aftermath of a no-deal Brexit.”

Trump touts "fantastic" trade deal as fears grow over food standards

The threat to agriculture continues to grow from a potential transatlantic trade deal. Last night President Trump again touted a deal, saying: “I think we’ll have a fantastic and big trade deal with the UK. We should do more business with the UK.”

The White House said Trump and Johnson have spoken numerous times on the phone, most recently on Wednesday. They will meet in person at the G7 meeting in Biarritz next week.

But the prospect of what a trade deal with Trump would mean for food standards in this country after Brexit was brought to the fore again yesterday after American Farm Bureau president Zippy Duvall said there is “no scientific basis” for fears about chlorine-washed chicken. The British public didn't vote for this and we don't want it - but as with so much of Boris Johnson's agenda on Brexit, what he promised in 2016 and what the people actually want is apparently irrelevant.

People’s Vote supporter Ian Murray MP said: "The knock-on effect of accepting lower US food standards would be the undercutting and destruction of British farming and food production. A trade deal with Trump that undercuts standards and costs would amplify the (farming) disaster even further.”

Brexit uncertainty causes trouble for shoppers and film fans

The damage of Brexit is happening before it has arrived. Yesterday supermarket chain Asda blamed “Brexit uncertainty” for a fall in sales over the first six months of the year. Asda boss Roger Burnley said consumer confidence is at a six-year low “due in no small part to the ongoing uncertainty around Brexit.”

But this Brexit uncertainty isn’t just affecting retail – it’s also hitting events with the London Film and Comic Con cancelling its November event yesterday
The fan convention, which is well known for flying popular US actors from sci-fi fantasy films and TV series to the UK for fan autograph sessions, says that it has been affected by the weakness of the pound.

Organiser Jason Joiner said: "This is a decision we have properly thought through and we do feel with all this uncertainty in the world and with the exchange rate fluctuation these issues are unlikely to stabilise before the Brexit outcome in October, and most likely until the end of the year."

It's clear that Brexit must be put to the people. Now is a crucial time to get involved with the People's Vote campaign. Sign up to volunteer today. 

Quote of the Day

"This is the latest stark warning that a no-deal Brexit will be catastrophic for Scotland's farming sector. Boris Johnson is in total denial about the devastating impact his extreme Brexit plans would have on farmers and producers across Scotland and the UK - leaving many struggling to survive."

SNP rural affairs spokesperson Deirdre Brock responds to Farmers for a People's Vote report "No Deal: The Door To The Decimation Of UK Farming" yesterday.

Video of the Day   


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Tweet of the Day 

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Tweet of the Day 2

US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi warns that a hard Brexit must not be allowed to wreck the Good Friday Agreement in a clear broadside to President Trump's plans for a transatlantic deal.

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More Brexit news...

Trump touts "fantastic" trade deal (Yahoo News)

Lib Dems urged to back Corbyn to stop No Deal (Guardian)

Johnson's No Deal could lead lambs to slaughter (Washington Post)

Farmers for a People's Vote campaign group formed (AgriLand)

No Deal will see half of farms go bust (Metro)

More Brexit comment...

Brexiteers promised a new dawn for UK farming, not agricultural Armageddon (Guardian)

Lewis Goodall: No Deal will happen if opponents' disunity continues (Sky News)