Friday 18 October 2019 - People's Vote

Friday 18 October 2019

Morning Briefing: Johnson's "deal": a dream route to No Deal for hard Brexiters 

Boris Johnson is claiming he has a deal. But he hasn't got anything yet. His damaging, destructive and duplicitous proposal is far worse, even, than Theresa May’s doomed deal.

It would be the gateway to a prolonged assault on workers' rights, environmental protection and anything that gets in the way of this project for the extremely right-wing and the reckless. 

Ahead of the biggest and most important political march of our lifetime tomorrow, we need you to tell MPs what you think.

Write to your MP now. Tell them they can’t force a destructive Brexit on this country. It could not be more urgent.

Johnson's "deal" is a dream for supporters of No Deal

Have you wondered why the so-called Spartans in the extreme Brexiter ERG are suddenly supporting Boris Johnson’s withdrawal agreement after rejecting over and over again every other settlement apart from No Deal?

The answer is because they think it holds the door open to No Deal. Johnson's proposals say that the UK would need to negotiate a Free Trade Agreement by the end of 2020 which is very unlikely to happen.

If MPs back Johnson’s “deal”, it will be one in name only -  a deal that can be torn up even before the ink is properly dry. ERG MP John Baron let the cat out of the bag when he told the BBC’s Newsnight that "what it means is that if there’s no deal struck in the transition period up to December 2020, the UK has the right to leave on No Deal terms”.

Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell told the BBC the proposed agreement is about "deregulating our economy" He said: "It will introduce checks and barriers on our border and it is worse than Theresa May's deal because it removes those commitments that she was willing to offer about a level playing field to protect workers rights, environmental standards and consumer rights. We won't vote for anything that makes our constituencies or our country poorer." 

Tomorrow’s vote in the Commons is on a knife-edge with all sides doing the numbers game to see if Johnson can force his proposal through. The DUP’s rejection yesterday morning heightens the need for Johnson to persuade some Labour MPs and the 21 former Conservative rebels to back him.

They will have to ask themselves whether they want to vote with Spartans who see this is a gateway to No Deal.

It is vital to join our march for a Final Say tomorrow

Hundreds of thousands of you are coming together tomorrow with political leaders from all parties for one of the biggest and most important protests our country has ever seen.

The people – young and old, left and right, from every corner of the country – will be in Parliament Square to make their demand for the Final Say heard above the chaos.

Among them will be:

  • Pauline Hardman, a mother-of-four from mining village of Ushaw Moor in County Durham who did not vote in the 2016 referendum and will be travelling to London for the first time.
  • Stephen Goodall, a 97-year-old Brigadier who served for over 30 years with the Royal Engineers, was in Burma in World War II and will be travelling from South Devon.
  • Joanne Chapman, who is part of a group who have cycled from Sheffield to Brussels and will be getting back on her bike to get to London on Saturday.
  • Sally Campbell, from the Scottish Creel Fisherman's Federation who will be catching the ferry from her home in the Isle of Arran at 7.40am ferry on Friday to make it down to London on time.

They will be joined by political leaders from all parties who recognise that only the people can solve this Brexit crisis. These include: Sadiq Khan; Jo Swinson; Michael Heseltine; Anna Soubry; Luciana Berger; Antoinette Sandbach; Tom Watson; Chi Onwurah; Claire Hanna; Liz Saville Roberts; Joanna Cherry; Keir Starmer; Caroline Lucas; Ian Blackford; Emily Thornberry; Ed Davey, Jess Phillips; Layla Moran, David Lammy, Sam Gyimah; Dominic Grieve and Hilary Benn.

UK set to lose £130 billion in GDP growth with destructive "deal"

The UK could sacrifice as much as £130 billion in lost GDP growth over the next 15 years if Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal goes ahead, according to government’s own figures.

Estimates published by the government last year show an agreement similar to Boris Johnson’s settlement, which envisions striking a limited free trade deal with the EU, would strip 6.7% from the UK’s expected path of GDP growth between now and 2034.

The 6.7% of GDP cost of Johnson also adds up to making people on average £2,250 a year poorer by 2034.

MPs previously rejected Theresa May’s withdrawal agreement, which the same analysis found would knock about 2.1% off the UK’s total national income over 15 years, compared with remaining in the EU.

British companies expressed concerns that the new deal would leave industry worse off.

Dame Carolyn Fairbairn, the director general of the Confederation of British Industry, said “business has serious concerns about the direction of the future UK-EU relationship” and the deal remained “inadequate” on services.

“Decades of free and frictionless trade with the UK’s largest market, forged by thousands of firms big and small, must not be abandoned,” she said.

The details and timings of our March for a Final Say tomorrow

Saturday is going to be a fantastic and crucial day of protest. Hundreds of thousands of people will assemble on Park Lane (we recommend walking from Bond Street Tube station to join) and march for a final say to Westminster, assembling for a noon start. The head of the march is expected to arrive in Parliament Square at 2pm, where there will be a 90-minute rally with a host of great speakers.

More than 170 coaches have been booked by grassroots groups and you can book a seat here. We also recommend you avoid Green Park Tube which could be extremely busy and may be subject to partial closure. 


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

"I’m supposed to be a People’s Vote ambassador but even my tolerance is being tested. It has even, I hate to admit, brought on a definite sense of “bored by Brexit” in me.  It is so tempting, and in many ways, so peaceful to just switch off. All too often the choicest response is to simply say “ignorance is bliss” or “I won’t make a difference” or “whatever will be will be”. Don’t fall for it.

"Ignorance is not bliss, one by one we can make a difference and whatever will be, will be whatever we make it. If 30 million of us raise our voices on 19 October, then we will be heard."

TV presenter and People's Vote ambassador Konnie Huq urges supporters to make their voice heard at this critical time.

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People's Vote campaign news...

Local volunteers have delivered and handed out a whopping 1.5 million leaflets to promote tomorrow’s People’s Vote march. Across the width and breath of the United Kingdom they have been handing these out, posting them through letter boxes, and encouraging members of their local community to march. Tomorrow is set to be one of the biggest and most important protests our country has even seen. We would never be able to achieve this without all the incredible work of grassroots volunteers. Thank you for your time, energy and passion. Together, we can make history.

Check your email inbox tomorrow for a special Together for a Final Say Morning Briefing with all the latest news and information on our march.

More Brexit news...

British businesses say new Brexit deal worse than May's agreement (Guardian)

Patrick Stewart is paying for Leeds Brexit protesters to travel to London for People's Vote march (Leeds Live)

UK would lose £130 billion in growth if Brexit deal passed, figures suggest (Guardian)

Sajid Javid rejects call to release impact assessment of Boris Johnson's new Brexit deal (PoliticsHome)

More Brexit comment...

Konnie Huq: Yes, I wish it was over too – but now is the time to make your voice heard to defy a damaging Brexit (Independent)

The Economist leader: Any deal should be put to the people

Polly Toynbee: This Brexit deal still won’t ‘get it done’ – only a referendum can do that (Guardian)

Abby Tomlinson: Johnson's Brexit deal is no more likely to pass than Theresa May's (HuffPost)

Martin Wolf: The UK must have a public vote on Boris Johnson's Brexit deal (FT)