Friday 20 September 2019 - People's Vote

Friday 20 September 2019

Morning Briefing: Brexit sell-out warning sent to every Labour MP by People's Vote campaign

There’s never really a bad time to visit Brighton, the weather forecast is for sun tomorrow and the Brexit political temperature is hotting up, so come and join fellow supporters and campaigners to give your full-throated support for a People’s Vote.

As the People's Vote campaign delivered a terrifying dossier on the truth behind Boris Johnson’s Brexit agenda to Labour MPs, we will kick off the Labour Party conference week with a march and rally on the South Coast.

Among the speakers will be Shadow Cabinet ministers Keir Starmer and Emily Thornberry as well as MPs including Phil Wilson, Caroline Lucas, Dawn Butler and many others.

We will be marching at 2pm with speeches on Hove Lawns afterwards. Come and join us – all details can be found here. For those who can't make it to Brighton tomorrow, don't forget our massive march in London on Saturday October 19, more information here to Let Us Be Heard.

Brexit sell-out warning sent to every Labour MP by People's Vote campaign

The People’s Vote campaign last night published the report we are distributing to every Labour MP warning them them not to trust Boris Johnson if he attempts to bounce them into backing some sort of Brexit deal.

Ahead of Labour’s annual conference, which begins in Brighton this weekend, senior figures from all wings of the party are urging all MPs to block a “nightmare” right-wing political project.  

The report – entitled “Selling Us Out: Boris Johnson’s Real Plan for Brexit Britain" – sets out in detail the intellectual origins of Johnson’s vision in the world of right wing think tanks, as well as the consequences of his Brexit for jobs, the funding of public services, the future of the NHS and the UK’s ability to tackle global emergencies like climate change.

In her preface to the dossier, Margaret Beckett MP, co-chair of the People’s Vote campaign’s Political Committee and former Foreign Secretary, says: "No one should trust Boris Johnson when he says he wants a Brexit Deal. But nor should anyone trust him if he does eventually come back with some sort of deal. Indeed, any MP who might be tempted to back it needs to recognise the likelihood that a Johnson Brexit will destroy jobs, undermine public services and usher in the kind of offshore deregulated pirate economy which is the stuff of right-wing Tory dreams - and our nightmares.'

Responding to the report’s publication, Labour deputy leader Tom Watson said: “I know some Labour MPs are saying they want to vote for a deal to end this Brexit crisis. But a Boris Johnson Brexit deal would be the culmination of a decade-long project which is of the right, by the right and for the right.

“Any deal he negotiates will mean the deregulation of our economy, a race to the bottom in standards, less money for our public services and our NHS put up for sale to US companies. I hope Labour MPs will stay united in defence of our values and back a People’s Vote on any Brexit deal: which is the only way democratic way to solve this crisis.”

OECD warns that UK could be plunged into recession after disastrous No Deal

No Deal could plunge the UK into recession and wipe 3% off economic growth, according to the influential Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). 

In a report published on Thursday, the think tank said: "A no-deal exit would be costly in the near term, potentially pushing the UK into recession in 2020 and reducing growth in Europe considerably. Even a relatively smooth no-deal exit, with fully operational border infrastructure, would have large costs. GDP declines by close to 2% in 2020, pushing the economy into recession given the baseline projection, with the near-term costs continuing to rise in 2021-22.”

Laurence Boone, the OECD’s chief economist, said: “The best thing is to avoid a no-deal Brexit and to stay closely aligned to the EU as possible.”

Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell said: “This report is a clear and stark warning of what we face if Johnson takes this country over the cliff edge of no deal Brexit. It confirms the absolute necessity of preventing this needless threat to our economy.”

People’s Vote supporter Paul Sweeney MP commented: “With the damage done by Brexit growing by the day, the only way to solve this crisis in a lasting way is to give the public the final say. That’s why huge numbers will be marching through London on October 19th demanding their right to be heard through a People’s Vote.”

The Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee yesterday kept interest rates the same, but said that No Deal would hit the currency exchange rates, increase inflation and lower growth, Brexit uncertainty causing six quarters of lower than expected investment.

Meanwhile, troubled construction company Kier warned that Brexit uncertainty is likely to lead to flat revenues next year. Kier said it had set up a Brexit taskforce but confusion surrounding the UK’s departure from the EU could delay client decisions. It did not expect its revenue to increase in 2020, adding that Brexit could also disrupt operations, particularly in relation to materials, employees and the supply chain. The company employs 19,000 people and has already announced job losses of 1,200.

Brexit Secretary's hypocritical No Deal warnings to his Spanish hosts 

Remember all those ministers, like Michael Gove, telling everyone that the Operation Yellowhammer report on the potential after-effects of No Deal was a “worst case scenario” and unlikely to happen?

Well, how strange then, for his colleague, Brexit secretary Stephen Barclay, to go to Madrid and use the exact same set of dire warnings to his Spanish hosts in an unveiled threat of the destructiveness of No Deal. He claimed that it would wreck the Spanish tourism industry, impact lorries delivering lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers and raspberries from Spain and destroy the geographical protections for Spanish sherry, manchego cheese and cava – as British makers would copy them and compete.

And he threatened a return to fishing wars, saying: “And a No Deal exit would bring changes of course to fishing as the UK becomes an independent coastal state, on which areas like Vigo would no doubt have an interest.”

He said: “Now there’s a difference in my view between having legislation in place and operational preparedness. A major concern is that not all small or medium sized businesses across Europe – including here in Spain – may be as fully prepared as the Commission claim. So the prize of a deal should focus the minds of both sides on the need for creativity and flexibility.”

Amidst some discussion today about the potential of a deal getting closer, it is wise to remember that this government is very adept at spinning words and threats in what ever way suits them at the time.

Irish deputy prime minister Simon Coveney told the BBC's Today programme this morning that a "dose of reality" is needed as there is a "wide gap" between the current backstop proposals and what the UK government is suggesting. He said the "mood music has improved" but "we need to be honest with people that we are not close to an agreement yet." He said that "we are trying to protect the fragile peace" that came from the Good Friday Agreement.

There is no solution to the Brexit crisis without a People’s Vote. It is time to Let Us Be Heard.

Fears that government will prorogue Parliament again after Supreme Court judgement

Fears that the government could ignore the Supreme Court judgement next week over shutting down Parliament or prorogue it again grew yesterday as the historic case came to a close. The 11 judges will deliver their judgement next week after three days of an emergency hearing over whether Boris Johnson’s advice to the Queen to shut down Parliament was “unlawful”.

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

“Wounded and desperate, Boris Johnson is now scrambling for a plan B. Make no mistake that this would make a Canada-style free trade agreement a reality. A Canadian-style deal is not about Mounties and free health care. It is where a right-wing assault on the public services and the protections we hold dear would begin.

“It should be inconceivable that any Labour MP or, indeed, a Conservative who cares about the national interest, could ever vote for it. Johnson well knows the British people wouldn’t vote for this agenda.” 

Paul Mason, the left wing campaigner who recently organised the Stop the Coup protests, warns Labour MPs about supporting a Johnson Brexit deal in his introduction to the People's Vote dossier on the truth behind Johnson.

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People's Vote campaign news...

Parliament might be prorogued but that doesn’t mean we’re suspending our efforts to secure a People’s Vote. In fact, it’s now more important than ever that the public get the final say. All across the country this Saturday local volunteers will be taking to the streets and knocking on doors in their local communities to make the case for putting the final decision on Brexit back to the people. Come and join us here.

With recent additions from Wales and Devon, amongst others, we now have over 150 coaches organised from across the country for the People’s Vote march in London on 19th October. Book your ticket here and join us for this historic event.

More Brexit news...

People's Vote tell Labour MPs not to vote for Johnson Brexit deal (Guardian)

Labour MPs warned that voting for Johnson Brexit deal would be "stuff of right wing dreams" (Independent)

People's Vote dossier: "Selling us out - Boris Johnson's real plan for Brexit Britain"

Government refuses to rule out further prorogation of Parliament (PoliticsHome)

The harsh reality of underfunding at my hospital? Swept away for Johnson's visit (Guardian)

UK cannot meet EU deadline and need another year, government says (Independent)

More Brexit comment...

Gaby Hinsliff: The Tories are learning that Boris Johnson is electoral Marmite (Guardian)