Friday 24 May 2019 - People's Vote

Friday 24 May 2019

Morning Briefing: May expected to announce resignation

The voting is over, now we wait until 10pm on Sunday evening for the results. Our campaigners were out in force all over the country to encourage people to vote for parties supporting a People's Vote. Our thanks to all our grassroots supporters for their efforts throughout the campaign during these European Parliament elections.

Main parties expect bad results from European elections

No one can be sure what the results will be, but if the polls are right, both main parties have had a disastrous European election.

Labour, which in any other universe would be winning these elections by a country mile, has underperformed massively because of its mealy-mouthed support for a People's Vote.

We're hearing that its director of communications wants to shrug off the results on Sunday night by saying they lost lots of votes to Nigel Farage. 

It's just not true and we should not let Seumas Milne or anyone else get away with it. Polls this week have shown Labour losing FOUR TIMES as many votes to more overtly pro-People's Vote parties than it has lost to the Brexit Party. Those same polls show Labour would be EIGHT POINTS clear of Farage if it had given full-throated backing to a policy demanded by the overwhelming majority of its members and voters. 

Reports last night were that the party was struggling to find enough activists to undertake even basic polling day tasks - despite having more members than all the other parties put together. Some of those activists are already taking steps to change the party's policy at Labour's conference in September. 

Nor should we forget that there were five million Conservative voters in 2016 who backed Remain and many of them, like Michael Heseltine, had to abandon their party for these elections too. 

And, while more Conservatives have headed off into backwoods of Faragism, it would be wrong to conclude that if the Brexit Party tops the poll it has given him a mandate for crashing out of the EU with no deal in place at all.

It probably won't stop Conservatives heading into a deeply divisive leadership election, with Theresa May expected to agree with the backbench 1922 Committee today on a leaving date of around June 10.

But don’t be too surprised if she makes one more effort at re-heating her Withdrawal Agreement Bill. And it's still not too late to include a firm commitment to a People's Vote that she really should have made a few months ago.

Many European citizens living in the UK were blocked from voting yesterday in what was described by MP David Lammy as “ugly discrimination”. #DeniedMyVote was trending during the day on Twitter.

Voters across the country told of their devastation at finding their names crossed off the register due to clerical errors by local councils. Experts said the situation was a “scandal we knew was coming” and that the government may have a case to answer in court.

What next for Theresa May and her “Brexit legacy”?

It is being widely reported that the Prime Minister will announce today that she is going to step down, with June 10 likely to be her final day so she can see through the visit of Donald Trump and the D-Day commemorations.

A Tory party leadership election starting with up to 17 candidates will officially get going, although Andrea Leadsom’s controversial resignation on the eve of the European Parliamentary elections signaled that it had already begun.

The Times reports that MPs would have limited tools at their disposal to block a new prime minister delivering a no-deal Brexit, quoting the think tank Institute for Government. But a Prime Minister who pushed for a no deal would face huge resistance from parliament which could, if necessary, bring down the government.

There is no mandate and no majority for a no deal Brexit either among the public or in the House of Commons. MPs from all parties have shown they are ready to reject a no deal Brexit and, if necessary, seize control of the agenda or demand an extension to the Brexit deadline.

Dominic Grieve MP told the BBC’s Newsnight last night that he would support a vote of no confidence in the Conservative government of a new prime minister before they could deliver no deal.

The battle to win a People’s Vote becomes ever more urgent to ensure that the UK can emerge from this current political crisis.

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

"There’s a bit of despondency and a bit of acceptance we’re going to get a drubbing like at the local elections.”

Phil Sagar, vice president of the Grantham and Stamford Conservative Party, on how the party struggled to get activists out.

Video of the Day

Former Cabinet Minister David Mellor says he has "never been more embarrassed and humiliated" to be a member of the Conservative Party. 

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Tweet of the Day

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More Brexit news…

Tory local parties decided not to campaign (HuffPost)

Juncker predicts further Brexit delay (Guardian)

Theresa May to announce she is resigning as Prime Minister (PoliticsHome)

Workers' wages deferred and export sink due to Brexit uncertainty (New European)

Tories will win zero seats, says MEP (Independent)

Labour activists reveal anti-Brexit motion to force huge policy change (Labour List)

Top Brexit comment...

Stephen Bush:The Brexit deadlock is only going to get worse (New Statesman)

Pippa Crerar: Whoever takes over, inherits the same Brexit mess (Mirror)

Newton Emerson: Life after Theresa May fraught with danger for DUP (Irish Times)


Put pressure on your MP to vote for a People's Vote 

The Brexit chaos isn't getting any better and supporters of a People's Vote should keep pressing their MP to adopt the only solution that will resolve it. Use our online tool to write to your MP.