Friday 25 October 2019 - People's Vote

Friday 25 October 2019

Morning Briefing: MPs question Johnson's election bid despite childish "strike" threats

Boris Johnson’s election call and childish threat to “go on strike” if he doesn’t get what he wants is yet another manoeuvre to bounce his bad Brexit deal past MPs. Ever since his shocking and unlawful prorogation of Parliament, the Opposition in all its shapes and sizes has to be alive to his machinations.

MPs have every right to challenge the Prime Minister on just what his reckless Brexit proposal will mean, but he is determined - like Trump -to make any accountability of-limits.

It is clear that a general election won’t resolve the Brexit crisis: only a Final Say referendum is the truly democratic solution to this crisis.

MPs set to block Johnson's election bid despite childish "strike" threats

EU ambassadors will today discuss how long to extend Article 50, but it’s not yet clear if they will announce a decision until Monday, with uncertainty about how long the extension should be. “Flextension” is the new buzzword.

It comes as opposition parties assess whether to vote for a December 12 general election on Monday. Boris Johnson’s whole “do or die” by October 31 mantra is officially over: now he (through his spokesman Dominic Cummings) is threatening that the Government will down tools if they don’t get their way.

Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott told the BBC's Today programme this morning that Labour wanted to hear the EU's extension deadline and ensure No Deal is off the table before committing to an election. "We don't trust Boris Johnson," she said. But MPs also need to fight back and assert their democratic rights: the Prime Minister wants to avoid all scrutiny of his Brexit plans but there is no reason why Parliament should let him get away with it.

Labour MP and People’s Vote supporter Jess Phillips was scathing about Johnson’s strike threat, tweeting: “Cannot even imagine all the things I’d want to change, were I to have the agency of the PM, think of the progress that could be made on rights, security, safety & future of our country. Think of that unique chance to change things. Imagine not bothering because you didn’t get your way.”

The Brexit stalemate is having a deep impact on democracy in the UK, as former Foreign Secretary David Miliband said last night in a lecture. And People's Vote supporter David Lammy said: Parliament can ratify his plan, but only if it is approved by the people in a final say referendum. That can be done in only a few months and we could go into the Spring with a clear answer to the Brexit question. 

Whatever Parliament decides, the People’s Vote campaign will not stop making the demand that the people have the final say, be that before or after a general election.”

Only a Final Say referendum can resolve this crisis, not a general election before the real ramifications of Johnson's Brexit deal have been scrutinised. Make sure your MP knows how you feel: join more than 370,000 supporters and sign our letter demanding a People’s Vote here.

Businesses to face staggering £11 billion bill from Brexit admin increases

When Boris Johnson said “F*** business” back in June 2018, it turns out that  - for once - he actually meant what he said.

Yesterday, we revealed that his Brexit plan would hit British businesses with up to £11.2 billion in additional administrative costs for new customs declarations. Official figures from HMRC estimate that up to 255 million customs declarations will need to be made after Brexit, up from 55 million at present.

The government’s own impact assessment for Johnson’s Brexit plans estimates that each of those additional declarations will costs businesses up to £56 in extra administrative costs, adding up to a potential bill of £11.2 billion a year.

Civil servants have estimated that Boris Johnson’s plan to leave the EU and introduce extra barriers to trade would cost the country up to 6.7 percent of GDP over 15 years, a cost of around £2,000 per person each year.

Leading People’s Vote supporter Stephen Doughty MP said: “Boris Johnson’s disastrous Brexit proposals are beginning to fall apart as more and more unpleasant details emerge. Now we learn they will lead to potentially crippling administrative costs for businesses due to the mountains of new paperwork they will be burdened with.

 “Brexiters promised a vote to leave the EU would mean less red-tape, but the reality is a bombshell of new bureaucracy for UK businesses. This is yet another broken Brexit promise to add to the list.”

Government pulls £100 million "Get ready for Brexit" ad campaign

The Government has pulled its £100 million "Get ready for Brexit" advertising campaign as the October 31 Brexit deadline slips away. Ads in newspapers have been withdrawn, while one Spotify user commented: "This is the best news I have had all week - I've been bombarded with endless audio spots advising me to register as an exporter". The humiliating decision came after the National Audit Office questioned the effectiveness of the campaign. The money could have been used to fund the training of 1,429 nurses or 8,333 police officers.

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 not about to vote for a decade of stagnation and doubt. But for anyone who cares about British jobs, it comes down to one key question. Do businesses want the benefits and security of continued access to the Single Market, or the instability and uncertainty of a lost decade?"

What Chancellor Sajid Javid wrote in May 2016 when he backed the UK to stay in the EU.

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More Brexit news...

Boris Johnson’s Brexit plan will hand businesses £11.2 billion costs, campaigners warn (Mirror)

Boris Johnson rolls the Brexit dice again (Politico)

Government pulls "Get ready for Brexit" campaign (The i)

More Brexit comment...

David Miliband: Brexit is wrecking British democracy (Guardian)

Matthew Parris: The question a second referendum must ask (Spectator)