Morning Briefing: 'Green Brexit' is all hype
Good luck to People's Vote campaigners, who will be out in force all over the country this weekend, as a relatively quiet Brexit week shows that the only solution to break the stalemate is a People's Vote.
Don’t believe the ‘Green Brexit hype’
It’s been a week where climate change has dominated the news agenda thanks to the Extinction Rebellion protesters and high-level politicians meeting with environmental activist Greta Thunberg.
But new research by the People’s Vote campaign exposes the true anti-environmental agenda of leading Brexiters like current Environment Secretary Michael Gove, Boris Johnson and Jacob Rees-Mogg.
The hidden agenda of extreme Brexiters is to shed environmental protections, scrap protections and restrictions on big business – and even to cast doubt on the overwhelming scientific consensus that climate change is impacted by human activity.
Michael Gove has previously called for the EU Habitats Directive to be scrapped claiming it “massively increases the cost and the regulatory burden for housing development”.
Boris Johnson has pushed for a UK divergence from EU regulations, while Rees-Mogg claimed, on UK emissions “we could say, if it’s good enough in India, it’s good enough for here.”
And International Trade Secretary Liam Fox yesterday granted legitimacy to sceptics about the scientific consensus, stating: “Whether or not individuals accept the current scientific consensus on the causes of climate change, it is sensible for everyone to use finite resources in a responsible way.”
Leading People’s Vote campaigner Caroline Lucas said: “Brexit is a clear and present danger to the environment. The truth is the Brexiters in Parliament want to use Brexit as an opportunity to shred environmental protections and to allow big business a free pass on pollution.”
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Labour’s People’s Vote manifesto commitment – the good and the bad
It’s one of the biggest questions in the build-up to the European elections: will Labour commit to a People’s Vote. Yesterday, there was good and not so good news.
The International Commission of Labour’s National Policy Forum, which includes MPs, trade unionists, MEPs and constituency reps, voted unanimously that the party’s Euro manifesto should include a promise for a confirmatory referendum. This will put more pressure on the leadership to agree at next Tuesday’s emergency National Executive Committee meeting.
However, a draft campaign leaflet prompted fury when MEP candidates saw that it made no mention of the policy to push for a People’s Vote and appeared to have the party still supporting Brexit.
Shadow Brexit secretary Keir Starmer, deputy leader Tom Watson and shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry were not consulted on the wording, even though they form part of the party’s Brexit sub-committee.
The leaflet row emerged after leading Remain campaigner and People's Vote supporter Lord Adonis caused surprise when he had to sign an official Labour statement on Brexit. He confirmed later that he was still backing a People's Vote.
Insiders fear that activists will refuse to campaign for Labour if the Brexit position remains a fudge, but it is clearly all to play for within the Party over the coming days and weeks.
Voter registration: time running out for EU citizens and young people
It’s an imperative for both the European Elections and a potential People’s Vote for key stakeholders to be able to go to the ballot box.
For EU citizens living in the UK, red tape is causing problems with only 300 crucial forms being returned with just a fortnight to go. Shadow Foreign Minister Catherine West grilled Minister Brandon Lewis over the ‘shambles’ and said: ‘The government’s complete lack of action have helped create an artificial barrier to the enfranchisement of EU citizens.”
Campaign group New Europeans is threatening to take legal action if the Government doesn't move quickly to ease the situation.
Youth campaigners have been pushing hard to encourage young voters to register, enlisting the support of celebrities such as actor Eddie Marsan and presenter Gabby Logan to tweet videos. The deadline is May 7, so register here.
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
“My statement yesterday is Labour's approved conference policy. It doesn't change my commitment to a public vote on any Brexit deal. That's what Jeremy and Labour voted for in Parliament on April 1. The people must be given the final say!
People's Vote campaigner and Labour MEP candidate Lord Adonis clarifies his position after a mini-Twitter storm yesterday.
Video of the Day
Shadow Foreign Minister Catherine West hit out at the 'shambles' of Government red tape which is causing problems for EU citizens registering to vote for the Euro elections.
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Tweet of the Day
LibDem EU candidate Caroline Voaden tweeted a site that demonstrates 'what Europe does for me' in your region.
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Top Brexit comment...
Gary Younge, Guardian: Farage and Extinction Rebellion: two politics of protest, only one has a future