An overwhelming majority of LGBT+ people want a People’s Vote on Brexit – and would vote to remain in the EU, according to a new poll by YouGov, which coincides with the launch this weekend of a new campaign group LGBT+ for a People’s Vote.
The exclusive YouGov poll of almost 1,500 lesbian, gay and bisexual people commissioned by People’s Vote found that 72 per cent of people in the LGBT+ community support a public vote on Brexit – with just 28 per cent opposed (excluding Don’t Knows). An overwhelming 70 per cent of LGBT+ people in this country would vote to remain in the UK in a new referendum – up from the 60 per cent of LGBT+ people who voted remain at the referendum in 2016 (excluding those who did not vote and don’t know).
The poll also finds:
- 77 per cent of the LGBT+ community think Brexit will fundamentally impact their lives.
- 78 per cent of the LGBT+ community think promises made by Brexit-supporting politicians will be broken.
- 84 per cent of the LGBT+ community agree that the process so far of leaving the EU has been a mess.
- Meanwhile, just 13 per cent of the LGBT+ community expect Britain to get a good deal with the EU.
The findings are published alongside a letter to the Prime Minister signed by 164 LGBT+ activists – including the broadcaster, journalist and trans advocate Paris Lees, the actor and Stonewall Founding Chair Lord Cashman and YouTube vlogger Jake Edwards - demanding a People’s Vote on the outcome of Brexit negotiations.
LGBT+ for a People’s Vote will be launched this Saturday evening with Party for a People’s Vote - nine events taking place in prominent LGBT+ venues across 4 cities in the UK, with the flagship event being hosted at G-A-Y London.
The launch will highlight the instrumental role the European Union has had in promoting LGBT+ rights in the UK, ensuring equal treatment in the workplace, recognising that trans discrimination is gender discrimination and protecting pensions.
LGBT+ for a People’s Vote has charted a rise in hate crimes and extremist politics – including homophobia, biphobia and, particularly, transphobia – since the 2016 referendum. This may be an unintended consequence of Brexit. Nevertheless, it is, in part at least, a consequence of it. Leaving the EU will also disrupt access to HIV medications, PrEP and the latest medical advances.
Peter Tatchell, Director, Peter Tatchell Foundation, said:
“Brexit will fracture our successful collaboration with LGBT+ groups and governments across the EU, which has done so much to advance equality for our communities throughout the continent.
“The UK needs to remain in the EU to secure and safeguard the full protections guaranteed to sexual and gender minorities under the EU Charter of fundamental rights and freedoms.
“I urge LGBTs to support the campaign for a People’s Vote and to march in the LGBT+ bloc in the London mass demonstration on 20 October.”
Helen Belcher, Chair of LGBT Consortium, said:
"Trans people won two key rights - the right not to be discriminated against at work and the right of gender recognition - from the Court of Justice of the European Union. The human rights consequences as well as the economic and reputational consequences of leaving the EU are why I’m campaigning for a People’s Vote once we know the terms of any deal.”
Tris Reid-Smith, Editor-in-Chief, Gay Star News, said:
"Brexit is dangerous for the LGBTI community. It would do more than just harm LGBTI rights of course. If we actually leave the EU – ‘Chequers’ deal, bad deal or no deal – people will lose their jobs, the NHS will suffer and we may face shortages of everything from HIV medication to food.
"Nobody in the UK voted for this mess. Nobody voted for Chequers. No LGBTI person voted to allow the government to remove important protections on our rights.
"The loudest Brexiteers have the worst voting records on LGBTI issues. The referendum has handed political power to homophobes, biphobes and transphobes. I am scared what they will do next if they triumph in pushing us to a hard Brexit.
"But we can avert disaster. A People’s Vote provides a democratic way for UK citizens to say what they want the final outcome to be – including remaining in the EU."
Notes to editors:
- All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 18,772 adults – including 1,433 lesbian, gay and bisexual voters. Fieldwork was undertaken between 31st July - 20th August 2018. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+). The full fieldwork can be found here: https://bit.ly/2OxswdL
- The full text of the letter signed by 164 activists is below:
Dear Prime Minister,
We are writing as a broad group of people from the UK LGBT+ community to call for a People’s Vote on the final outcome of the Brexit negotiations.
Naturally, no one person, or group, can represent all the nuanced opinions of an entire community as diverse and widespread as ours. We do not pretend to.
However, we obviously have detailed ongoing conversations with the community we serve. Through this we have identified a clear unease among many with the proposals for leaving the EU – including your own Chequers proposals, and others’ ideas for a ‘hard’, ‘no-deal’ or ‘blind’ Brexit.
Independent polling endorses this qualitative evidence. YouGov research shows 60% of our community voted to remain in 2016, and 70% wish to remain in the EU today. What is more, 72% of LGBT+ people want a People’s Vote.
Earlier this year the publication of an LGBT+ Brexit Impact Assessment, authored by leading human rights lawyers, indicated a number of areas in which our community will be gravely affected by the current Brexit proposals. You have engineered Brexit to remove the constitutional protections on LGBT+ rights that the EU currently offers, without replacing those guarantees. That makes it far easier for anti-LGBT+ politicians to chip away or remove our rights in future, even if your current government does not intend to. And it is the stated aim of leading Brexiteers to do so.
By contrast, the European Union has been instrumental in promoting LGBT+ rights. This has included ensuring our equal treatment in the workplace, recognising that trans discrimination is gender discrimination and protecting our pensions.
We have charted a rise in hate crimes and extremist politics – including homophobia, biphobia and, particularly, transphobia – since the 2016 referendum. This may be an unintended consequence of Brexit. Nevertheless, it is, in part at least, a consequence of it.
Many of those who are loudest in their promotion of Brexit are not friends of the LGBT+ community. They have a history of voting against our rights. This only adds to the deep unease many LGBT+ people have about the future of our country, should we continue down our current path.
These fears continue to grow as further Brexit-related issues become clear. We now know leaving the EU will disrupt our access to HIV medications, PrEP and the latest medical advances.
This is, of course, only one subset of the complex set of issues the UK faces as it charts its future. Certainly, the evidence suggests that our community is at least as concerned about the impact on the NHS, our economy and our future place in the world as it is about LGBT+ specific issues. The People’s Vote campaign has already outlined those issues to you – and, indeed, expressed why a vote on the outcome of your negotiations with the EU is in the interests of the UK and of democracy.
However, we believe there is an onus on the government to pay special attention to the needs of vulnerable and minority communities in all cases, and in particular when making long-term constitutional change.
We hope, therefore, that you will decide to offer the UK a People’s Vote, now all the facts are known. We believe such a vote is in the clear interests of our country and our community.
Tris Reid-Smith - Editor-in-Chief/ Co-Founder, Gay Star News. Chair, LGBT+ for a People's Vote.
Scott Nunn - Co-Founder, Gay Star News and Digital Pride
Richard Angell - Director, Progress – Labour’s centre-left movement
Liz Barker - Baroness, House of Lords
Matt Beard - Executive Director, All Out
Ben Bradshaw - MP for Exeter
Chris Bryant - MP for Rhondda
Gary Buxton MBE - Youth Advocate
Ivor Caplin - Former Defence Minister and Chair Jewish Labour Movement
Michael Cashman - Lord Cashman, CBE. Labour LGBT Global envoy (2014-16). Founding chair Stonewall.
Seb Dance MEP - Member of the European Parliament for London
Damien Egan - Mayor of Lewisham
James Frost - Publisher, Gay Times
Sarah Garrett MBE - CEO, British LGBT Awards
Tom Guy - Founder, National Student Pride. Chair, Architecture LGBT+.
Matthew Hodson - Executive Director, NAM (aidsmap)
David Hudson - Editor, Gay Star News
Stu Hosker - Director of Marketing and Brand, Gay Star News
Jason Jones - Human Rights Defender
Peter Kyle - MP for Hove and Portslade
Paris Lees - Broadcaster, journalist and trans advocate
Jennie Rigg - Chair LGBT+ Lib Dems
Linda Riley - Publisher, DIVA Magazine
Wes Streeting - MP for Ilford North
Peter Tatchell - Director, Peter Tatchell Foundation
Steve Taylor - Director, European Pride Organisers Association
Robbie Young - Co-Chair, LGBT Labour
David Young - Publishing Manager, Gay Star News
Rafael Abreu - Advocate
Morgana Aiyer - LGBT ally, co-lead for Accenture
Francesca Allen - Graphic designer
Alisha Anderson - Advocate
Carl Austin-Behan - LGBT Advisor to The Mayor of Greater Manchester
Damian Barr - Writer and Salonnière
Marianna Baxter - Local Councillor and Secretary of Cornwall Lib Dems
Daniel Beeson - Head of Engagement, Gay Star News
Helen Belcher - Trustee and Founder, Trans Media Watch; Chair, LGBT Consortium; Member, Stonewall Trans Advisory Group; Secretary, Parliamentary Forum on Gender Identity; Parliamentary Candidate for Chippenham Liberal Democrats
Jeff Blakely - Web developer
Rosa Bosch - Advocate
Matthew Boyles - Founder, Fitter Confident You
Kathryn Breitner - Consultant, Campaigner
Simon Brooksbank - Co-Chair, Planning Out
Andrew Brown - Secretary, LGBT+ Liberal Democrats
Robert Brown - Activist, Founder of LGBT Youth Group in Scotland, Founder of Absolute Freedom Group, Former Trustee of Broken Relations ainbow UK
Kay Browning - Advocate
Darren Burn - Managing Director, OutOfOffice.com / TravelGay.com
Alison Camps - Advocate
Thomas Capon - Travel Editor, Gay Star News
David Chalmers - Chair of North Devon Sunrise
Zoë Chowney - Co-chair, GWN
Matt Clare - Local Councillor, Eltham South (Conservative)
Ben Collins - Sexual Health Activist
Marcus Connolly - National Student Pride Committee
Jonathan Cooper - Barrister, Doughty Street Chambers
Darren Cooper - Advocate
Kasia Czybir - Doula / Reiki Practitioner
Rohit Dasgupta - Councillor, London Borough of Newham/Lecturer, Loughborough University
Dominic Davies - CEO, Pink Therapy
Christel Dee - Digital Creative, Writer and Presenter
Matilda Deterding - Creative Partnerships Manager, Gay Star News
Jason Domino - Director, The Domino Foundation CIC
Craig Donachy - Laing O'Rourke Pride Chair and Building Equality Exec Committee Member
Peter Dunne - Lecturer in Law
Moira Dustin - SOGICA project
Jacob Edward - Podcast Host, Activist
Jake Edwards - Transgender YouTuber
Kelsey Ellison - YouTuber
Greg Falley - Advocate
Jenny Fallover - Community organiser
Nuno Ferreira - Professor of Law, University of Sussex
John Finnegan - Liberal Democrats Candidate in Salmestone Ward in next May Local Elections
Matt Frisch - Advocate
Ian Gee - Business consultant
Paisley Gilmour - Journalist
Paul Gorczynski - Lecturer
Jake Graf - Writer and director
Liz Grant OBE - Inclusive workplaces consultant. OBE for services for LGBT equality in the workplace
Jordan Gray - Patron of Educate and Celebrate, entertainer and journalist
Sophie Griffiths - Editor, Travel Trade Gazette and founder of TTG LGBT
Nicola Hannan - Media professional
Dr Adrian Harrop - GP Registrar, Health Education North East
Tom Hayes - Editor, beyondpositive.org
Nicola Heath - Advocate
Jo Hennessey - Diversity Champion, Construction Industry
Gustavo Hernandez - Artist and Designer
Jake Hook - Editor-in-Chief, TheGayUK
Natacha Horn - Director
Ian Howley - HERO (Health Equality and Rights Organisation)
Adrian Hyyrylainen-Trett - Vice President of LGBT+ Lib Dem’s
Alex Ingram - Student Pride Volunteer and CEO Rendezvous Events
Ollie James-Parr - Festival Director, National Student Pride
Rico Johnson-Sinclair - Campaign Manager, Birmingham LGBT
Mike Kear - Photographer and advocate
Natacha Kennedy - Lecturer, Goldsmiths College London
Mallory Khalifa - Managing Director of Animation company
Charlie Kiss - Trans advocate. Author of ‘A New Man’
Thain Kleinhentz - Health Adviser
Stephan Kyriacou - Trans and bisexual writer and YouTuber
Philip Lawrence - Advocate
Mark Lewis - Advocate
Stephanie Lloyd - Deputy Director, Progress
Joel Love - Vicar of Rochester St Peter with St Margaret
Carrie Lyell - Editor, DIVA magazine
Revd Jide Macaulay - Founder and CEO, House Of Rainbow CIC
Boom Macleod - Director, British LGBT Awards
Francesca Maga - Advocate
Chris Maines - Chair, London Liberal Democrats
Hilton Marlton - Advocate
Charlie-Ann Mathers - Engagement Officer, Digital Pride
Thomas McGregor - Advocate
Calum McSwiggan - Advocate
Tatiana Meakin - LOR Pride Committee Member
Alan Mercel-Sanca - Lead officer of the LGB&T Dorset Equality Network
Zach Meyers - Lawyer
Angela Millar - Advocate
Carina Miller - Advocate
Joe Morgan - Journalist
Gary B Morris - Advocate
Maureen Murphy - Inbound Controller Supply Chain
Daniel Murtha - Advocate
Anwen Muston - Advocate
Alejandra Nagia - Organiser at LGBT+ group for a large financial institution
Stuart Nunn - SEO Consultant, Gay Star News
Keren Oser - Head of Finance
Maria Patsalos - Lawyer
Heather Peace - Actor, musician and LGBT Activist
Scott Pearson - Advocate
Sara Pendlebury - Psychotherapist
Joanna Peters - LGBTQ+ creator
Heather Peto - Transgender Officer, LGBT Labour
Olly Pike - Creator of LGBT+ Educational Resource 'Pop'n'Olly'
Shannon Power - Journalist
Jae Price - LGBTQIA+ activist and trans woman
Alex Protopapa - Account Manager, Gay Star News
Aluce Quimby - Primary school teacher and advocate
Karen Rayment - Advocate
Mark Reading - Lawyer
Juno Roche - Writer and campaigner
Jose Rodriguez - Lecturer
Mark Rounding - Charity Chief Executive
Amanda Salt - Director
Suki Sandhu - Founder & CEO, Audeliss & INvolve
Edwin Sesange - Director, African Equality Foundation
Lois Shearing - Founder of the Bi Survivors Network and Do Better Bi Us campaign
Angella-Dee Sherriffe - Advocate
Guy Shipton - Advocate
Krzysztof Sieledczyk - Project Manager at a Construction Company
Adam Smith - Advocate
Justine Smithies - Trans Activist & Marine Electronics Engineer
Sabina Socoli - CEO, Karavan Blockchain
Ben Spector - CEO of SpecTronics UK
Octavian Starr - Diversity and Training Consultant
Nicholas Stellmacher - Advocate
Dom Stewart - Vauxhall CLP Vice-Chair and Campaign Officer/ Secretary of Westminster Amnesty Branch
Jamie Tabberer - Entertainment Editor, Gay Star News
Allan Taylor - Lecturer
Daniel Tills - Advocate
Gerald Vernon-Jackson CBE - Leader, Portsmouth City Council
Joe Vinson - Co-Chair, LGBT Labour London and South East
Samuel Wakefield - Advocate
Steve Wardlaw - Chairman, Emerald Life
Jamie Wareham - Video and Digital Pride Production Manager, Gay Star News
Linda Wilkinson FIBMS MPhil (UCL) - Writer and activist
Jen Yockney MBE - Editor, Bi Community News
- LGBT+ for a People’s Vote will be launched formally on Saturday night with Party for a People’s Vote – a series of nine events taking place across four cities in the UK, with the flagship event being hosted at G-A-Y London.