The former Deputy Prime Minister Lord Heseltine is among leading politicians and public figures who will speak at the People’s Vote rally, to be held at the Excel Centre in East London, on Sunday.
In a message to those who claim the campaign for a People’s Vote was ‘letting Britain down’, Heseltine will say that we are the British patriots.
Lord Heseltine is expected to say:
“May our opponents never be forgiven for their allegations that it is us who are letting Britain down. It is us who are undermining a brighter future. It is us cutting the ground from under younger generations. They call us “Traitors”.
“Let us make our position clear. We are the British patriots.
“We want a Britain at the heart of Europe because we want the voice of Britain, the tolerance of Britain, the culture of Britain at the heart of Europe. We are proud of our Commonwealth and empire. Our voice is their voice in Europe.
“It is the Brexiteers who seek to belittle us, to undermine our influence, to slam windows, to close doors with the suggestion that our membership of the European community blunts our influence.
And echoing a young William Hague, Heseltine will make a cross-generational pitch, saying that his generation will not be the ones who will have to face the consequences of Brexit.
Lord Heseltine will say:
“In one of the most memorable speeches of my life the young William Hague, aged 16, pointed to an elderly Tory audience and declaimed. “You won’t be here.” He warned his party not to ignore his generation.
“Let me repeat his warning. Let me paraphrase his words. ‘I certainly won’t be here.’ But neither will my generation. Those of a certain age who voted 70:30 to leave is rapidly being replaced by a younger generation who voted 70:30 to stay. The parents, the grandparent will have gone. The younger generation, they will be here. They will be here.
“They will never forgive us if we now exclude them from the corridors of European power. Offered a seat in an anteroom as others decide behind closed doors. Invited to submit their views in writing so others may decide behind closed doors. Trying to negotiate trade deals on behalf of the United Kingdom in competition with a European Union six times our size offering bigger, better deals behind closed doors.”
In a final call to MPs to reject the deal, Heseltine will say:
“No one can predict the events of next week. Every news bulletin, every headline, every leak tells us of a government that has lost control.These are the first promising signs that a growing number of members of the House of Commons are prepared to assert the authority and sovereignty of that place.
“Our country’s future depends on their judgement and will. They must act in the national interest. Their conclusions must be put back to the people for their endorsement.”
Heseltine is among a range of speakers who will call on MPs to reject the deal and campaign instead for a People’s Vote. Other speakers at the event will include Anna Soubry MP, Liberal Democrat leader Vince Cable MP, Green Party’s Caroline Lucas and Labour MP Luciana Berger.
The rally to be held in London’s Docklands will also feature appearances from the actors Charles Dance and Jason Isaacs.
Caroline Lucas is expected to say:
"Forty-eight hours from the most momentous vote in modern times, parliamentarians must listen to their constituents, local businesses and their own consciences and vote down this bad deal.
"This deal is bad for Britain, bad for future generations. It will turn back the clock and wind up the drawbridge. It will do nothing to tackle the grotesque inequality which contributed to the vote to leave.
"Brexit has been a national nightmare and it is time to end it. On Tuesday we must stand up, be counted, vote down this bad Brexit deal, and give the people the final say on what happens next.”
Notes to editors:
Speakers at the rally, which starts at 1400Hrs at the Excel Centre, will include:
- Matt Forde
- Eddie Marsan
- Anna Soubry MP
- Vince Cable MP
- Mary Creagh MP
- Adam Price
- Jason Isaacs
- Dr Philip Lee MP
- Caroline Lucas MP
- Luciana Berger MP
- Lord Heseltine
- Charles Dance
Link to William Hague’s 1977 Conservative Party Conference speech: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qL_p9qjfu5U