Monday 15 July 2019 - People's Vote

Monday 15 July 2019

Morning Briefing: Emily Thornberry hits out at "shameless, craven and cowardly" Boris Johnson

There may have been epic sporting action at Lord's, Wimbledon and Silverstone yesterday, but Uxbridge was the venue for a fantastic Let Us Be Heard rally that brought the People's Vote call into the back yard of the likely next prime minister Boris Johnson to demand a final say. On Friday, supporters in the East Midlands have the opportunity to continue our long, hot summer of protest with a rally in Derby. Get your tickets here.

Emily Thornberry hits out at "shameless, craven and cowardly" Boris Johnson

Emily Thornberry told a packed People’s Vote “Let Us Be Heard” rally in Uxbridge, the London constituency of Boris Johnson, that the “shameless, craven and cowardly” local MP’s plan to impose Brexit on the rest of the country posed a real danger to every citizen of the UK.

The Shadow Foreign Secretary was appearing on a People’s Vote platform for the first time, just days after Jeremy Corbyn signalled he was ready to campaign for a final say referendum on any Brexit outcome. 

She said the British people must have their voice heard on whether Boris Johnson’s version of Brexit is the future they want through a referendum – and emphasised that in such a vote, she will be throwing her full-throated support behind all those campaigning for the UK to stay in the EU. 

“I stand here today and say to you that the Labour Party must and will campaign unequivocally to have that People’s Vote, and campaign unequivocally to Remain.

“Because if Labour’s position since 2016 has been to argue for an outcome to this process, which does the least harm to jobs and the economy, then no matter what deal is on the table, and regardless of which party has negotiated it, our position when it comes to a new referendum must be to remain in the European Union, because that is logically the way to do the least harm to our jobs and the economy."

Ms Thornberry went further than Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn last week because she not only promised a People's Vote on any Brexit outcome but also made it clear that she - and Labour -  would campaign for staying in the EU.

Although she was right to say no one can pre-determine what will be in Labour’s manifesto, given the views of three-quarters of the party’s voters and members, it would be electoral suicide if Labour went into the next election with a different position to that spelt out by Ms Thornberry in Uxbridge.

It would be great to get a bit more of that same clarity and passion from the Leader’s Office over the next few days.

Dire warnings on Brexit keep coming

The dire warnings about a destructive No Deal or a hardcore Brexit come thick and fast, delivered by serious people who read their briefs and understand the seriousness of what they are saying.

Chancellor Philip Hammond will this week explain the simple truth that it is not down to “do or die” Boris Johnson what will happen at Calais – but President Macron and his supporters. He will use the example of the Gibraltar border where there have been problems in the past if Spain wishes to make a point.

Last week Mr Hammond told his Treasury officials not to change their advice on no deal to suit the PM and vowed to fight on from the backbenches where the new prime minister's majority will be only three.

A study by the Resolution Foundation think tank says that we are at the highest risk of recession since 2007 because a global downturn combined with an uncertain Brexit leaves us with little room to manoeuvre.

The UK Trade Policy Observatory reckons that a destructive No Deal will cost £22 billion a year (more than half of England’s schools budget) in compensation to British businesses. And Brexit uncertainty along with poor summer weather led to the worst High Street retail visits for seven years.

Perhaps most alarmingly, Simon Byrne, the chief constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland, painted a picture of how a hard Brexit would be “absolutely detrimental” to the peace process, lead to the potential for renewed violence as well as farms and businesses closing down.

It is a wave of bad news and alarming predictions that demonstrate the damage that a tough Brexit is doing to the country now and will do in the future.

Johnson plans to bow down to Trump

Having thrown diplomat Sir Kim Darroch under the bus to appease President Donald Trump, Boris Johnson is now planning to rush to Washington to try and get a trade deal with the US in place.

It is a key strategy of the Conservative leadership contender who believes that a deal with the US will kickstart discussions with other potential trade partners, according to The Times.

It brings the alarming prospect of chlorine-washed chicken in our supermarkets and the NHS being up for grabs in a deal where everything is “on the table”.

Another indication of the importance of our European alliances came with yesterday’s joint statement from the UK, France and Germany on fears that the Iran nuclear deal is at risk. It demonstrates that these European alliances are at serious risk if we submit to Trump’s bullying.

The prospect of Mr Johnson becoming PM is all too much for Welsh MP and People’s Vote supporter Guto Bebb who has decided to stand down at the next election because of his grave fears at the prospect of Johnson leading his party and the country.

A multi-billion pound Migration Dividend Fund – focused away from big cities – could help bring Britain together and harness our full potential, according to think tank Global Future. 

Their proposal is that government should introduce a genuinely substantial fund to distribute investment to towns and small cities, equivalent to the annual contribution of EEA migrants to the UK budget (£4.7 billion a year), which they say would allow the positive effects of migration to be rendered meaningful and visible for residents in these areas.

Join Let Us Be Heard rally in Derby on Friday

This Friday join People's Vote supporters in the East Midlands at our Let Us Be Heard rally in Derby. To get your tickets for the event, click 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

“Do we live in a democracy, or not? I believe that we do, and that in a democracy, the people - not Boris Johnson, not 0.25%, but all the people - get a chance to shape our own futures. There is only one way to break the deadlock. A final underline to legitimise whatever the outcome. A People’s Vote.”

National Union of Students vice president and For Our Future's Sake campaigner Erica Ramos spoke out at our Uxbridge event yesterday.

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More Brexit news

Boris Johnson to seek Trump trade deal in first move as leader (The Times £)

Emily Thornberry calls for People's Vote (Independent)

Tory MP to stand down over grave concerns about Johnson as PM (Guardian)

No deal could lead to significant issues with animal health and welfare (PoliticsHome)

Unprepared UK facing highest risk of recession since 2007 (Bloomberg)

Hard Brexit will have detrimental effect on Northern Ireland peace process, says police chief (Belfast Telegraph)

Top Brexit comment...

Ed Davey: Johnson's vow for no deal is a compete fallacy (Independent)

Patrick Jenkins: Welcome, John and Emily, to the campaign for a public vote (LabourList)

Adam Boulton: Hoping Johnson is Dr Jekyll, braced for Mr Hyde (Sunday Times £)