Morning Briefing: Time to take the People's Vote Test
Voters in many parts of England and in Northern Ireland go to the polls in local elections on Thursday, with predictions that the Conservatives face big losses over the Brexit debacle. The answer is for the country to have the chance of a People's Vote.
Does your party pass the People’s Vote Test?
The People’s Vote campaign has launched a new website tool for the European Parliamentary elections which allows everyone to check which parties support a new vote on Brexit.
The website also includes a ‘register to vote’ feature ahead of the deadline for registration on May 7.
The new website, featuring analysis of the European election manifestos of each party, including an overall assessment of whether they ‘pass’ or ‘fail’ the test of committing to a People’s Vote on Brexit.
It will increase pressure on Labour ahead of its crunch NEC meeting on Tuesday to match pledges made by the SNP, the Liberal Democrats, Change UK, The Green Party and Plaid Cymru to back a People’s Vote.
Polling published last week shows Labour risks losing a third of its support in the European elections if it does not back a People’s Vote.
James McGrory, Executive Director of the People’s Vote campaign, commented: “This new website will be an important part of the People’s Vote campaign’s activities in the upcoming European elections. Voters need to know which parties are listening to the growing calls for Brexit to be put back to the people. And, whichever party you choose to support, you need to register to vote if you want your voice heard. That’s especially important for young people, who overwhelmingly support a People’s Vote but who are less likely to be on the electoral register.
“The People’s Vote campaign is cross-party, our supporters and activists come from all parties and none, and we’re very proud of that. This new website will allow the public to see all the information about which parties have committed to giving the people the final say on Brexit and to decide for themselves who they want to vote for in the European elections."
The new People’s Vote Test website can be seen here: www.peoplesvotetest.uk
Labour in turmoil over People's Vote manifesto commitment
Pressure is growing on Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour leadership over the looming decision on whether to include a People’s Vote on their European election manifesto.
With Deputy Leader Tom Watson, Brexit Shadow Secretary Keir Starmer and many other MPs, activists and supporters openly calling for Labour to follow their agreed Conference policy to include a new public vote, it was the turn of the unions to weigh in with their support.
Politics Home reported that the general secretaries of Unison, the GMB and Usdaw are all pushing for a People’s Vote to become a manifesto pledge. D-Day on the row is tomorrow/Tuesday when Labour’s National Executive Committee holds an emergency meeting to make the decision.
The Observer's leader called for Labour to "come off the fence" and make a commitment to a People's Vote as frustration grew over the current Labour leadership position.
New polling analysis from Hope Not Hate, from YouGov data, is to be presented to Jeremy Corbyn's office by the Transport Salaried Staff Association which shows that, not only is the Brexit Party heading for a win and far-right activist Stephen Yaxley-Lennon (aka Tommy Robinson) could win a seat, but the Green Party is set to take 10% of the vote - with 17% of 2017 Labour voters switching.
Meanwhile, talks are continuing between the Government and Labour in an attempt to find a compromise to Mrs May’s Brexit agreement with Chancellor Philip Hammond and his opposite number John McDonnell expected to join the talks today. The Guardian reported that shadow business secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey hinted that the cross-party talks were making progress and that if Labour’s demands were met, she would not expect the party to insist an agreement be put to a public vote.
People’s Vote campaigners are keen for supporters to contact their MPs, MEPs and local parties urgently to insist that Labour agree to a second referendum in their manifesto.
Fox's Qatari trade claims 'look ludicrous'
International Trade Secretary Liam Fox described Qatar as the “natural partners” for UK trade at an event at the Mansion House in the City of London.
The UK’s trade – exports and imports combined - with Qatar in goods and services was worth an estimated £5.1 billion in 2018. In the same period trade with the EU27 was worth £642 billion.
Commenting, Jo Stevens MP, leading supporter of the People’s Vote campaign, said: “Claims by Liam Fox that Qatar is our ‘natural partner’ for trade look ludicrous while he continues to undermine links with the natural partners on our doorstep. He still wants to force a Brexit deal on the UK that everyone accepts will increase friction for British trade with the European Union: trade that is worth 100 times more than that with Qatar. This threatens many more jobs than any future growth in business with Qatar, however welcome, could possibly secure.
“When so much is at stake and now that we know so much more about the broken promises, costs and continued uncertainty of Brexit, it is only fair and democratic that the final decision on whether to go ahead is returned to the public in a People’s Vote.”
For the full story, 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
"The Labour party’s national executive has rarely had a more important decision to take. There are 48 hours to stop Farage and all he stands for. The country, as at other times in our history, needs Labour to do the right thing."
Observer columnist Will Hutton on why Labour's NEC must put the People's Vote on their European election manifesto
Video of the Day
Young People's Vote campaigners Our Future, Our Choice have examined how the Good Friday Agreement on Northern Ireland's future was negotiated and then put to the people in a Referendum.
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Tweet of the Day
"I didn't vote for Brexit to hear my epileptic child should be OK." Ayo Adesina voted Brexit but has now changed his mind and wants a People's Vote.
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Top Brexit comment...
Matthew D'Ancona: Nigel Farage is fuelled by the betrayal myth. And Brexit is only the start (Guardian)