The People’s Vote campaign, backed by England football legend Gary Lineker, today (Thursday) launches a concerted attack, that will a series of rallies and protests staged across the country, against Britain’s botched Brexit.
The purpose is to make sure politicians hear the ever-louder demand – from all walks of life and every corner of the country – for a democratic say on any final Brexit deal.
The plan represents a step-change for the campaign to highlight how the impact of the bad deal – or no deal – Brexit currently being forced on our country will be felt, not only in the national economy and metropolitan areas, but directly in some of Britain’s hardest-pressed communities.
This summer, the focus of the People’s Vote campaign is shifting decisively from the politicians in Westminster to the people of our country. The campaign is planning campaigns in seven regions and nations, each featuring approximately two weeks of intense media exposure and grassroots action, punctuated by a People’s Vote rally. Each campaign will seek to address people’s real lives, the towns and cities where they live, the values and traditions they cherish.
In a message of support for People’s Vote, England football icon Gary Lineker said:
“I spent most of the last few weeks totally focused on a fantastic World Cup. But it was impossible to avoid what was happening in the Brexit debate back home. Now I’m back I find the whole thing more bewildering and worrying than ever.
“Whether you voted Leave or Remain, did anyone really vote for the mess we seem to be in, let alone the prospect of no deal with all the terrible consequences attached to that?
“There are some things in life that, even for someone like me, are more important than football. This is one of them. I am not a politician but I know when something is going wrong and right now Brexit feels like it is going very wrong indeed.
“The politicians seem unable to resolve the problem the people gave them in voting to Leave. That is why I think there should be a People’s Vote on the final deal, and why I am sending best wishes and good luck to the campaigners who will be stepping up the pressure over the summer.”
Building on the success of the People’s Vote march in London in June, hundreds of thousands of people – especially young people - are expected to come together in towns and cities as Britain’s fastest growing political movement gathers fresh momentum.
People’s Vote rallies will be held during this Summer of Action in cities including Bristol, Edinburgh, Newcastle, Cambridge, Cardiff, Liverpool and Birmingham, ahead of another gigantic march through central London on October 20 which promises to be the biggest Brexit protest yet. There will also be a series of national Action Days staged by People’s Vote’s 130 local volunteer groups, and the ambitious target has been set of increasing those to 200 local groups by the end of this period.
Ahead of each march, the campaign will publish authoritative new research showing the impact of Brexit on communities and industries across the country - drilling deep into data, local institutions and real people’s stories. The People’s Vote campaign is also commissioning detailed opinion polling of specific areas and groups to show how, where and why public opinion is moving.
The Summer of Action is designed to pile pressure on MPs ahead of any meaningful vote on Brexit later this year.
But, even as MPs leave Westminster for a six-week Parliamentary recess, the People’s Vote campaign is stepping up its efforts to hold them to account online – wherever they are – so they can no longer take anyone for granted.
The campaign will deploy a one million-strong internet army of activists to contact friends and family to write to MPs and address key groups of voters through social media.
One of biggest organisations within the campaign, Open Britain, is today re-branding and re-launching its Facebook page under the People’s Vote banner, bringing together almost 585,000 followers on the same account.
The People’s Vote campaign will also begin reaching out to specific groups of voters, including young people who oppose the pro-Brexit position of both main parties, through paid-for social media advertising.
And MPs in their own constituencies are not the only focus of the Summer of Action. People’s Vote activists from all political parties will be using their local democratic structures to put pressure on their Party leaderships.
Labour-supporting activists in Constituency Labour Parties across the country will be submitting motions and resolutions to ask the Labour Party for a meaningful debate and vote on a People’s Vote at their Conference in Liverpool in September. And Conservative Party members and supporters are planning a Conservatives for a People’s Vote rally at their conference in Birmingham.
The worst affected and most angry are the people who have most to lose from a bad Brexit: young people and students, who will be in the vanguard of the Summer of Action at marches, rallies and events this summer.
National Union of Students (NUS) President Shakira Martin, a supporter of For our Futures’ Sake (FFS), part of the People’s Vote campaign, said:
"Brexit shouldn’t be about who’s up and who’s down in political parties or about which Minister is coming or going - it’s much bigger than that. It’s about the jobs and futures of students and young people in every town and county of the UK, about the future of our businesses, environment and health service. With only months to go, time is running out for our politicians to reach an agreement that truly benefits our students – it is time to take back control with a People’s Vote."
Femi Oluwole, chief spokesperson of Our Future Our Choice (OFOC), part of the People’s Vote campaign, said:
“Whether people voted Remain or Leave two years ago, no one voted for this mess. The People’s Vote campaign’s summer heat will scorch those who still support this botched Brexit or are even planning to force a no-deal Brexit on the British people.
“This is a people’s movement holding the elite to account. We the people – from all walks of life and every region and nation in our country – are taking back control of the Brexit process from the politicians like Jacob Rees-Mogg who have failed us, and we demand a People’s Vote.”
Notes to editors:
Summer activity dates and locations:
|11/08/2018||South West People's Vote Rally - Bristol|
|18/08/2018||Scotland People's Vote Rally - Edinburgh|
|25/08/2018||North Eastern People's Vote Rally - Newcastle|
|25/08/2018||Action Day - National|
|02/09/2018||Eastern Region People's Vote Launch - Cambridge|
|08/09/2018||Wales People's Vote Rally - Cardiff|
|23/09/2018||Labour Party Conference: March for a People's Vote - Liverpool|
|29/09/2018||Action Day - National|
|30/09/2018||Conservative Party Conference: Conservatives for a People's Vote - Birmingham|
People's Vote March for the Future - London
The People’s Vote campaign is an alliance of nine organisations that have come together to fight for the public to have its democratic voice heard ahead of any final Brexit deal. These are:
- Britain for Europe
- European Movement United Kingdom
- FFS (For our Future’s Sake)
- Healthier In The EU
- OFOC (Our Future Our Choice)
- Open Britain
- Scientists for EU
- Wales for Europe