People from Sunderland and the North East will make their voices heard against the imposition of destructive – even No Deal – Brexit being imposed on them without everyone being given the final say.
The People’s Vote “Let Us Be Heard” rally at Sunderland’s Beacon of Light on Sunday at 2pm is one of a series being held in a long hot summer of democratic protest across the UK.
Headline speakers include Bridget Phillipson, Labour MP for Sunderland South, who is expected to say that when just 0.25% of the population who are Conservative Party members are choosing a new Prime Minister, it’s vital that the real voice of Sunderland is heard louder than ever.
She is expected to say:
“People in Sunderland are fed up with being treated as if we all think the same way on Brexit. We’re fed up with being taken for granted by right-wing Brexiters or stereotyped by the media. We’re fed up with the idea that a tiny minority of this country – the 160,000 Conservative Party members who represent just 0.25 per cent of our country - think they can decide the future of the rest of us.
“This summer, people in Sunderland and across Britain are turning up the volume, demanding the democratic right for everyone to have the final say on Brexit, demanding our voice is heard.”
David Lammy, Labour MP for Tottenham, will travel to Sunderland to deliver a tough message for his own party, saying:
“Sunderland, like the part of London I am proud to represent in Parliament, is firmly Labour country. And there is message from both cities here for my party. Millions of voters who want us to be clearer on this huge issue of Brexit deserted us in the European and local elections.
“The overwhelming majority of them in both the North East of England just as in the North East of London are going to parties that back a People’s Vote – no ifs and no buts. We’ve got to stop that protest vote against us becoming a habit, we’ve got to change course of Brexit, we’ve got to back a final say referendum that gives us all the chance to stay.
“That’s the right thing to do for our party, it’s the right thing to do for Sunderland, and it’s the right thing to do for everyone who cares about democracy in our country.”
Sunderland entrepreneur and co-founder of the Leighton Group of companies, Paul Callaghan, will highlight the price the North East is already paying for the Brexit crisis.
Nissan is ceasing production of its luxury Infinity brand and deciding to make its new X-Trail model elsewhere.
A recent YouGov poll of Labour voters in the North East shows that 70% blame Nissan’s job losses on Brexit and 67% now think Brexit is a mistake.
And the House of Commons Brexit Committee has recently published a report that the North East would be 16% worse off if the No Deal Brexit currently being considered by Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt goes ahead.
Mr Callaghan is expected to say:
“One of the North East economy’s great success stories over recent decades has been the growth of our automotive and manufacturing industries. This has been achieved by having both a skilled and committed workforce and, importantly, access to major export markets, particularly in Europe.
“These are the industries that are most vulnerable to a hard Brexit. Without free trade access to their biggest markets, these businesses will lose sales and that will lead inevitably to job losses. The people who will pay the biggest price for Brexit will be the families who will subsequently lose their livelihoods.
“Even the most ardent supporters of Brexit accept that it will result in an economic downturn and unfortunately it is here in the North East that this will have the biggest impact. As the economic consequences of a no-deal Brexit become clearer it is time to ask the people through a vote whether this is a price they are willing to pay.”
Notes to editors:
People’s Vote “let Us Be Heard” Sunderland rally:
Where: Beacon of Light, Stadium Park, Keir Hardie Way, Sunderland SR5 1SN.
When: Sunday 7th July Time: Doors open at 1300.