Thursday 12 September 2019 - People's Vote

Thursday 12 September 2019

Morning Briefing: Release of frightening No Deal Yellowhammer report proves need for recall of Parliament

Do you remember – just last month - when the government said that the leaked Operation Yellowhammer document on what would happen in the event of No Deal was out of date, old news? Or that it was just “Project Fear”?

Well, guess what: it’s now been released – apart from the scary redacted bits – and it’s all true. Food and fuel supply problems, chaos at the airports, the threat of public disorder.

With the Court of Session yesterday declaring that Boris Johnson had misled the Queen in an unlawful decision to shut down – prorogue – Parliament, it becomes ever clearer that the Prime Minister is not to be trusted.

It’s time to trust the people, not a government hellbent on a destructive No Deal. We need a People’s Vote to stop this anti-democratic rabble from destroying the UK.

Release of frightening No Deal Yellowhammer report proves need for recall of Parliament

It’s like pulling teeth, getting the truth out of Boris Johnson’s government. Even after losing a Commons vote that required them to reveal the Yellowhammer No Deal contingency plans, which are based on official advice from ministers and civil servants, they tried to wriggle out of it, with Andrea Leadsom saying they shouldn’t be released as they would “concern” the public.

Last night, a version relabelled as though it was based on "reasonable worst case assumptions", rather than “base case” as it said when leaked to the Sunday Times, outlined the nightmare of food and fuel delays and price increases, disruption to medical supplies, border delays and public disorder on the streets.

This government may spend £100m on a propaganda campaign telling the public to “Get ready”, but it is ordinary people who will suffer: “Low income groups will be disproportionately affected by price rises in food and fuel."

On law and order it warns: “Protests and counter-protests will take place across the UK and may absorb significant amounts of police resource. There may also be a rise in public disorder and community tensions.”

British Medical Association Council chairman Dr Chaand Nagpaul said last night: “Here we see in black and white the Government warning of disruption to vital medicine supplies, a higher risk of disease outbreaks due to veterinary medicine supply issues, and UK pensioners in the EU being unable to access healthcare from 1 November if there is a no-deal Brexit.

“The warnings around social care providers folding within months of Brexit day are particularly concerning, having a huge impact on our most vulnerable patients and the wider health service in the depths of winter.”

Dominic Grieve MP, whose motion forced the release of the document, commented last night: “Even a partial release of the Yellowhammer documents is enough to show how deep the damage a No Deal exit from the EU would do. As we cannot trust Boris Johnson to halt this calamity, we must trust the people. We must give the public the final say in a new referendum with the option of keeping our current deal as members of the EU.”

Labour’s Shadow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer made the point that it is even more important than ever that parliament is recalled to scrutinise the documents and take all steps necessary to stop No Deal.”

Chairman of the Exiting the European Union Committee Hilary Benn MP said: “It is extraordinary that these are things that could flow from the government’s own policy. Normally when you’re protecting against something like this it’s a natural disaster, it’s the action of others, [things] you don’t control … It shows parliament was absolutely right to legislate last week to prevent a no-deal Brexit on October 31.”

Boris Johnson's shutdown of Parliament was "unlawful" according to Scottish appeal court judges

The grave danger of a destructive No Deal makes it all the more important for Parliamentarians to pass scrutiny on this renegade government, but it’s still dark despite judges on appeal in the Court of Session yesterday ruling that Boris Johnson’s prorogation until October 24 was unlawful – and that he misled the Queen in claiming it was necessary to prepare a Queen’s Speech. 

Misleading the Queen: as someone joked on Twitter, “he’s lied to every other woman he knows, so why not the Queen?” In any normal time, it’s a cut-and-dried resignation matter.

The government is appealing the judgement to the Supreme Court in a bid to buy more time away from democratic examination, but MPs from across the political spectrum united to condemn Johnson.

People's Vote campaigner Ian Murray MP said: “No one can trust what Boris Johnson says on Brexit or anything else and the Court of Session have not been taken in. The unanimous ruling by three judges on appeal is a humiliating rebuff for the Prime Minister and his attempts to impose an undemocratic No Deal on the country.

“Parliament should be recalled and act to end the Brexit crisis by calling a final say referendum. An election cannot settle this question, only a People’s Vote can bring clarity and closure and democratic legitimacy.”

But, in yet another extraordinary move, the leader of the FDA, the union for senior civil servants, Dave Penman, wrote to Johnsondemanding that “you categorically and publicly assure the civil service that no civil servant will be asked to breach their obligation under the civil service code to ‘comply with the law and uphold the administration of justice’.”

In an echo of the Daily Mail's infamous "Enemies of the People" front page, they did sinister hatchet jobs on the three Scottish judges who ruled against the government, telling their readers that one has a "passion for France" and one is a "jazz lover". The anti-European Press continues its unthinking support for a government that is becoming more and more undemocratic.

The "European Singapore": Johnson's true agenda for a post-Brexit UK 

The true agenda of Boris Johnson and his pals is becoming clearer – they want the UK to become an off-shore, low-tax, low standards “European Singapore”.

Johnson’s negotiator David Frost outlined a plan to ditch UK commitments to stay aligned with the EU’s social and environmental standards post-Brexit, a shift which will deeply affect workers and consumers all over the country.

It will also make it even tougher to build any future trade deal with the EU, given their commitment to maintaining high standards in these areas – and their fears that the UK will become a piratical rival on their doorstep, as German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned yesterday.

With Johnson chomping at the bit to do a deal with the US, the fears around food standards and other areas loom larger.

Join People's Vote rallies in Newport and Belfast

Supporters can give full-throated support for a People's Vote at rallies tomorrow night in Newport, South Wales, and in Belfast on Saturday. There will be a great line-up of speakers at each event, so get your free tickets to Let Us Be Heard.

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

"They will cheer when he talks of patriotism yet the hard truth is there is nothing patriotic about forcing something on our country that will cost people their jobs, hurt our NHS and see the UK humiliated by having to bend the knee to that scumbag Donald Trump.

"I can but only be honest to the people I serve. I can but only share hard truths in their best interest. It is what Fishburn Colliery taught my dad and what he taught me. Which is why I believe people have the right to compare the promises of three and a half years ago with the facts of now through a final say referendum." 

People's Vote campaigner and Sedgefield MP Phil Wilson wrote a powerfully personal article in the Mirror about the visit of Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage to his North-East constituency.

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More Brexit news...

No Deal chaos laid bare as Johnson forced to release Yellowhammer papers (Mirror)

John Lewis warns of No Deal impact (Guardian)

Johnson's advice to Queen was unlawful, Scottish judges rule (The Times)

What court rulings on parliament suspension mean for Brexit (Politico)

Government ignores order to release key documents and messages (Independent)

More Brexit comment...

Phil Wilson MP: Nigel Farage won't tell the truth about No Deal (Mirror)

Ian Murray MP: Johnson taking UK ever closer to dictatorship (Edinburgh Evening News)