Thursday 17 October 2019 - People's Vote

Thursday 17 October 2019

Morning Briefing: DUP dramatically rejects Johnson proposals as EU leaders gather in Brussels

Hundreds of thousands of us will come together on Saturday for one of the biggest and most important protests our country has ever seen. We know that Boris Johnson will try every trick in the book to force his destructive Brexit on the people and stop all of us having the final say.

If no trade agreement can be negotiated, the small print would leave the door open to No Deal in a year's time. But the proposals he has outlined so far are a Brexit for the reckless, the very rich and the very right wing. They would be deeply unpopular if he puts them to a People's Vote. There is good reason to suspect that Boris Johnson has not got a fully-worked up proposal.

When history is made in the days to come, your decision to march through London to demand a final say is more crucial than ever.

DUP dramatically rejects Johnson proposals as EU leaders gather in Brussels

The EU Summit begins today with no deal agreed, no text published for anyone to read and understand – and the DUP saying this morning that they can’t support Boris Johnson’s plan as there are still issues on customs, consent and VAT.

While the UK and EU have clearly moved a lot closer to agreement, the DUP, who have been propping up the government for two years, are still not rolling over, “as things stand”. It is a massive blow for Johnson just hours before he was due to join EU leaders in Brussels.

With 48 hours to go before Parliament is expected to meet on a Saturday for the first time since the Falklands War, no-one outside the negotiating teams, except perhaps the DUP, have seen the full detail of the proposals. If there is no agreement, the Prime Minister must ask the EU to extend Article 50, according to the Safeguard Act.

People’s Vote campaigner Dominic Grieve MP this morning on the BBC’s Today programme warned that MPs needed to have time – preferably a week - to study the legal text of any proposals and was concerned that the Commons was being bounced into making a decision at Saturday’s historic sitting.

He argued that a People’s Vote is required as any plan is “completely different” to what was debated in 2016, but said that even if he didn’t wish to destroy the deal, “this government tends to play games with us”.

Labour set to back People's Vote, according to shadow Brexit minister

Shadow Brexit minister Jenny Chapman yesterday said Labour would vote for a final say referendum to be added to any proposed Johnson deal on Saturday. The move would mean Labour prioritising a People’s Vote over a general election, despite Jeremy Corbyn having repeatedly said he would favour the latter.

Chapman told the BBC’s Andrew Neil: “The expectation would be: should a deal be tabled on Saturday, I’m as sure as you can be that there will be an amendment tabled that would want to see a referendum attached to the deal. I would expect us to support that.”

Asked whether Corbyn had been told of the position, Chapman said: “He’s told me this … I’m telling you today what the situation is. I think on Saturday if there is that opportunity that the Labour party will take it.” 

UK science struggling due to Brexit chaos

The UK’s share of EU research funding has fallen by 28% since 2015 and the number of researchers coming to the UK as part of the EU’s influential Marie Sklodowska Curie Fellowships has fallen by a third. 

New analysis carried out by the Royal Society has shown that UK science has suffered amidst all the uncertainty surrounding Brexit, with almost a 40% drop in UK applications to the EU’s Horizon 2020 scheme.

Venki Ramakrishnan, President of the Royal Society said “We have seen a dramatic drop in the number of leading researchers who want to come to the UK.  People do not want to gamble with their careers, when they have no sense of whether the UK will be willing and able to maintain its global scientific leadership."

Join our March for a Final Say on Saturday

Saturday is going to be a fantastic and crucial day of protest. Hundreds of thousands of people will assemble on Park Lane (we recommend walking from Bond Street Tube station to join) and march for a final say to Westminster, assembling for a noon start. The head of the march is expected to arrive in Parliament Square at 2pm, where there will be a 90-minute rally with a host of great speakers.

More than 170 coaches have been booked by grassroots groups and you can book a seat here. We also recommend you avoid Green Park Tube which could be extremely busy and may be subject to partial closure. 


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

“While ultimately a matter for the British people to decide, it is clear to me that if Britain chooses to be outside of Europe, it will be a significantly less attractive place to do business and to invest. It will be harder to find and recruit the best talent from across the Continent; talent which, in turn, creates jobs for people in the UK."

Microsoft founder Bill Gates, who has invested more than a billion dollars in the UK, warns that we will be "stronger, more prosperous and more influential" inside the EU.

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People's Vote campaign news...

Volunteers will be out leafleting at over 50 underground and train stations across London this Friday promoting the People’s Vote march. You can help to make this a success. Even if you’ve only got half an hour to spare, by handing out leaflets to encourage attendance at the march you can help make this one of the biggest political demonstrations of our time. Find an event and get involved.

More Brexit news...

Jeremy Corbyn set to back second referendum on new Brexit deal (The Times)

People's Vote protest route, map, times and everything else you need to know for Saturday's event (Evening Standard)

Bill Gates says Brexit would make Britain ‘significantly less attractive’ (Independent)

Brexit uncertainty harming UK science (Royal Society)

More Brexit comment...

Erica Ramos: Why Saturday's march could change the course of politics (Left Foot Forward)

Andrew McQuillan: More than Brexit at stake if the DUP backs Boris Johnson's Brexit deal (PoliticsHome)

Martin Kettle: At first, I accepted Brexit. Now it’s become clear that we must not leave the EU (Guardian)

Alastair Campbell: This could be your last chance to demand a Final Say on Brexit. Do not miss it (Independent)