Thursday 4 July 2019 - People's Vote

Thursday 4 July 2019

Morning Briefing: MPs preparing for battle royal to block disastrous No Deal

Ballot papers are on the way to 160,000 Conservative members, just 0.25% of the population, and previous experience shows that the vast majority are expected to cast their vote within the next few days.

Contenders Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt will continue to jump into different issues that they think might win them votes and mouth their “unicorn” fantasies on Brexit for almost three weeks, but it may be that this time is also most crucial for MPs to get their act together to combat the destruction of No Deal.

MPs lining up to battle against destructive No Deal

MPs are waking up to the reality that there is likely to be a battle royal in the Commons to fend off a destructive No Deal.

With both Conservative party leadership contenders talking up the prospect of exiting the EU on October 31 without a deal, politicians from all sides of the House are exploring how to block it.

Outgoing PM Theresa May will give a speech in Scotland cautioning that No Deal could threaten the union, while her aides are hinting that she could vote against No Deal once she leaves Downing Street.

Labour’s Shadow Brexit secretary Keir Starmer has commissioned research from the House of Commons library which suggests that the government would be required to bring legislation before parliament to pave the way for No Deal which MPs could then reject or amend.

Referring to favourite Boris Johnson, Mr Starmer said MPs “will do everything to stand in his way” if he tries to force through a bad deal or no deal, saying his plan was a “non-starter”.

A growing number of senior Tories including chancellor Philip Hammond, Justice Secretary David Gauke, and former leadership candidate Rory Stewart have in recent days added their voices to the growing chorus of opposition in their party to forcing No Deal on Parliament and the country.

With the formation of a new government in three weeks' time, it seems likely that the number of those against No Deal on the Conservative backbenches will swell.

In an attack on Boris Johnson, Mr Gauke, who last night predicted his own departure, condemned “populist politicians” who deceive the public by telling them what they want to hear.

The HuffPost reckons just five rebel Conservatives blocking No Deal could bring down a future government.

With Mr Johnson and Mr Hunt threatening to railroad Parliament to take us to a cliff-edge No Deal, MPs are starting to get their ducks in a row to resist.

Corbyn's People's Vote fudge leads to collapse in support

Support for the Labour Party has dropped to its lowest level in polling history with just 18% saying they would vote for them as they plunged to fourth for the first time.

The ongoing fudge by the leadership over its backing of a People’s Vote has been blamed for the results of a Times/YouGov poll.

It puts more pressure on leader Jeremy Corbyn with just a quarter of Remain voters now backing Labour, compared to 48% at the start of the year. The party's fourth position sees them below the Conservatives, Brexit Party and Lib Dems.

Mr Corbyn used Prime Minister’s Questions to say that the best thing to do over a catastrophic No Deal would be “to go back to the people and let them decide which way we go.” And yet the wait in the party for a full-throated commitment to a People's Vote on any Brexit outcome goes on.

UK heading for Brexit-induced downturn

The UK economy has shrunk for the first time since 2012 as fears rise of a Brexit-induced recession.

A respected economic survey has shown the services sector stagnated last month amid global worries of No Deal. The services industry accounts for four-fifths of the UK economy.

But according to the IHS Markit/CIPS UK services purchasing managers’ index (PMI) it came to an almost standstill last month.

With manufacturing and construction sectors already in reverse, the economy is in its greatest peril since the banking crisis of 2008 – but unlike then, this time it is entirely something of our own making.

Uncertainty over Brexit, led by the destructive No Deal braggado of the two Tory leadership candidates, is bringing business to a standstill, with little sign of a recovery.

In fact, it could get much worse. Former civil servant Karen Wheeler, who was in charge of Brexit border plans, yesterday warned that contingency, plans needed to be ramped up immediately to prevent chaos at Dover or the Irish border. It is time to Let Us Be Heard.

Let Us Be Heard in Sunderland on Sunday

Sunday is the day when People's Vote campaigners in the North East get the chance to Let Us Be Heard at the Beacon of Light. Former Sunderland manager and England star Peter Reid urged people to come along to our Sunderland event to Let Us Be Heard. Local MP Bridget Phillipson and People's Vote campaigner David Lammy MP will be there. You can get your tickets 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

“With a succession of economic indicators all pointing towards a slowing and contracting economy, the repeated talk of crashing out of the EU is only scaring away investment and will ultimately be paid for in lost jobs and cut wages."

Former business minister and People's Vote campaigner Pat McFadden blasts Conservative candidates for talking up the threat of a damaging No Deal

Video of the Day 1 

This Saturday, LGBT+ for a People's Vote will be campaigning at Pride in London. It's going to be a fun-filled day - if you're free for a couple of hours, please volunteer to help out, handing out leaflets and speaking to Pride attendees about a People's Vote. Sign up here.

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Video of the Day 2

Our Future Our Choice protesters visited Boris Johnson's campaign headquarters to urge him to stop ducking the issues.

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Tweet of the Day 1

Join young people from the North East on Sunday for our Let Us Be Heard rally in Sunderland.

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Tweet of the Day 2

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People's Vote campaign news

More Brexit news

Support for Labour plummets in YouGov poll (Politics Home)

5 Conservative rebels could bring down government over No Deal (HuffPost)

UK heading for Brexit-induced recession as No Deal fears grow (Metro)

All you need to know about Sunderland People's Vote rally (Sunderland Echo)

May warns Johnson and Hunt over No Deal (Independent)

Top Brexit comment...

Martin Kettle: It's the autumn of 2020 and no deal Britain is on its knees (Guardian)

Raphael Hogarth: Brexit and the constitution - will a Johnson premiership prove dead on arrival (Prospect)