Tuesday 13 August 2019 - People's Vote

Tuesday 13 August 2019

Morning Briefing: Change the date, change the course of history - People's Vote march moves to October 19

Last night hundreds of thousands of emails went out from People’s Vote supporter Stephen Fry announcing that our massive march to protest against a destructive No Deal has been moved back a week to Saturday October 19.

We did not want to move the date and we're really sorry for any inconvenience caused. But let's remember that this will be a march to save our democracy, our country and our future.

We're changing the date, but, if we stick together, we can still change the course of history.

Change the date, change the course of history – People’s Vote march moves to October 19

The People’s Vote campaign last night announced a new date for what is expected to be one of the biggest public protests Britain has ever seen.

This march for our democracy, for our country and for our future will now take place in London on Saturday October 19 - just 12 days before Boris Johnson plans to take the UK out of Europe with a “scorched earth” No Deal Brexit that no-one voted for in the last referendum.

The previous date would have seen the march happen a week earlier. But since plans were first unveiled, the campaign has discovered this would have clashed with a sponsored run to raise money for Great Ormond Street Hospital in Hyde Park.

Although the People’s Vote campaign had full permission from the authorities to continue with the march, we were concerned the vast crowds could have caused congestion or safety issues for children travelling back from the run.

The campaign was also determined to do nothing that might undermine fund-raising for a charity that deservedly is one of the best-loved and most respected in Britain – or distract attention from the importance of our march.

We apologise to our supporters for any inconvenience in the change of date and if people have spent money on coaches and trains, they should please get in touch with us as soon as possible.

The new date of October 19 will give the people of the UK the chance to make their voice heard just 24 hours after the end of the European Council meeting in Brussels - ahead of a tumultuous few days that will have a huge and historic impact on our country’s future.

People’s Vote supporter David Lammy MP said: “We are changing the date because we’re determined to change the course of history. This is a march for our future, our country and our democracy.”

UK "first in line" as Trump pushes for destructive No Deal

Donald Trump is "enthusiastically" backing Boris Johnson's drive towards No Deal with the president's national security adviser John Bolton saying: “We are with you.” Not surprisingly, as they know it would leave us desperate for a trade deal and leave us vulnerable to sign up on their terms.

After visiting Downing Street, Trump’s aide promised the UK would be “first in line” for a sector-by-sector trade deal.

Mr Bolton's view may at first glance be in contrast to that of former US treasury secretary Larry Summers, who last week said that the UK would have "no leverage". But, of course, that is precisely what Bolton and Trump want - for the UK to be in such a weak position that we sign up to whatever trade terms they put forward. The pressure would be on to accept lower food standards such as chlorine-washed chicken, and to open up the NHS to US companies and raise drug prices for patients.

But is it realistic to think such a deal would be approved by Congress, which has a veto over trade agreements, let alone the UK Parliament? A series of senior US politicians have pointed out recently that any UK-US deal will have zero chance of getting through Congress if it means a hard border in Ireland.

Mr Bolton also made it clear that the US are pushing for Johnson to pivot strategically to become Trump’s poodle on international affairs such as Iran and China, rather than its current position as a member of the EU.

Johnson is desperate to be Trump’s friend, speaking to him by telephone every week and planning to meet in person in the next few weeks. With a destructive No Deal on the horizon, the prime minister needs a new friend: no-one voted for this and it is time to Let Us Be Heard.

Johnson makes little attempt to solve Brexit crisis

While Mr Johnson bows down to America and Trump, he is continuing to do little to try and find a Brexit solution with the EU.

Yesterday, it was revealed that the government is preparing to pull UK diplomats out of the EU’s institutional structures in Brussels prior to October 31, leaving us weaker and without influence over key decisions affecting our security and our future.

Johnson hasn’t seen any European leaders since becoming prime minister, but moves to get him in front of Irish prime minister Leo Varadkar are at the “talks” stage: this means talks to arrange a meeting.

The Irish prime minister is willing to meet, while insisting that the Irish backstop cannot be removed from any Withdrawal Agreement, but it seems Johnson is not prepared to discuss the issue in person.

Science funding for research lab reveals futility of No Deal spin

The Cabinet Office has set up a “shameful” spin machine aimed at rebutting No Deal media reports. It is all part of the government’s propaganda blitz to soften the British public to a destructive No Deal. Lib Dem Brexit spokesperson Tom Brake described the “rapid rebuttal unit” as a shameful wasted of money.

But it’s hard to rebut the reality that this country’s leading position in the science sector has come from vital European funding and collaboration.

As a perfect example, it was revealed that the science unit where Boris Johnson announced his new science visa pledge on Friday has received £60 million in EU funding in the past year. The Oxfordshire flagship research lab Culham Science Centre is home to JET, the facility for European Fusion Programme, which brings together 350 scientists and engineers from all over Europe. Much of the funding comes from the Euratom research and training programme which the UK will leave on Brexit.

It going to get harder to spin the truth of a destructive No Deal and the myriad ways that it will harm the UK’s progress in the future.

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

“Boris Johnson wants to force his scorched earth Brexit on us, even though he explicitly ruled out No Deal in 2016. He does not have our permission and, on October 19th 2019, he will hear our voice loud and clear as we march together for a People’s Vote.”

People's Vote supporter Stephen Fry calls for people to join our march on October 19.

Video of the Day   

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Tweet of the Day 

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Tweet of the Day 2

The motoring industry's body takes to Twitter to bust 13 Brexit myths and focus on the damage No Deal will do to their industry, the economy and jobs.

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More Brexit news...

Ministers accused of "shameful" spin over media rebuttal unit (PoliticsHome)

Johnson made Brexit science pledge at lab that received £60m EU funding (Mirror)

Trump aide says post-Brexit trade deal can be done quickly (HuffPost)

Legal bid to stop Brexit Westminster shutdown (BBC News)

More Brexit comment...

Rachel Sylvester: Conservatism has been recast as revolution (The Times £)

Polly Toynbee: Brexit has turned our Government into an Orwellian Ministry of Truth (Guardian)