Tuesday 15 February 2019 - People's Vote

Tuesday 19 February 2019

Morning Briefing: Support builds for 'Put It To The People' march - Honda closure - Labour breakaway

Early signs are that the 'Put It To The People March', being held just six days before the UK is to due to leave the EU, is going to be one of the biggest ever in the capital.

Since announcing the march on Saturday night, online sign-ups are already well ahead of those on the actual day of the June 23 march, when more than 100,000 people marched through London - the first of two massive demonstrations organised by the People's Vote campaign last year. We have also had high-profile endorsements for the event from the likes of Gary Lineker and Tony Robinson. And a crowdfunder set up to pay the costs of the march had reached £170,000, well on the way to its £500,000 target.

If you're worried about the damage Brexit is doing to British business, our place in the world, and people's lives. If the Brexit deal being offered today isn't what you voted for in 2016. If you don't want years and years more arguing about what Brexit means, as politicians try to make sense of something that makes no sense for the UK. All those are excellent reasons to get yourself to Park Lane at noon on March 23, and demand that Brexit is put to the people! Sign up here.


Quote of the Day

“Lots of people tell me I should stay out of the Brexit debate. 'What's it got to do with you?' they say to me. It would certainly be easier and a lot less hassle. But it wouldn't be the right thing to do.

“I care about this country. It's the only one we've got and when I see it in great peril, I want to do what I can to help. I'm not ashamed to be a patriot and neither should you be. And patriots don't let their country fall over the cliff edge.”

Footballing legend Gary Lineker wants everyone to “fix Brexit together” at the Put It To The People march on March 23. Sign up here.

It's clear that the only way forward is a People's Vote. Now is a crucial time to get involved with the campaign. Sign up to volunteer today.


Honda announces closure

Honda has announced the closure of its plant in Swindon in 2021. With the loss of around 3,500 jobs, its another huge hit for the UK car industry ahead of Brexit. Hot on the heels of recent decisions by Nissan and Ford to move manufacturing abroad, the reported closure of the Honda factory in Swindon is a devastating blow for jobs in the South West and for highly skilled automotive manufacturing in this country.

The Japanese company made 160,000 Honda Civics in Swindon last year, of which some 90% were exported to the EU. Any form of Brexit will likely gum up the just-in-time supply chains with the EU that the industry relies on. A no-deal Brexit would dislocate them entirely.

Even before Brexit has happened, it’s already hitting jobs, opportunities and investment. Political leaders must sit up and take note. Nobody voted to be poorer, nobody voted for our manufacturing sector to be decimated and nobody voted for skilled jobs to go abroad.

With jobs and livelihoods at risk, the public must be given the final say on Brexit. That’s why huge numbers will be marching through London on March 23, demanding any Brexit deal is put to the people. Sign up here.

Tweet of the Day

FFS takes Brexiter John Redwood to task on his denial that Brexit has nothing to do with the state of the car industry.


Labour split

The resignation of seven Labour MPs sent shockwaves through Westminster yesterday, and dominates the front pages this morning.

The People’s Vote campaign itself is not a political party. Nor are we ever going to allow ourselves to be associated with just one faction. We are supported by a cross-party group of MPs, as well as by members of the public from all parties and of none.

Some MPs will have their own reasons for wanting to resign from a particular political party. But, as a campaign, we are still working towards securing the support of the Labour front bench. Over the weekend, we were encouraged by comments by John McDonnell that Labour would push for a vote on its own Brexit proposals by the end of this month. We remain optimistic that if - or when - such Brexit options have been exhausted, Labour will be able to join the SNP, the Liberal Democrats, Plaid Cymru, the Greens and many Conservatives, as well as hundreds of thousands of voters on the streets of London on March 23, in calling for any final deal to be put to the people.

Audio of the Day 

LISTEN: Peter Kyle MP discusses his and Phil Wilson’s proposal for how to break the Brexit deadlock.

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Cracks in Cabinet

Internal party divisions are, of course, not just a Labour problem. As the Brexit debate intensifies, the Conservatives are also looking more fractious than ever. Whether or not rumours in the Telegraph that five Tories could join the new “Independent Group” in Parliament come to anything, the more important battle is being fought inside Cabinet.

Four cabinet ministers in particular - Amber Rudd, Greg Clark, David Gauke and more recently Scottish secretary David Mundell - are threatening to resign if the prime minister doesn’t drop the threat of a no-deal Brexit from her negotiating strategy. They are alarmed by the recent announcements from businesses. Chancellor Philip Hammond is being criticised for distancing himself from the group, reports the FT. But the threat of four cabinet resignations should still be enough to make May think twice about wasting time and pandering to her hard-Brexit backbenchers again when more Brexit votes happen at the end of the month.

What's your reason? 

WATCH: Randeep Singh wants a People’s Vote because he believes the promises made in the 2016 referendum will not be kept. He believes a  People’s Vote is the only way forward which is why he'll be at the Put it to the People March on 23rd March.

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More Brexit news…

Jeremy Hunt’s Brexit test — it won’t be as bad as Remainers fear (Politico)

‘I like tariffs’: Trump threatens transatlantic trade war (Times £)

Sturgeon to urge EU citizens to stay in Scotland after Brexit (BBC)

Violence if hard Irish border returns report claims (BBC)

Toto Wolff: Mercedes boss has concerns about impact of Brexit on F1 (BBC)

Top Brexit comment

Matthew Vincent: Honda closure may not be about Brexit, but it is about Brexports (FT £)

David Hannay: Brexit makes a mockery of Global Britain (InFacts)

Looking forward…

Today, Tuesday 19th February

- Commons: motions on statutory instruments relating to Brexit
09.30 ONS: Labour market stats
09.30 ONS: Productivity estimates

Tomorrow, Wednesday 20th February

- Commons: motions on statutory instruments relating to Brexit
12.00 Prime Minister's Questions
16.00 Ivan Rogers evidence to Lords EU committee