Wednesday 19 June 2019 - People's Vote

Morning Briefing: Let Us Be Heard! Tory debate reveals leadership vacuum

Morning Briefing: It is time to Let Us Be Heard

Another day, another candidate drops out of the race to become Prime Minister. Yesterday it was former Brexit secretary Dominic Raab; today it will be another one as Tory MPs vote again. All eyes were on the BBC TV debate last night, which was often hard to decipher as the five candidates talked over each other. Believe me, it sounded worse on radio. There were no answers on how Brexit will be delivered. We demand Let Us Be Heard. A People's Vote is the only solution.

Fact-free debate shows that a People's Vote is the only solution

Last night’s BBC debate demonstrated the truth of the Brexit "unicorn" fantasies being peddled by candidates bidding to be Britain's next Prime Minister: a fact-free, solution-free, somewhat-depressing event with five men in suits (one who took his tie off) talking over each other. None had any realistic solutions on how Brexit is going to be delivered.

Current favourite Boris Johnson finally emerged from the shadows to face questions and he didn't shine in the limelight. He singularly failed to explain how he would make Brexit happen or how a change to the Irish backstop would be implemented and fudged on a number of previous promises, such as opposition to Heathrow.

There were no answers on “how” the crisis is to be resolved from Johnson, Jeremy Hunt, Michael Gove, Sajid Javid and Rory Stewart. Right-winger Dominic Raab who had threatened to shut down Parliament to force through No Deal was himself shut down as he was eliminated from the contest.

The election process continues with another vote today and the final two-horse race will go to around 160,000 Conservative members. But a new YouGov survey of Conservative members shows that the majority would countenance the destruction of their own party in order for Brexit to be delivered.

For those British people left shouting at the TV or radio for some sort of sanity, the demand is clear: Let Us Be Heard. A People’s Vote is the only way out.

Corbyn slowly getting there on a People's Vote?

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is expected to endorse a People’s Vote in a speech on Monday with the shift in policy to be discussed at a Shadow Cabinet meeting today.

Several media outlets are reporting that a paper drawn up by head of policy Andrew Fisher recommends a new public vote on any Brexit outcome. He wanted to go further by committing Labour to campaign for staying in the EU if we succeed in getting such a final say referendum.

But this is understood to have been watered down by communications chief Seumas Milne. That’s because Milne wants to maintain his fantasy about an incoming Labour Government might negotiate a Brexit that its MPs, members and voters agree is better than the deal we’ve got inside the EU. Dream on.

The reality is pretty stark for the party, with Labour shedding four times as many votes to explicitly pro-People’s Vote parties than it did to the Brexit Party. So it is no surprise that senior figures including Emily Thornberry, Tom Watson and Keir Starmer have publicly called for a stronger and bolder position.

If Corbyn announces the change, it will then go before the party’s conference in September. Our summer campaign push for a People’s Vote is vital to keep the pressure on with Watson writing to People’s Vote supporters yesterday urging them to email the party’s National  Policy Forum ahead of the June 30 deadline. To contact them, click here.

EU set to stand firm against "managed no deal" fantasy

While the potential future prime ministers gave their fact-free “plans’ for renegotiating the Withdrawal Deal, EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier demonstrated the reality of their unreal positions.

In a spat with Brexit secretary Stephen Barclay over the protection of citizens’ rights in the event of a disastrous No Deal, it was clear that future negotiation with the EU is likely to go nowhere in a hurry.

Barnier demonstrated that Brussels is likely to dig in over a “managed no deal” and insisted that the Brexit deal on the table should be ratified.

Only Rory Stewart of the remaining candidates is prepared to push through the current deal, making it clear that a People’s Vote remains the only option to solve the Brexit crisis.

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

"No wonder Donald Trump is so enthusiastic about Boris Johnson. He knows that Johnson will leave Britain even less able to resist his bullying demands in an America First trade deal.

"It would be an outrage for Boris Johnson or anybody else to force this on us. That is why more and more people are demanding that the public and not just a small group of Conservatives, get the final say on any Brexit deal.”

People's Vote supporter Bridget Phillipson hits back at reports that Boris Johnson told business leaders his plan was to sign up to the Withdrawal Agreement, but scrap the Backstop, extend the transition period to the end of 2021 and use that time to agree a replacement for the Backstop.

Video of the Day

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Tweet of the Day 1

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Tweet of the Day 2

The first For our Future's Sake podcast is available with Amanda Chetwynd-Cowieson and Jason Arthur talking to guest Iain Dale.

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People's Vote campaign news

More Brexit news

Brussels refuses UK request for separate citizens' rights deal (Irish Times)

Jeremy Corbyn to back second referendum (Times £)

Boris Johnson's own words haunt him (Mirror)

Johnson backtracks on hard Brexit and tax cuts (Independent)

Four Oxford graduates move a step closer to becoming PM (Oxford Mail)

Top Brexit comment...

Jonathan Freedland: TV debate brought home a terrifying truth: one of these men will be PM (Guardian)

Paul Waugh: 4 things we learned from the Tory leadership debate (HuffPost)

5 takeaways from the Tory leadership debate (Politico)

Daniel Finkelstein: Cavalier Johnson must curb his wild side (Times £)

How did the candidates fare? (Yorkshire Post)