Wednesday 5 June 2019 - People's Vote

Wednesday 5 June 2019

Morning Briefing: Trump angling for No Deal Brexit to grab damaging trade deal

This week is National Volunteers week where we celebrate the tremendous work that volunteers across the country put into supporting causes that they believe in. At the People’s Vote campaign we would like to thank the thousands of volunteers who are involved in helping us campaign across the country to achieve a People’s Vote on any Brexit deal. We couldn’t do it without you! If you’d like to get involved, sign-up here.

It's all about the deal on Trump's day of political schmoozing

President Trump this morning denied what he said yesterday and what his ambassador Woody Johnson said on Sunday that the NHS was "on the table" in any potential post-Brexit transatlantic trade deal.

In talking to his buddy Piers Morgan on ITV, he flip-flopped over including the NHS in a trade agreement, but which version should we believe? Well, rather helpfully, the US trade representative published a document making it very clear what the Trump administration wants. And guess what? The NHS is on the table.

The political day of President Trump’s state visit became all about a potential trade deal where anything is on the table, including the NHS – even if he did need to be told what the acronym stood for by outgoing Prime Minister Theresa May.

He set his stall out as an arch-Brexiter in every way that he could. Meeting hard-line Brexiters Nigel Farage, Ian Duncan-Smith and Owen Paterson, having a phone call with Boris Johnson, refusing to meet Jeremy Corbyn who he described as a “negative force.”

He wants a No Deal Brexit, that is clear, because he sees the dollar signs flashing from an exploitation of a deeply-weakened UK, led by a Tory lapdog leader who would do anything for a transatlantic trade deal. Chlorine-washed chicken, hormone-feed beef, the National Health Service, anything.

“Phenomenal,” said Trump and never forget that he stands for "America First" and always.

Despite all the pretty dresses and badly-cut suits, the lavish banquets and the army of secret service protectors, this state visit is only about a deal that would rip Britain apart – and brings into sharp focus the desperate need for a People’s Vote. There is no mandate for No Deal or for a trade deal with the US that would hammer the NHS and lower food standards and it is a democratic essential that the people are given the final say on any Brexit in a People's Vote.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn vowed to fight against selling the NHS to American privateers, but his continued failure to give clear and unambiguous support to a People’s Vote raises questions about his seriousness.

Former Labour director of elections Patrick Heneghan made the case for a People's Vote in the Times, saying "two and two does not make five - Labour must support a People's Vote".

A number of Conservative politicians pushed back too, but Trump has not just disrupted the central London traffic: he has unveiled the true scale of the risk to cherished British institutions and our way of life if Conservatives continue trying to force us into a No Deal crash out.

Trump also insisted that he saw no protesters, but people up and down the country went out on the streets to make their feelings known about the President and his divisive politics. 

Tories change the leadership election rules

The Conservative Party changed the rules of their leadership election in a bid to reduce the number of candidates. Favourite Boris Johnson claimed at private MP hustings that he was the only one who could put Nigel Farage "back in his box" and that failure to deliver Brexit could leave the party facing extinction.

The problem is that Johnson's push for a No Deal Brexit - shared by a number of other candidates - has no mandate. The British people have never voted for it and only a People's Vote would resolve the Brexit issue. 

The new rules reduce the likelihood of an outsider winning - which makes a No Deal Brexit hardliner more likely. It means that there will be a new Prime Minister by July 22, just two days before MPs go off on their extensive summer recess, with no resolution to the Brexit crisis in sight.

Change UK made mistakes but they helped make the case for a People's Vote

So, the brave new political movement of The Independent Group, who quickly became Change UK, have split after one rather-dismal election campaign.

Six of the 11 MPs splintered off yesterday, leaving Anna Soubry as the new leader. Lots of unkind words have been said about them but we’re not going to add to them. As ever, the People’s Vote campaign has sought to stay out of party politics, but there is little doubt in our mind that their original decision to break away has helped push Labour slowly towards a position that better reflects the views of most of its MPs, activists and voters. 

Having shaken the tree before the European parliamentary elections, Change UK found other parties like the Liberal Democrats and the Greens were better placed to pick up the apples. But the MPs involved, including Soubry, still have a big part to play in this campaign to give the public the final say on Brexit.

Brexit uncertainty continues for construction industry

Back in the real world, the economy continues to suffer from Brexit paralysis. Uncertainty continues to hurt the construction industry. Commercial and civil engineering projects are being mothballed with worse than expected results in May, the sector joining retailing and manufacturing in trouble. Only a People's Vote can resolve the real issues affecting the UK.

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

Trump wants to bounce whoever succeeds Theresa May as Prime Minister into signing a hasty America First trade deal. And he knows that a car crash No Deal Brexit - for which there is no mandate from the public - would be the quickest way of getting the UK to submit to his demands.

"That is not the behaviour of a friend to Britain. It’s the behaviour of a bully."

Practising GP and People's Vote campaigner Dr Paul Williams MP hits back at President Trump's push for a trade deal that includes the NHS.

Video of the Day

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Tweet of the Day 

Donald Trump was asked if he would meet Tory contender Michael Gove - and said he didn't know him.

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People's Vote campaign news

More Brexit news…

Trump's not so special relationship with May on display (Washington Post)

Trump puts America First (HuffPost)

Farage faces ban from EU parliament over undeclared gifts (New European)

Donald Trump plays Brexit kingmaker (Politico)

Top Brexit comment...

Patrick Heneghan: Two and two does not make five: Labour must support a People's Vote (Times £)

Freddie Gray: Trump provides another masterclass in comic statesmanship (Spectator)

Kevin Maguire: Trump putting NHS on the table reveals true Brexit cost (Mirror)

Polly Toynbee: Damaging talk of "no deal" spells doom for the Tories (Guardian)