Tag Archives: peoples vote

The roadmap to a People’s Vote

Today the People’s Vote campaign set out how we get to a People’s Vote on the Brexit deal.

In a report, they set out that Article 50 is revocable, that Parliament has several ways of securing a People’s Vote and discuss what would be on the ballot paper.

It’s really important that people understand that we can get out of this mess so it’s good that they have set out how exactly it could be done.

They set out options for a straight deal vs no deal or deal vs remain or no deal vs remain or all of the above in different stages.

So tell everyone you know how easily this can be sorted out. Don’t let people resign themselves to the inevitability of a rubbish Brexit.

As John Kerr, the author of Article 50, says:

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Why it’s important to join the Lib Dems on the People’s Vote march on October 20th

Sometimes it’s hard to keep positive. As the evidence stacks up that Brexit is going to at the very least harm us and at worst mean food and drug shortages and ground flights, the Government continues to reject the democratic option of getting the people to mark its homework.

Accountability is vital in any democracy. This Government should be facing every day with more than a mild degree of trepidation. However, Jeremy Corbyn has not given them much in the way of bother at all.

There is a chance that a parliamentary alliance of moderate Labour and Tory MPs, us, Caroline Lucas and others could force through a People’s Vote. The problem with that theory is that the Tories have historically caved when the chips are down. Labour MPs fearing desolation may not dare defy Corbyn even if their local members want to. The SNP is holding the country to ransom. They will only back a People’s Vote if they get an independence referendum if Brexit wins.

Christine Jardine and Alex Cole-Hamilton took them to task on Twitter:

Willie Rennie pointed out that Sturgeon is going against the wishes of her membership.

A YouGov poll shows that 89% of SNP members support a People’s Vote and 79% think that the SNP should support it in Parliament.

Willie said:

Nicola Sturgeon and her ministers have exhausted their excuse selection. Now that it’s clear the vast majority of SNP members want to have the final say on Brexit they can’t justify sitting on the fence any longer.

Brexit poses a huge threat to people’s livelihoods, security and public services.

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Some Brexiteers do not play the democratic game

Democracy, in a civilised society, has its rules. One of them is, if not the respect, at least the polite tolerance of others. Humility and caution are two additional requisites, I would suggest, for whoever wishes to express political opinions.

A number of Brexiters, learning of a growing desire among many to see another people’s vote take place are, like bad sports players, now sliding into disrespectful and even injurious behaviours. The Spectator for example, published a few days ago an article entitled ‘The People vs Brexit‘. Its author, Mr Rod Liddle, writing:

The People’s Vote monkeys now buttress their demands for

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WATCH: Jane Dodds speak to Welsh People’s Vote Rally

Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds spoke to the Welsh People’s Vote rally yesterday.

A poll this week suggested that Wales, which had voted to leave in 2016 had now changed its mind and also backed a People’s Vote on the deal. This is pretty astonishing given that even 6 months ago, there was a substantial majority of people opposed to a vote.

Watch what Jane had to say here.

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Why a second referendum is now not only right but necessary

These last months’ debate on Brexit have established one fact: a portion of the people who have voted leave have done it for the wrong reasons. This is a fact, not an interpretation or an opinion, and it is on facts that decisions must be taken.

Many people of that portion realise that they did not understand Brexit or were simply misled. Many of these, we now know, would vote remain. In fact polls, such as YouGov’s across a significant 10.000 people, show that currently Britain would vote remain 53 to 47, as expressed directly in these terms : …

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WATCH: Vince: Theresa May is rattled by People’s Vote movement

It’s a gorgeous day in Cambridge today, which is a good thing given that there is a local council by-election a week on Thursday.

Candidate Sarah Brown had Vince Cable along with her this afternoon:

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WATCH: Vince Cable at the #PeoplesVote Bristol rally – We can win this

Vince went to Bristol yesterday to speak to the People’s Vote rally. His message was one of confidence and optimism – that the tide was turning in our favour and we could win a People’s vote.

Watch highlights here:

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Study says that a majority of UK constituencies now back staying in the EU

The Observer today suggests that as many as 112 seats may have changed from Leave to Remain.

In findings that could have a significant impact on the parliamentary battle of Brexit later this year, the study concludes that most seats in Britain now contain a majority of voters who want to stay in the EU.

The analysis, one of the most comprehensive assessments of Brexit sentiment since the referendum, suggests the shift has been driven by doubts among Labour voters who backed Leave.

As a result, the trend is starkest in the north of England and Wales – Labour heartlands in which Brexit sentiment appears to be changing. The development will heap further pressure on Jeremy Corbyn to soften the party’s opposition to reconsidering Britain’s EU departure.

What will Corbyn, a lifelong opponent of the EU, do now? Will he bow to the evidence that Labour voters are flocking to stay in the EU or will he hold firm in his opposition even to the customs union and single market.

And what will those in the Labour Party do if he refuses to budge his position? Especially those in Labour seats who are now backing Remain?

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Christine Jardine challenges SNP to back People’s Vote

As everybody from Gary Lineker to the Independent is now backing the People’s Vote campaign for  a referendum on the final Brexit deal – which started out as a Lib Dem idea in the Summer two years ago – there is one notable exception.

The SNP is the third largest party in Parliament. It could make the difference. Yet it continues to sit on its hands on this most important question.

Nicola Sturgeon could have used her meeting with Theresa May to say that the SNP will block the deal and push for a People’s Vote, but she didn’t. It was all …

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Brexit options and the People’s Vote

Justine Greening’s recent call for a multi-option referendum on Brexit brings to the fore the central dishonesty of the Referendum. Brexit cannot just mean Brexit: if it is to happen it will have to be a specific Brexit. And it is becoming increasingly clear that there is no feasible specific Brexit that can command the support of all those who voted for Brexit in general in the referendum.

Following Greening’s call, Yougov carried out an opinion poll asking about preferences between three options, which we can call Remain, Soft and Hard. The Soft option was described as `along the lines that Theresa May has set out’ (i.e. the Chequers proposal), while the Hard option was described as `leave the EU without a deal’.

What was unusual about this poll was that it asked for voters’ second preferences as well as their first. This is essential if we are to understand the real popularity of the options, and what the poll reveals is very interesting.

First preferences show an exact 50-50 balance between Remain and Brexit in this poll. However, when we compare Remain with either specific form of Brexit it has a clear majority: 55-45 against Hard Brexit, 60-40 against Soft. While Soft is narrowly preferred to Hard (53-47), a large proportion of Hard supporters (nearly half of them) would abstain rather than choose between Remain and Soft.

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Brexit contradictions and scary polls – how do we escape from the mess?

So Theresa May tells Brexiteers in the Mail on Sunday that they had better back her or there’ll be no Brexit yet on Andrew Marr, she trots out that old phrase “No deal is better than a bad deal.”

We’re all over the place here. The only option that gives us any control at all over what happens, ironically, is staying in the EU. Then we’ll have influence over the rules that affect us. Theresa May’s White Paper is unpalatable to the Brexiteers who see it as tying us too closely to the EU and to Remainers who don’t see the point in something that gives us less than we currently have with no say on any future changes. No deal is akin to jumping out of an aeroplane at 20,000 feet and convincing yourself that if you land in a soft pile of manure you won’t hurt yourself.

Vince had this to say, which is all very sensible

Within a few hours Theresa May moves from saying Brexit might not happen to casting the spectre of ‘no deal’ and all the disastrous consequences that would entail for the country. These mixed messages and confusions show she is not in charge of negotiations – the Conservatives spent two years to reach a chaotic position that is unworkable.

Trump’s ‘advice’ again illustrates how ill-informed he is and that his interest in Brexit is not to help the UK but to create mayhem.

But then I’m finding myself becoming a bit cynical. Could all the confusion be deliberate?

Remember how confusion was a deliberate tactic during the referendum? One minute you’d have Brexiteers saying “But it’s fine cos we’ll stay in the single market” and the next that we’d be free of the EU and not having to abide by any of its rules. Creating that confusion was deliberate because the Leave campaign didn’t care about the issues. They just wanted to create enough anger to persuade people to give the establishment a kicking.  And it worked.

May seems to be trying the same tactic now, generating anger so that people are focused on that rather than the nightmare process of leaving the EU.

How much better would it be to deal with the cause of the discontent as Chris Bowers said earlier and I‘ve been saying for a long time that we need to inspire with a vision of what a liberal society could look like and how it is much more likely to happen if we forget about this Brexit business?

This Government’s approach to Brexit has been criminally irresponsible. Surely when there’s talk of stockpiling food – and not that much each either, as Adam Bernard pointed out on Twitter:

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Vince: Keep fighting, keep hoping. We will win

Here’s the Lib Dem contingent at today’s People’s Vote march. There were lots of us there. It was an incredible atmosphere as we filled Parliament Square and beyond to listen to speeches from Tony Robinson (who actually said “I have a cunning plan”), David Lammy, Caroline Lucas and our own Vince Cable.

This event seemed like a real step up from previous ones. 100,000 people turned out demanding a People’s Vote. The key message was that this is not a done deal and we absolutely can get out of it.

This kicks off a Summer of campaigning across the country.

Here’s Vince speaking:

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Surely we should be concentrating our energies on Jeremy Corbyn, not people who are already supporting a people’s vote

Tom Brake has written a letter, a nice letter, to Chuka Umunna and Anna Soubry asking them to support his Amendment, to be debated in the Commons this week, to the EU Withdrawal Bill, calling for a People’s Vote on Brexit. He said to them:

Dear Chuka and Anna,

Over the last two years we have worked cross-party to convey to the country the benefits of the UK remaining in the European Union.

Ahead of next week’s debate in Parliament, I urge you to support my amendment 19a to the EU (Withdrawal) Bill which provides for the people to have the

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How can the Government proceed with Brexit if there’s evidence the public has changed its mind?

Of all the constitutional crises talked about round Brexit, surely the biggest is taking an irrevocable step that doesn’t have the backing of the British people at the point that it is made. If the UK exits the European Union on 29th March next year, it’s starting to look as if that move will not have the backing of the electorate.

Prospect magazine has analysis of YouGov polls conducted over the past two years which suggests that Remain would win a referendum on the Brexit deal. That surely means that the Government’s full-speed-ahead, devil-may-care approach to Brexit has no democratic …

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Actually, Nicola Sturgeon, the SNP could help win a People’s Vote on the Brexit deal.

Nicola Sturgeon was on the Peston show today talking about various aspects of Brexit. One thing struck me when she was pressed on the issue of a People’s vote of the Brexit deal. She said that the SNP won’t be the block to that but if there was to be another EU referendum, the big question for Scotland would be what would happen if we got the same outcome, where Scotland voted to remain and Wales and England voted to leave.

To be honest, I think it would be so much better if the SNP threw their massive campaigning energy behind securing a vote that means we can all stay in the EU. I reckon we could do a lot better than the 62-38 result. To be honest, the SNP sat the last one out. Our local SNP didn’t do much because they said they were tired after the Scottish elections.  It was the Lib Dems who ran the street stalls and did all the work.

It is unlike the SNP to be tired. For three years up to the Independence referendum in 2014 they were everywhere. They campaigned their hearts out. For the last month of the campaign, you couldn’t go to the shops to buy your rolls in the morning without seeing a posse with saltires and Yes leaflets. In that referendum, there was an 84.6% turnout. In the EU referendum, only 67% of people voted.

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Don’t be fooled by Labour’s posturing on #peoplesvote

In the last few days we’ve had some tantalising hints that Labour may be willing to support a public vote on the Brexit deal. John McDonnell said on Friday that Labour weren’t ruling it out. Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry said on Marr that if there were sufficient public demand, Labour might think again.

So should we all breathe a sigh of relief and think that this might happen any time soon?

Not a chance.

For a start, Emily Thornberry’s threshold to determine what might be a suitable level of public demand to get them to change their minds was 80-90%. You don’t get 80-90% of people backing anything. Even the Monarchy at the height of the much loved Queen’s 90th birthday celebrations  was only getting 75% support.

So let’s not hold our breath waiting for the Labour leadership to back a vote on the deal. But why are they doing this? It’s all part of their deliberate tactic of making their policy as ambiguous as possible. This is exactly what the Leave campaign did, too. Nobody understood what Brexit would mean because they tried to make sure that the details were as non-existent as possible.

The reason they’re drip-feeding it all now is because there are some important local elections coming up. A lot of them are in Remain voting metropolitan areas in places like London and Manchester. They must be getting some indication that their stance on Brexit is costing them so they are trying to make it sound like they might just go for the vote on the deal.

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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarJayne Mansfield 21st Oct - 6:47pm
    And how many people did you convert from a Brexit stance to a Remain stance with this puerile nonsense? @ John Marriott, Perhaps you need...
  • User AvatarLorenzo Cherin 21st Oct - 6:22pm
    I add my view to that of colleagues, agree on the view put by Richard, in the same kind of way that Caron expresses, and...
  • User AvatarElaine Bagshaw 21st Oct - 6:02pm
    @Katharine We're only having to look at the Special Conference proposal because Vince put it on the table. I've always been against it, and pretty...
  • User AvatarKatharine Pindar 21st Oct - 5:20pm
    Dismayed to learn that the Federal Board is even considering calling a Special Conference, I add my voice in total opposition to the idea, and...
  • User AvatarGraham Martin-Royle 21st Oct - 4:48pm
    And will this become another case of authorities demanding either a passport (not required by law to have one, not needed if not travelling abroad)...
  • User AvatarCaron Lindsay 21st Oct - 4:44pm
    I want to be clear that my opposition to a special conference is not a reflection of my opinion of Vince as leader. He is...