Tag Archives: remain

Why we should “Stay” and not “stop Brexit”

Much of our campaign since the 2017 general election has revolved around the “Exit from Brexit”. We need to win over Remainers; by having a clear and repeated anti-Brexit position, the electorate will know what we stand for.

There are a few problems.

Firstly, we are not “anti-Brexit”, we are pro-EU. Every time we say “Brexit”, we evoke certain thought patterns within the minds of voters, particularly the so-called ReLeavers (those who voted Remain but feel we should Leave because of the referendum).

We normalise Brexit. We make it seem mainstream. In an effort to be radical outsiders, we make Liberal Democrats seem like they want to do something weird that nobody voted for. As such, we should avoid the term at all possible costs. For starters, Tom Brake should no longer be our Brexit Spokesperson but our EU Spokesperson.

Secondly, “stop Brexit” terminology forces our current campaign to be negative.

Thirdly, in many areas of the country, we are trying to win over Leave voters.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 22 Comments

Brexit is a luxury for the few – The EU is a necessity for the many

2018 is the year we need to #stopbrexit. Opposition to Brexit throughout 2017 was remarkably constant and evenly split. Private polling however suggests some ‘Releavers’ (effectively the softer remain half) have rejoined hard Remainers, and there is now a small percentage of ‘Bregretters’. Some leading pollsters argue 60% plus opposition to Brexit is needed for six consecutive months for enough Parliamentarians to start speaking out.

So the current direction of travel is towards Brexit even though some leading groups, notably half of EU27 ambassadors and High Commissioners in London, reportedly believe Brexit won’t happen. The May minority government has been longer lasting than many anticipated and to date has been able to progress Brexit legislation relatively unscathed. However, Brexit can still be reversed so the real question is how we might do so.

In this four part series, I shall briefly examine legislative developments and the upcoming timetable, prospects for the EU negotiations, mobilising public and political opinion against Brexit, and the prospects for a referendum on the terms.

To date in Parliament, there has been one significant victory with the narrow passage of Dominic Grieve’s Amendment 7 to the EU (Withdrawal) Bill. Clause 9 of the Bill is now “subject to the prior enactment of a (separate) statute by Parliament approving the final terms of withdrawal”. This presents Parliament with additional opportunities to shape the terms of departure, including possibly to remain in the Single Market and Customs Union, and to provide for a referendum on the terms. The recently relatively quiet hard Brexiters could also cause trouble for the Government on the £40 billion settling of accounts. However, it appears the ideological EUphobes are ready to accept Brexit at any price as long as they secure their long-cherished ‘Independence’ day.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 26 Comments

Why I’m voting remain: I want to live in a Britain that stands tall and proud in the world

Tomorrow I’ll be sending off my postal vote. A vote that will possibly be the most important of my lifetime.
Unsurprisingly (to those of you who know me) I’m voting for Britain to remain a member of the European Union. I’m doing so because I believe passionately in the project and what it represents.

However, I want to explain why this referendum is about so much more than whether Britain is simply a member of the EU or not. In my view it is just as much about the sort of country we see Britain as and what it’s place in the world will be.

The two routes we can choose between represent two very different images of the sort of Britain we will be:

Will it be a Britain that is the compassionate, diverse nation that welcomes the innovators and thinkers of tomorrow from across the continent? Or will it be a Britain that turns its back on its neighbours in favour of a false sense of security symbolised through the artificial barriers we have imposed on ourself?

Will it be a Britain that stands tall on the international stage as a leader in the fight to tackle the greatest threat to humanity known as climate change? Or will we be a Britain that thinks we should give legitimacy to the views of the climate deniers pushing so desperately for a leave vote?

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 17 Comments
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