WATCH: People’s Vote campaign launch

1200 people gathered in London today for the launch of a new campaign to give the British people a final vote on the Brexit deal. The Cross-Party campaign heard speeches from the actor who played one of my favourite fictional characters – Captain Jean-Luc Picard, Sir Patrick Stewart and from MPs Anna Soubry, Chuka Umunna, Caroline Lucas and our own Layla Moran.

Mock the Week’s Andy Parsons kicked off the proceedings in very funny style. Patrick Stewart was so passionate and emotional about what being part of the EU meant to him. He was born in 1940 as the Battle of Britain was going on. War was to ravage Europe for the first five years of his life and its consequences were felt long after it. Brexit, he said, was hurting the economy, our public services and the life chances of our future generation. Now that we are learning the real cost, he said, he said the people should have the chance to make their feelings felt.

The event was so big that even the BBC couldn’t ignore it.

You can watch the whole thing here:

Layla told the crowd:

We are demanding a People’s Vote so the people, not the politicians, get the final say on the final Brexit deal.

This is about strengthening democracy. Whatever you think of the deal, whether you voted to leave or remain, whether you’ve changed your mind or not, there is nothing more democratic than allowing the People to accept or reject a deal that will affect our country for decades to come.

This process started with a democratic vote, that is how it should finish.

Layla also suggested a slogan for the pro EU side in that second referendum should we get it.

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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This entry was posted in Op-eds.


  • paul barker 15th Apr '18 - 7:30pm

    This is great & I am genuinely sorry to raise a “but” so soon…..
    Organising a Referendum will take time & probably Legislation. Legislation would take time even with a sympathetic Government, which we dont have. There has to be a point where we accept that a Popular Vote cant be held in the Time remaining & we switch to demanding that Parliament has a Free Vote.
    It would be better for us if we agreed a Consensus cut-off Date well in advance & used that date as part of our campaigning, adding to the sense of urgency.
    To do that we need to start talking about it now or very soon.

  • Wish them well.

  • I’ve just watched this launch via Facebook, and it was very inspiring and motivational. The speakers made the point that it wasn’t just in London, and wasn’t just the ‘elite’ who were concerned about Brexit, but I’m not sure it helped that latter point when Patrick Stewart is referred to as “Sir Patrick” throughout. Surely he could have had a day off, or at least followed the convention of most chat shows and save it for the introduction only.

    The BBC news channel gave some coverage too, although their initial report mentioned only Chuka, Anna and Caroline and their parties, which was disappointing, but hardly a deal-breaker. Of more concern was that Lord Adonis was front and centre in being interviewed outside, and as well as being a Lord, he was being quite angry and not saying the sort of things that are going to appeal to those who don’t already agree with him. That said, it seems that the launch went well, there was a good display of cross-party working, and good representations from people from different demographics, and this will hopefully grab people’s attention, especially in the run-up to the local elections.

    Who knows what will happen with this, but it can only help to get people thinking about what sort of Brexit people voted for, and is this what we’re going to get?

  • Jarrod Robinson 16th Apr '18 - 11:45am

    The logic of the People’s Vote campaign does not add up. Patrick Stewart said that the decision is respected but we need a vote on the final deal, if any vote on the deal is a no then we would remain in the EU. So second referundum then? That is what you are saying.
    During the first referendum and after we were patronisingly told the people did not understand what we were voting for, how do you expect the people to understand the intricacies of the final deal then? If rejecting the deal means remain that is a second referundum that does not respect the result of the first.
    I wish those behind this would stop panicking in public, it is damaging the reputation of our great nation. I notice no contact us link on the campaigns website, suspicous.
    For the record I decided to vote leave after David Cameron said there would be a refcerundum. No lies from either sides campaigners had anything to do with my decision, certainly did not change it.

  • Bromsgrove voted to leave by 55/45% but at our monthly EU stalls ( working with the EU Movement and Worcs for Europe) we are seeing a change in the local attitude. More people questioning Brexit, more people asking for another People’s Vote and more people writing these messages on postcards, which we delivery regularly to local MPs. Ours may be postcards from the 45% locally but we are seeing a turning point here so we guess elsewhere too. Keep going , everyone, even though it is never easy for people to change their minds.

  • Katharine Pindar 16th Apr '18 - 2:56pm

    Well done, Janet and colleagues. Paul Barker, the timetable for a referendum on the deal was worked out months ago by Michael BG, writing in these columns, and his conclusion was that there was time for a referendum and its results before the end of March 2019, provided the decision to hold it is taken no later than this October. Over to Parliament, not only to debate as agreed on the terms of a deal, but to choose a referendum. Labour and allies finally have to lead on this, unless the Government itself finally concedes it to avoid defeat in the Commons.

  • David Evans 16th Apr '18 - 3:26pm

    Well done Janet. You and all the likeminded Lib Dems across the country deserve the party’s thanks for all your efforts. Ultimately if we are to get out of the Brexit mess our so called leaders have got us into, it will be the poor bloody infantry that does it.

  • Sean Hyland 16th Apr '18 - 5:51pm

    I respect Remainers continuing to campaign on their principles for something they believe in but I fear they may not get a second vote. It may be presented as just on the deal but is really about staying in and people will recognise this. I have the feeling that the campaign will still be seen as an elitist dominated attempt to be back in charge telling us we didn’t or couldn’t understand what we voted for. I have still get to see a positive campaign on staying in the EU recognising that people see the need for reform of the organisation and how that might happen.
    Interesting again that no media mention of the Lib Dems in this. This was a chance for some serious exposure of party policy but never happened. I am an admirer of Layla Moran who has many qualities but is not the party leader. Surely Vince Cable or at the least Jo Swindon should have been there. Caroline Lucas managed to get airtime!

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