A Brexit Compromise?

Having been a fan of pragmatism my whole life, I have always believed that compromise is a sign of strength.  Even so, even after an exhausting 2 years of thinking, debating and campaigning around Brexit issues, I continue to be totally resolute in arguing to remain in the EU, right in the heart of Europe.  I believe this is where our interests will continue to be best served, whatever our background, whatever our place of birth, whatever the state of our bank balance.
Why, I was asked the other day, would I not be satisfied with a soft remain, in the customs union or something like a Norway-ish option or something on the lines of Jeremy Corbyn’s recent letter? 

Well the short answer is I am totally sceptical of the Leave Establishment.  The long answer is I do not believe they will ever accept such compromises in practice going forward, even if they decide to support such a thing in parliament because they see it as a way of avoiding a referendum where there is a chance the public will demonstrate the will of the people is not so much the will of the people anymore.  They will want to continue to pursue their anti-Europe instincts. 

The Brexit Glitterati such as Farage and other Ukip and ex Ukip people and the right of the Tory party have used their Euroscepticism to give themselves a platform for personal power.  In the case of the UKIP MEPS for example, they have used their positions in the European Parliament to undermine and represent British citizens in the worst possible way, not attending committees and debates which are there to develop and improve EU laws and policies for the benefit of citizens across the continent and accepting their pay and expenses for zero public service in return.  

Instead of speaking on the subject being debated in the European Parliament, they have frequently used these opportunities to grandstand with diatribes and rants against EU leaders, MEPS and Commissioners and by extension the people of those countries.  YouTube is full of these pointless and negative speeches only designed to please Farage & Co fans and backers.  They are laughing at everyone taking tax payers money in order to just shout a lot about foreigners and immigration to keep their supporters happy.  Even if reports are true and Farage and his friends have rejected the current form of UKIP which has lurched to the far right, they will attempt to keep the same negative tactics in any new re-imagination of UKIP. 
My greatest distaste is reserved for the right of the Tory party, those Eurosceptics who claim so vehemently to have hated every single second of the UK being part and helping to build one of the biggest most successful trading blocs in the world over 40 years whilst at the same time being huge beneficiaries from it at a personal level.  The level of hypocrisy amongst these kinds of politicians should nauseate every sensible thinking citizen of the UK.  In the main these people have been huge winners in a multitude of ways thanks to the power of the City of London which has grown in strength and vigour precisely because of our EU membership and the Single Market.  These MPs have chosen to use their Euroscepticism as a whip to beat leaders and PMs.  The threat to a split Tory party comes directly from this minority of people, it always has.  On the face of it they only seem to care to use their threats of 48 Letters to destabilise their leaders in order to push an anti-EU agenda, which, given the passion they claim begs the question why they haven’t the faintest idea how to implement it. Note that when it comes to it though, they suddenly find a new-found affection for “Tory unity”.  They have no confidence in their own party of government until they have confidence in it sufficiently to dodge a general election threat.

All these Brexit players have been far more interested in shouting from a distance, indulging in a kind of professional controversialist game-playing in order to build their own power.  Most of the Brexit architects have resigned or slunk away from any responsible position in trying to deliver the thing they claim is closest to their hearts.  I ask myself if I should be supporting a compromise and then I think carefully about these politicians who have driven us to this chaos.  I ask you all this question.  Do you think these people are going to give up the very addiction that gives them their sense of power?  They may well be persuaded to support some form of deal by Mrs. May.  They are far from stupid.  They understand perfectly that no-deal is a seriously damaging outcome.  They want the threat of it used to get the EU into giving them something without having to give anything back in return.   When the penny drops that won’t happen to their satisfaction, they will find some fudge to support Mrs. May. 
But then very quickly, will they not see a softened Brexit as simply an opportunity to continue to play their games?  The in-depth negotiations for some years which will follow any version of Brexit will be an opportunity for them to start pushing again with their attention-seeking agenda.  They will continue the internal party conflict they have thrived on and Labour will also continue to struggle with their own internal divisions over this.  These splits are not going to disappear or be healed by any kind of compromise Brexit.  The Eurosceptics will continue to pull away or pull apart and resist anything which even smells of moving closer again to the EU27.  It’s just a slightly different platform for them to shout from.   In the end if we agree to some form of pointless Brexit, we will have conceded ground which is totally contrary to the interests of every man woman and child of this country for what in return?  For Brexiters to simply see it as a chance to keep pulling and pulling us further back from our closest neighbours and making us give more and more of our personal rights and protections up as consumers, as citizens, as workers. 
Do I trust these people? Do I want to support a fudge?  

No I don’t and No Thankyou. . 

Too much sugar is bad for me and its bad for you too.

@redalphababe

Letter on No deal

Submitted to letters pages 6th Feb 2019



It causes me great alarm that our news reports seem to be full of Vox pops of people on the streets of the UK brushing off concerns and promoting a view that they are so fed up with the Brexit issue they think we should just fall out of our membership on the 29th March with no deal.  Even more alarming are the polls I see which imply a proportion of people selecting no-deal as a desired option think this means we carry on as we are.

It is incumbent on our MPs to explain to everyone the implications of no-deal.  If we do not resolve this in some way and article 50 is not extended or revoked, we will no longer be in any framework or treaty which we are currently a part of.  All these arrangements are the methods by which our lives are managed in an orderly, safe and fruitful way.  The issue is not so much short term disruption to things like food and medicines etc, everybody agrees there will be disruption, but that in effect we have to recreate these frameworks or make hundreds of little side agreements to deal with each and every aspect, whether it is trade, agreements on flying across Europe, management of isotopes for cancer treatments, food safety regimes, using our driving licences in the EU, replacement of an EHIC arrangement, our financial industry – an absolutely enormous industry for our economy, operator licences for trucks who work across Europe etc.  

We have spent 40 years with our EU partners developing this entire system on which our  lives and our economy are structured, and it is incredibly complex and most of us including the politicians who spent 40 years dreaming about taking us out of the EU had absolutely no conception of just how complex it is.  

This was not something imposed on  us, the EU is not us versus them.  These systems were created by US.  We are part of the EU.  Every framework that exists, that we are part of, we created together with the other members.   We have a sophisticated complex structure which has turned us into a large economy and turned the EU into the biggest most powerful trading bloc in the world, envied a and admired by other parts of the world so much so that other groups of countries are creating their own blocs with their neighbours to emulate the European project.   

The idea that this could all be simply dropped overnight without disastrous and damaging consequences is frankly bizarre.  Furthermore, we are all thoroughly fed up of the B word, but it won’t end there.  Obviously, we cannot remain in a no-deal stasis and will have to try and clear up the mess.  It will take tens of thousands  of hours of parliamentary and civil service time to set about putting everything right and putting some trade back together.   The Brexit bill is set to get longer and longer and longer whilst we are losing jobs as large companies move some or all of their operations into the EU27 to protect their margins. 
The same will be true of any kind of Brexit deal as the future relationship is really only a sketch so all the fleshing out of reality will have to be done in parliament and by our civil servants and diplomats.  Article 50 was triggered with no idea of destination or plan.  Why?  It is abundantly clear the sunlit uplands are not going to be appearing for an awfully long time  if we allow our MPs to take us down this insane path. 

@redalphababe

The Bungalow.. A Brexit Allegory

I will tell you a little story.  I was offered an excellent deal once on a cute little bungalow with high ceilings and a polished carved wooden door.  It sat on the edge of a pretty village.  The sizeable plot it sat in was populated with fruit trees and grapevines and the rose bushes by the door released their scent as we did the viewing.   It was a very appealing property, with permission to extend the existing dwelling further.  

We really liked the look of it as the seller weaved ideas for us and wooed us with  his magic words.  It had so many possibilities.  We could give up our jobs and build a little business in the grounds. Perhaps a guesthouse.  The inside had evidence of damp in the walls after being empty for a few years, but with a little work it looked manageable.

The price was fair for the promises the bungalow represented,  so we had a long talk as a family and decided to buy it and  we felt happy as we looked with pleasure at the windows glinting in the sunshine of a brighter future.  

We did our due diligence,  we hired a lawyer and ordered a survey and we went on with our lives looking forward to the day when we could make our plans for the little bungalow in the sunshine. 
All was not well though.  It turns out when the paperwork was examined, and the searches were done that the house had been built without any qualified person signing it off. In fact, part of the property did not even have the planning permissions it was advertised with.  Nobody had ever checked to see if it had been built to the required standard.  The ceiling was full of asbestos, the ground riddled with rat holes.  We had no idea if it was a money pit or an accident waiting to happen.  On closer inspection still, the damp was rising, we could see light through the roof and the windows rattled in the wind. The property was worth only half of the asking price.  

The people who had wanted us to buy the bungalow tried to gloss over the problems.  They told us everything would work out just fine.  When we carried on voicing our doubts, they told us we had agreed to the purchase and there was no getting out of it.  When we still looked unhappy, they threatened us with unpleasant consequences and the ire of the vendors if we tried to overturn our own decision. There was to be no re think or second chance to consider the consequences of our purchase, they said. To do so would be overturning the will of the family, they said.  

We argued for months.  What should we do, what was a fair compromise?  Which deal was the best risk moving in as it was and take our chances with the leaky roof  or borrow some extra money to do the work?  Should we rent another house whilst the remedial works were completed.  What if it took years?   Our family was split, we even took it out on our neighbours and blamed them for making us unhappy in our current house in the first place, though actually none of us could really remember what it was about our home we disliked now we came to think of it.  Of course, our friends couldn’t understand why we were being mean to them and feeling very hurt, they drifted away from our lives.  The shifty people who tried to sell us the house looked on at the chaos smiling.  Pretty soon they would reap the benefits to their bank balance of their lies and our bad decision. 

But one day in the midst of a shouting match, we realised we couldn’t go on and that what we thought we were buying didn’t exist, it  was a dream, a mirage, an impossibility.  We might, after a lot of time and elbow grease and money be able to make the bungalow a habitable home for us in the end,  but as we looked at our existing house with it’s comforting fireplace and beautiful bay windows, it’s interesting neighbours and its proximity to the heart of a beautiful town and all its delights, we realised the price we would have to pay was far, far too high.  

We realised that with a little tweaking and renewing we could make more out of exactly where we were without having to pay any removal fees.  It was so simple,  we could just change our minds.   
To be sure we wrote out the pros and cons and risks, our existing house versus the bungalow.  Then we carefully absorbed those points and discussed them calmly, fact checked and read experts advice and then had a family vote.  The will of the family had changed.  We patched up our rows with the neighbours.  We told the shifty salespeople we were staying put,  we didn’t want the substandard bungalow anymore and we would be building a brighter better future exactly where we had belonged all along.

Do the right thing Parliament

May is busy peddling her deal, begging, cajoling, threatening, rewarding.  The government will do anything to win their vote tomorrow completely ignoring what is right for the people of the United Kingdom.
But remember, if you are tempted to wobble and fall for the terrifying Fear factor of No-deal being served up by May and her supporters, stockpiling, invisible ferries, medicine shortages food shortages, this was not what they promised you. 
Look how the language has changed over the last 3 years.  They told us it would be easy,  that we had the ace up our sleeves.  They told us time and time again that our 27 partners would fall over themselves to rip up the principles and four freedoms of the EU that we all 28 designed and built together over the years.
Leave promised unicorns, cherries, a good deal, loads of money.  It was all going to be absolutely fabulous, they said.  All that language has completely disappeared.  Even the meaningless slogans have disappeared.  No sunlit uplands here.
The vast majority of economists, experts, business leaders, academics, trade specialists all argued for remain in 2016.  How many of those people have watched what is happening and had a eureka moment that they were wrong in 2016 and that we are better outside the EU?
I don’t know of any?  Do you?  There may be some who have suggested an alternative path or discussed a compromise route because they are worried about a second referendum.  But how many actually now believe that Brexit is good for our business and our economy. Not even our government will say we are better off outside the EU. 
How many times have we had tangible measurable answers to the question, “what part of brexit will make our lives better” posed so many times by so many of us.  None.
But we have seen plenty of  tangible numbers the other way – job losses already, companies moving out, EU27 citizens voting on the xenophobia and our disgusting treatment of them with their feet, a slowdown in growth, weakening of the pound. 
The problem with brexit is brexit.  Leave politicians  cannot agree because disentangling ourselves without damage from our 40 year political investment in the EU is impossible.  The people were not promised damage.  They were promised greater prosperity and opportunity.  This is clearly undeliverable. 
Grow some courage parliament.  Tell it like it is.  We already have the best deal. We will be leaving the biggest free trade block in the world.  A model being emulated by groups of countries in the rest of the world whilst we will be consigned to years of negotiating and fixing the EU related things that weren’t broken instead of fixing the domestic things that really are.   
Parliamentarians, if you honestly can’t agree and you can’t find the courage to #RevokeArticle50 which is the most responsible and righteous path, then the only way forward is to let us decide.  
May’s deal Vs the Best Deal  #remain 
#PeoplesVote #remainoption 
/end

More for #the5million

Hail

2 years suspended
Uncertain futures
A life of broken plans
A Home with a bolt on the door
Who will slide it open?  Will they unlock it and when?
Aged old friends too embarrassed to think
Too frightened to look lest they feel the burn of personal responsibility
Sops and platitudes rain down as
cold projectiles of hail
fueling grieving resentment freezing forgiveness
Slowly dwindling to silence then distance

‘We didn’t mean you’
Too proud to admit your error
You hide behind these words with your fake tans and polished smiles
Your Marks suits and empty eyes.

@redalphababe

Movement

An open horizon beckons its hope to excited people
A reflection in the sunlight of potential new fates
Children learn languages
Parents, new skills
Beautiful girls learn words of passion whispered by lovers on strange moonlit shores
Students pack sweet memories in their rucksacks, currency for their life ahead
We can breathe in our freedom
We can drink it’s energising adventure
We pack our bags with glee undiminished by our pasts, undeterred from our future possibilities
We remove freedom from those we would punish for bad choices

yet we have done no wrong – so why send ourselves into solitary confinement

@redalphababe

SUPPORTING A PEOPLES VOTE

As the dramas unfold in parliament, it is clear  there is no agreement amongst our parliamentarians on the deal that Mrs  May has come back with which has taken 2.5 years to negotiate and no agreement as to how to resolve the impasse.  It is an appalling deal.  We will have had our voice and vote removed completely when we should be in the heart of Europe continuing to shape it with our partners.

You cannot have the benefits without the membership fee.  You cannot shape the EU without the membership card to get you in.  You cannot have the SM and CU without embracing the four freedoms.  You cannot have the exact same benefits of EU membership, SM or CU without being members.  The other option, No-Deal, contrary to public opinion does not mean we remain as we are just not in the EU, it means we literally fall out of every single treaty and framework agreement with no arrangements going forward.  All the systems and regulatory and business-related apparatus that we rely on to manage our complex economy and public services and way of life will have to be rebuilt or remade in some form.  Either way, May’s deal of the blind future or no-deal of complete chaos, it will not be the end of Brexit.  Either option will lead to many years of arguing and negotiating and distraction when we could just be getting on with growing our economy and shaping our futures at the top table with our friends.
It is time for us all to accept that the problem with Brexit is Brexit.  After 40 years of membership, our systems of trade, of movement and, in our private lives, our mix of cross EU relationships and families  which have grown and developed are all inextricably linked.  Is that a bad thing given the enormous benefit we have seen to peace and the improvements in the protections of citizens in many areas and the fantastic opportunities that Freedom of Movement has given us and of course genuine frictionless trade with access to FTA agreements across the world beyond the EU?  Leaving is like trying to take the ice out of the ice cream so in the end it just leaves a melted lukewarm mess in your bowl.  It will leave our bank balances lower, our futures more uncertain, our public services desperately damaged especially the NHS which will become extremely vulnerable to becoming a two-tier system of more health insurance  vs a public service struggling to make the budgets work and find enough staff.  The NHS is already struggling in these areas.  Brexit will make it worse.
I agree with Chris Matheson, in his thoughtful column on the issue of Brexit recently and the dangers of no-deal and I am very glad he is not prepared to compromise by agreeing to Mrs. May’s bad solution.  There is another way.  We can choose to change our minds and remain.  There is only one way we can legitimately and fairly break this impasse.  We need to have a referendum and test the May proposition properly, a proposition which Parliament by the looks of it cannot agree on and examine the costs and the consequences and the so-called benefits to our lives.  Then we need to re-examine our EU membership by the same standard.  Then we need to decide whether May’s deal is what we really and truly want.

@redalphababe

Saving the Nation from WHAT?

The Great Deal that will Save the Nation from the Pesky Foreigners has been revealed

How proud is the cry from Mrs May and her Government?
“Free movement will end once and for all” proclaims the slick advert. 

Forgive me for not falling over myself in the rush to proclaim this a great victory although there doesn’t seem to be much enthusiasm in general to be fair.    What a mean-minded piece of triumphalism.   Slow handclap to the people of this great nation who have continued to support the removal of freedoms and rights on the say so of 17,410,742 people out of a total population of 66 million.  This is the most amazing case of the tyranny of the minority I have ever seen.   This figure equates to a percentage of 26.37% of the population imposing their desires on 73.27% of the public.  I don’t know about you, but these figures make me angry and have continued to make me angry since that day in June 2016 when the Leave campaign cheated to get over the line and fear and suspicion of the “other” won out. 

But we didn’t vote leave because of immigration, I hear you say.  Well Mrs. May believes you did because she has been clear from the start, she wants to stop freedom of movement and reduce immigration and it’s the very first thing her tawdry advert proclaims.

Tell me again. 

Why have you given up your rights to easily live, study, love, work or retire in any one of our beautiful European member states?  Why have you given up the benefit of pooling resources with our closest neighbours and partners?  We cannot take part in the myriad of schemes and initiatives that bring back targeted assistance to the regions struggling the most.  We must reinvent a whole list of agencies for ourselves that we have been an equal party to developing over 40 years.  Every aspect of our lives is connected to the structures around the EU.  Not even the remain community knew the half of it and leave politicians certainly had no idea.  I mean, Raab only just realised Dover is an important port!

Why have you voted for the 3 million EU27  amongst us and your fellow citizens in the EU to be relegated from being equals within their communities to second class citizens?  How are you going to resolve the challenges we face?  Is it not better to work together, for example, to deal with the multinational corporations arranging their tax affairs to the detriment of their tax paying customers’ nations? You all sit there moaning about this company and that company not paying tax, this is exactly the kind of thing our representatives in the EU work on together with our partners and we can carry on working together to come up with some solutions that are fair to the citizens and the businesses alike.  We can only do that as a bloc.  

What about climate change?  Remember that?  With a White House which currently declines to place importance on environmental issues it is more vital than ever that as a group we stand together in Europe, sharing our science and research in this area, no borders no obstacles, seeking political consensus that will help us find solutions to deliver the planet to our children in better condition than when we found it. 

How are we to tackle the big problems coming in the more distant future – the demographic time bomb of an ageing population, automation reducing the amount of skilled well-paid work available. These are problems best faced together, working out ways to make our industries work for our citizens rather than the other way around.

How will being a third country increase your wages?  How will it reduce your living costs?  How will it build you new homes or take the homeless off the street?  Why are Germany able to magically export massive amounts to China whilst being members and why is Denmark  seemingly not hampered in running a generous progressive welfare system by being in the EU.  Nationalised Industries such as trains and utility companies are all over the EU. 


All these things have been offered as reasons to give up our membership.  Funny that, nothing about our membership is stopping us doing any of it. NOTHING.   Yet every day we ask the same key question and get no logical reply.

graphic via @BrimhamG

What are you getting back for throwing away your EU citizenship and that of 3 other people who did not want to?  It had best be something really good. What are you saving the nation from?

Politicians who continue to enable Brexit and cannot answer this question convincingly, well it had best be something extremely good.  When the people have figured out the truth as the consequences start to bite, the Parliament of 2018 will not be forgiven.


Its time for you all to spell out the consequences of Brexit to your constituents and remind them we don’t have to do this.  We can choose to REMAIN and keep our rights as citizens of the EU.

Its time for you to offer informed consent

#peoplesvote with #optiontoremain  #finalsayforall 

@redalphababe

My latest letter to my local MP following up after the Peoples vote march

I spent my Saturday this weekend with 700,000 plus other people from up and down the country on the streets of London to make a peaceful request of all parliamentarians that they allow us to have an opportunity to examine the appalling consequences of the vote from 2016 and the deal (or no deal) which the government intend to finally put through parliament for a meaningful vote.  Parliament is deeply divided on Brexit, there is no viable vision of Brexit which does not make each and every one of us losers ultimately.  We stood for 6 hours on the streets of London, shuffling along unable to make headway for a couple of hours because there were so many of us. 
Each of us carried the names of our friends and families who could not be there but wanted to be because of work or economic circumstances so you can probably double or triple the numbers of people who are sufficiently concerned about Brexit to make an active stand to get a people’s vote. 

We are not asking to stop Brexit without another democratic exercise.  We simply want an opportunity for a vote on the deal versus remain which is fair, open, truthful, transparent and informed.  In 2016 the public were poorly informed on the EU and the arguments, they were subjected to a campaign where Leave cheated and blatantly lied.   All the Leave promises in 2016 are lying on the ground like tattered confetti at a wedding where the couple decide to annul the marriage even before the honeymoon night is over.   From day one leave politicians rowed back on each and every lie they promoted.  We have a right to examine where this leaves us all and think again.

It is incredibly disappointing that the Labour Party, as the main opposition, saw fit to actively ignore our march and seems unwilling to recognise that many of the voters in that march will carefully consider the part the Labour party will be seen to have played in the final reckoning on Brexit day on the 29th March 2019.    I would urge you to raise this with your colleagues and given how short of time we are  I would ask you to seriously consider whether it would not be in everyone’s interests for you to add your voice to those of your Labour colleagues who are openly supporting our campaign.

@redalphababe

Righting the Wronged!

Over the last two years I have had many conversations with good people who are at the front of the queue for the Big Brexit Chaos Bonanza.  Their stories are all different.  They are young, old, married, single, parents, grandparents.  They are nurses, musicians, warehouse operatives, civil servants, cleaners, carers, students.  They live across the UK and the EU.  They like literature, popular culture, sport, cooking, eating, watching the Proms, Strictly and the GBBO.  They like burgers and the theatre and pop music.  They run businesses, they work for someone else, they hold down 2 jobs, they travel across the continent as consultants or as tradespeople or as carers. 
Here is what they all have in common.  They were deliberately denied a say on a question which affects their lives and their status.  #the5million.  I don’t think many of us thought too hard about that.  Even now there is recognisable shock when my friend Nicky tells people how she was not allowed to vote because she has lived outside the UK for more than 15 years.  They are even more shocked when she points out that losing our EU citizenship, for her, will result in losing a right to vote for an MEP in the Netherlands and she may even lose her right to vote in her local elections.  She will have no political voice at all. 
At the same time 16-17 year olds were also denied a say, young people who were perfectly grown up enough to have an opinion of their own are the ones who will live with the consequences of this referendum outcome for the longest time. Incidentally these are the same kids we are all relying on to pay for our pensions and old age care.  I hope you were all careful what you wished for when you decided where to put that cross on the ballot paper.
Brextremists are very fond of saying it is undemocratic to campaign to stop Brexit because it was the “greatest democratic exercise in the history of the UK”.  Well I have news for you – your democratic exercise was pretty stinky as democratic exercises go.  It was flawed in a multitude of ways. Not only did leave campaigns (yes plural) cheat, not only was there lying and empty promises by them but fundamentally a huge group of people who would be affected by the decision were ignored as if they did not matter, as if they were objects to sort out later whether to keep or throw away, only measurable in pounds and euros and usefulness to those with British passports. 
Brexiters, you deliberately stopped all EU27 citizens in the UK, regardless of how long they have been members of our communities up and down the country, from having a voice. the people immediately affected by the outcome were ignored.   You stopped British citizens in the EU and elsewhere who had been overseas for more than 15 years from voting and many of the ballot papers to those who qualified did not arrive.   You stopped 16-17year olds from having a voice even though you deemed Scottish youth to be capable of casting a vote only a year before in the indyref.  You tried to tell them they would be okay – everything will work out, of course you don’t want them to leave, of course they would be protected.  At best you guessed, at worst you blatantly lied about your intentions.  The fact remains you have kept these people in limbo for 2 years and overnight millions will have a different status and will have to “register” to go back to their home that they never moved out of.  Millions across the EU have been given no guidance or support by the British government and are relying on the countries of their residence to help them secure their status.  What did Mrs May say when asked in the house of commons?  “I hope they’ll be okay”.  If this does not pull you up short on this subject I don’t know what will.
This Brexit is nauseating enough.  The economic consequences over the short and medium and long term are ridiculously damaging and in themselves should ensure a rejection by a sensible parliament of Brexit – yes, I know we are way short of a sensible parliament.  But the disenfranchisement of so many of our friends, our families, our neighbours underpins my greatest disgust, fills my head with anger and determination to fight. 
On Saturday I will be marching for a Peoples Vote, for an opportunity for a new vote to examine all the consequences we now know will result from the so-called work the government have been doing for 2 years.  A new vote requires a new franchise.  I will be arguing that not only should we have the opportunity to examine the deal, not only should we be able to keep remain as an option, but there is no doubt in my head the franchise should include the voices of the #5million and the 16-17 year olds who will carry the biggest burden of Brexit.
It will be an opportunity for us to Right all the Wrongs of June 2016 and we must fight for all of that.  
#brexitispersonal
#finalsayforall
@redalphababe

Illegal Activities by the Leave Campaigns in 2016

Text of letter I sent to various letters pages in Newspapers and version of a similar letter written to my local MP

I note today there have been comments from David Lammy on social media, highlighting a recent news story that the Met Police have decided not to investigate Leave Campaigns which broke electoral law citing political sensitivities.  Also, this week it has been reported that Jon Thompson, the head of HM Revenue and Customs, has revealed that police have investigated two death threats he received after setting out the potential cost to businesses of post-Brexit customs options. 

Additionally, in recent months there have been comments from senior politicians who seem to think we should put aside our democratic rights to campaign for what is best for the country or be cowed into silence through fear of violence from an extreme minority who think democracy stopped one day in June 2016.

I find it appalling that our institutions and public servants are being stopped from doing their jobs due to fear of the minority who are trying to impose a harmful and damaging Brexit on us. We are not some tin pot republic run by despots riddled with corruption.   This tyranny of silence on those who speak to truth is extremely damaging and in the long term will only feed into further mistrust of governments and institutions as the people will say “why didn’t you tell us we would have our economy damaged and our rights removed?  Why did you all tell us we would be better off? Why didn’t you tell us that people cheated to get the result they wanted in 2016”.

Regardless of how anybody voted, if laws have been broken during the EU referendum campaign and if there has been improper foreign interference helping Leave groups,  this should be properly investigated and the full facts should be laid out starkly to the British public   Additionally parliamentarians have a duty to speak out when the policies pursued by government in their opinion will harm the people they represent.

I have written to our local MP Chris Matheson and hope he and his colleagues will reflect on these matters and will stand up for transparency and raise the matter of the illegal activity during the EU referendum in parliament.   The Met Police should hold an investigation with no political interference and the results should be given to the public and looked at carefully in Parliament.  I would urge everybody no matter where they live to raise these concerns with their local MPs as these principles affect each and every one of us

@redalphababe