Want to make your voice heard? If so, this simple site might help.
- Some suggestions on easy but vital things you can do
- Some letters I’ve written and links to other articles, which you can look at and adapt for use if you’d like.
I want to be an active citizen/awkward sod! What can I do?
If you can only do ONE thing
Contact your MP to ask them to support a People’s Vote on the Brexit deal, with the option to remain in the EU.
MPs are our elected representatives. Their job is to hold the government to account. So tell them your view.
You could remind them, for example, how important an issue this is, and how they have a duty to act in the country’s best interests. You could say that they should therefore take into account not only the referendum result but also:
- The principle that voters can only make a decision of this importance if they know the actual deal the UK would get, not just campaign promises
- The findings of the Electoral Commission that the Leave campaign broke the law
- Their own view of what is best for the country and their constituents. Most MPs do not support Brexit as they know it will damage Britain
Keep it short: one paragraph is fine. You can send a written letter or email. You can also call them. Find your MP here.
If you can do THREE things, then you can also
Write to the Prime Minister – email here
- Tell her your view – ask her to support a People’s Vote on the final deal, with the option to stay in the EU
- Copy it to your MP
Write to your local newspaper
- Keep it short – 250 words maximum
- Focus on the likely impact of Brexit on issues close to people’s hearts eg the NHS, the threat to jobs. Or on issues currently in the news.
If you can do SEVEN things, then you can also:
Sign up to support Best for Britain, a cross-party group calling for a people’s vote on the final deal, with the option to stay in the EU
Buy the New European, a weekly paper with a pro-Europe perspective – ask your newsagent to stock it, so other people can see it in the shop
Sign up for The Guardian’s fabulous free Brexit Briefing email – it gives updates from the UK, and the view from elsewhere in Europe
Selected posts: letters in the press
- Welsh, British and European – and proud to be all three
- Worked in research, communications and lobbying in the NHS, education and charities
- Know a thing or two about the media, public relations, politics and campaigning
Why am I doing this? Here are six things I believe:
- Brexit is a catastrophic mistake. It will leave our country a meaner, poorer place. If we leave the EU, there is almost certainly no way back.
- There are a lot of problems in our country, but leaving the EU is not the answer. In fact it is likely to make things worse, not better. For too long the British disease has been BSE: Blame Someone Else.
- The EU, though far from perfect, has been a force for peace and prosperity across our continent, after centuries of bloodshed. It remains a beacon of democracy and the rule of law in an increasingly unstable world. Brexit would weaken the EU as well as the UK.
- The risks of leaving the EU are far greater if we also leave the European single market – so-called Hard Brexit. The government insists we should do this, putting jobs and investment at enormous risk. Yet no-one voted to leave the single market. This wasn’t on the ballot paper in the referendum.
- If we burn our bridges with Europe, the UK will be more isolated than ever, and more dependent than ever on an unpredictable Trump and a hostile Putin.
- A People’s Vote, with the option to remain in the EU, is the only way out of the political chaos caused by Brexit. Leaving the EU would be the biggest political decision most of us will ever make. All of us have the right – and a responsibility to our children and grandchildren – to make this decision based on facts, not campaign promises.
Isn’t it too late to do anything about Brexit?
Not yet, though there is no time to lose. The UK government negotiated a withdrawal agreement with the EU, but this only covers the next two years. MPs recently rejected it by an enormous majority. The government now needs to find another way forward. But Theresa May set the clock ticking by triggering Article 50, and time is about to run out.
A people’s vote is the only way out of this impasse.
Polls also show that public opinion is shifting, with more people now wanting to stay in the EU, compared to 2016.
It’s essential to keep the pressure up, especially on MPs.
What about the referendum result?
The 2016 referendum result, with 17 million people voting to leave the EU, must certainly not be ignored or dismissed. Many people who voted Leave had understandable reasons for doing so.
But ask yourself this. Should the biggest decision this country has made for decades, which affects all of us living now, and generations still to come, be based entirely on one vote, on one day, in an advisory referendum, won by a narrow majority, and with the support of only 37% of the electorate (1 in 4 of the population)?
I don’t think it should. I think this is nowhere near the mandate we should have for a decision which is as massive as this.
You can’t legally hold a bus strike with less than 40% of the eligible voters voting in favour, under trade union law. Yet we are using a vote of 37% of the electorate for the biggest decision in a generation.
I also believe that parliament is the foundation of our democracy, not yes/no referendums.
I would think all this even if the Leave campaign had not been based on false promises and outright lies. But in fact, it was based on lies.
- The £350 million a week figure was a lie.
- Saying that Turkey was about to join the EU, and that the UK couldn’t stop it, was a lie.
- Plus the Leave campaign has also been found guilty of breaking the law during the referendum campaign
The Leave campaign – bankrolled by millionaires – stoked up fears about immigration, and exploited people’s anger about cuts to public services, and their concerns about the NHS.
Forget the scandals over pensions and PPI: the Leave campaign will prove to be the most shocking case of mis-selling in British history.
And finally – What has the EU ever done for us?
“Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.”—Dale Carnegie
“If you think you are too small to make a difference, you haven’t spent a night with a mosquito” – African proverb