Why we support a People’s Vote

We asked some of our campaigners why they feel so strongly about the need for People’s Vote on the Brexit deal.

Here’s what they had to say.

I didn’t want a referendum in the first place and I don’t particularly want another one. However, the reason Parliament is unable to resolve this is that our farmers, manufacturers, and importers and business leaders are telling them not to do it. Our MPs are not willing to make us poorer. Leaving the EU is not patriotic at all, it is narrow minded. As for the ‘control of our borders’ phrase. Having been a police officer for 30 years, I can say with authority that we have always had control of our borders, even under freedom of movement for EU Nationals. If the Borders Agency has failed, it is down to a lack of funding.If Parliament hasn’t the courage to stop Brexit, then it has to go back to the people.

Alan Dawson, Former Police Officer
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My reasons are:
1. The EU has contributed to the maintenance of peace on the European continent since WW2.  Evidence of this can be seen in the Balkans since the wars of the 1990s. Whilst the role of the EU has not been perfect, we have to ask what would have happened since then in south east Europe if it hadn’t existed. We should remember that, what is now, the EU started as a peace project and Winston Churchill was a major driver in the process. It is an extension of the “never again” philosophy of Armistice Day.
2.  The 2016 referendum was all about saving the Conservative Party – not the good of the country or the will of the people.

3. The 2016 referendum was not “democratic” in any liberal sense – given the misinformation that was rife at that time and since – and anyway, it was three years ago.
4. It risks destabilising Northern Ireland. This is unforgivable.
5. It will have serious consequences for the UK economy which will be even worse if we have a no deal – which definitely wasn’t what people voted for in 2016.

(Natalie Martin is a former BBC journalist and now Senior Lecturer in Politics and International Relations at Nottingham Trent University. Her PhD research was on European Security).

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Why do I support a peoples vote? Because I don’t believe in seeing my children’s rights and future being taken away by electoral fraud and outright lies

If we allow electoral fraud to be used to take away our rights without challenge then it becomes a legal precedent that can be used time and time again to remove any and all rights.

Which lost right is the final straw that makes the people say no, and realise it’s too late to stop that abuse?

The peoples vote allows the people of the UK to take a look at what is on the table after all negotiations and decide with full knowledge what they wish to accept, whether it is Deal, No Deal or Remain it will be their final say

Shaun Thornton

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Woke up to the news on Friday 24th June and felt like someone had died.  The referendum result was a complete shock. I cried.   Right then I promised myself the I wasn’t  going to let this happen.  I am European to my core.  Our nation has been enriched immeasurably, culturally, socially, economically and politically by being part of this wider community.  Having the freedom to work, live, love and travel in 27 other countries brings nothing but good.  And we are enriched by other europeans being able to come here to do the same.  3 years on from that awful day  I feel this even more strongly.  In all this time  nobody has been able to provide me with  one single  good reason for us to leave the EU.  We already have the best deal possible and this is to Remain.  I want the electorate to be able to confirm that the Brexit deal on offer is what they now want, or to vote to Remain.   That’s why I believe the only way out of this mess is the democratic way,  to have a People’s Vote.

Linda Walker
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Democracy didn’t stop on the day of the referendum. It’s like buying a house. The referendum was like putting in an offer. But once you’ve done that, you have to find out a lot more, get detailed survey work done, talk to the neighbours, properly investigate any problems you uncover. Only after that do you take a final decision. The people started this with the first referendum. In a sensible and mature democracy, the people should be able to have a final say and take a final decision.

Dominic Byrne

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In truth, I think we should never have got as far as needing a People’s Vote, for reasons we all know and in view of my first 6 points I feel that there would be enough evidence there to justify revoking Article 50.

  • Article 50 should not have been triggered in the first place.  The sensible course of action would have been to say “we are taking your advice and we will look into how leaving the EU could be done and ensure that it can be done efficiently”
  • The Referendum was meant to be advisory.
  • The result was too close to have been taken on board – rules in referendums usually require a much greater majority.
  • The Leave campaigners told many lies and deceived the general public.
  • Hard working tax payers were not allowed to vote (i.e. EU citizens who are working in this country and who will suffer if Brexit happens.
  • People who have worked all their lives, paid their taxes and made a contribution to this country during their working lives were not allowed to vote.  (My own brother-in-law has lived in Switzerland for nearly 40 years, but has continued to pay National Insurance in the UK until last year when he reached 65 (I know because I paid the last instalment for him due to the Swiss banks throwing a wobbler over the Brexit situation).
  • Those currently aged 18 to 21 were unable to vote and therefore should have a right to vote for their futures.
  • The Brexiters have not yet given a valid reason why we would better off outside the EU – that is because there isn’t one!
  • Many people who voted Leave did not realise that what they were “protesting” about was not the fault of the EU, but the fault of successive British Governments.
  • Brexit would make the things they were protesting worse, not better as Brexit has already cost the country a huge amount of money and would cost more.
  • Many people did not – and still do not understand that we have democratically voted in representatives in the EU Parliament and involved in the Council and Commission. 
  • We pay less than 1% of our income tax to the EU, yet people were brainwashed into thinking we pay huge amounts to the EU.  It’s an absolute bargain for all the benefits we get back.
  • EU grants for starting up small businesses, regenerating deprived areas and contributions to the Arts are amongst the huge advantages we have as part of the EU.
  • It is not UK versus the EU, not us and them, but all of us together.  We have a far greater proportion of MEP’s than most other countries in the EU, being equal third with Italy.  This is decided according to size of population.
  • It is not several countries against several other countries, the EU has right wing, left wing and middle international groups working together.
  • My links with Europe have shaped my life and made it so much more enriched than it would have been had I not had those links.
  • And the other reason that we cannot risk mentioning – it was a vote of hate against anyone who is not White British or in other cases not from a country which was part of the British Empire as it was not only White British who voted for Brexit.

Jill Mee,Dancing Teacher, Linguist. (European in my heart, DNA 73% British, 13% Irish)

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I am 62. My second vote in life was to vote in the 1975 Referendum to Remain in EEC, as it was then. I was so pleased to be joining Europe and over the years saw many new opportunities and changes for the better. I worked in training and organisational development. I saw first hand how many training grants were available through the EU and the various funding streams for regional development. I was aware of the increased business opportunities only made possible because of the single market and free movement. I knew ordinary people who could find jobs, clients and partners in the EU and made many friends amongst those who had moved here to work. It felt as if we were part of something really good that was working for people across so many countries.

I knew a few weeks before the vote in June 2016 that too many people had believed the lies. I will never accept a vote won on lies and deceit.

It is sad to watch the UK unravel in so many ways in the last 3 years. The increased racism, arrogance and selfishness is shameful. Meanwhile businesses and jobs move abroad or disappear. The lies continue and the liars are applauded by political parties, the media and some of the people. I am so ashamed to be British!

It is so important to continue campaigning “Let us be Heard” before the full impact of Brexit is felt. We have already lost so much but could lose everything if we don’t Stop Brexit before it happens.

Helen Rushby

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For me being a member of the European Union is vital. It is vital for our prosperity and security, both at a national and international level.

There are so many vital connections between our countries, cultural, scientific, linguistic. We share a common history.

This is one of the most important decisions; far too important to ignore half the population and be made in the interest of narrow personal and political gain.

The current conduct of many in Parliament is a travesty of democracy.

I feel that the votes of nearly half the country have been sidelined, ignored.

A People’s Vote would give an opportunity to rectify this.

Anne Clark
Retired Former teacher of English Language an Literature A level and supporter of European Liaison between Colleges.
Born in 1945 I grew up in the optimism which followed the war and the hope of peace which underpinned the working towards a united Europe.  It grieves me to see this so casually and thoughtlessly cast aside.
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