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Write to your Labour Councillor
28 Jun, 2018

To call for a people’s vote on the terms

London4Europe Committee member Michael Romberg writes: this is the first in a series of three sets of letters that I suggest you write. Later letters will be to Mayor Sadiq Khan asking him to come out firmly for the people’s vote; and finally to all councillors encouraging the Council formally to call for a people’s vote.

In December 2017, a number of South London Labour councillors wrote to Keir Starmer urging the Labour party to “offer the electorate the opportunity to say whether leaving the EU is really in the best interests of the country.” The letter left open the mechanism by which that would be done. You can read the letter here.

Now that the May 2018 local government elections have voted in a new set of councillors we should encourage Labour councillors to write again. You do not need to be a Labour Party member or supporter to write to your councillor. This draft is for anyone whose ward councillor is Labour. In addition to your ward councillors it would be worth writing to the leader of your Borough’s Labour group. I would also ask you to write to your Greater London Assembly member, if s/he is Labour, to the London-wide GLA London Assembly Labour members, and to the Leader of the Labour group on the London Assembly.

A draft letter is below. The more you can personalise it to reflect your own views and circumstances the better. You will wish to check whether your councillor signed the December letter and if so reflect that in your letter. If you know your councillor’s stance on Brexit or a people’s vote on the terms you can tailor the letter to that. If you are a Labour member or voter it would be worth mentioning that. The model letter will need a bit of adapting for the GLA London Assembly.

You should be able to find your councillors by googling your council’s name and “Councillors”. You can find your GLA member here. The London Assembly also has some London-wide Labour members:

Tom Copley: tom.copley@london.gov.uk

Nicky Gavron: nicky.gavron@london.gov.uk

Fiona Twycross: fiona.twycross@london.gov.uk

 

The Leader of the Labour Group on the GLA is: Len Duvall

len.duvall@london.gov.uk

 

None of these four individuals signed the December letter.

 

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MODEL LETTER – PLEASE ADAPT

 

Dear Councillor

One of the key issues for your constituents in London is Brexit. While the Labour Party’s results in the recent Borough elections were positive, they were still well below expectations of what could be achieved when the national Conservative government was in such disarray on Brexit. That was particularly the case in London. There was widespread disappointment amongst the Remain voting electorate with the stance on Brexit taken by Labour Party’s leadership.

In December 2017 a group of Labour Councillors wrote to Keir Starmer calling on him to offer the electorate the chance to say whether leaving the EU was really in the best interests of the country. That advice was not taken at that time. The effect of that decision could be seen in the local government poll result.

I ask therefore that you and other Labour Party councillors across London now get together to write collectively and publicly to Jeremy Corbyn, Keir Starmer and Sadiq Khan calling on them to back the campaign for a vote on the terms of any Brexit deal with the option to Remain – a People’s Vote. You will be aware of the campaign for it launched by Chuka Umunna MP and others. More information is at www.peoples-vote.uk.

The reasons for calling for a vote on the terms are simple. In 2016, the Leave campaign had no agreed plan. 2016 was a referendum on an idea. You would not expect the Council to take a project from idea to implementation without a review of the project plan. Brexit is no different.

A vote on the terms would not be a re-run of 2016. Rather it would be the first time the electorate could choose between two concrete options: the EU as it is, and Brexit as defined by the Withdrawal Agreement and the Framework of Future Relations.

Giving that choice to the same electorate as made the 2016 decision would be honourable and transparent.

Moreover, we have all learned so much since 2016 about the EU, the UK’s relationship with the EU and what Brexit would mean. So the electorate would be much better equipped to make a decision.

We have watched the Brexit-supporters’ promises evaporate. We have seen the Government struggle to come up with a plausible plan. We know now that unless the Government does a spectacular U-Turn they will fail to meet at least one of Keir Starmer’s tests for a successful Brexit: “Does it deliver the ‘exact same benefits’ as we currently have as members of the Single Market and Customs Union?”.

Therefore there should be a People’s Vote on the terms of the deal with the option to Remain giving the electorate the final say on Brexit.

I am pleased to see Sir Keir Starmer recently did not rule out the possibility of Labour supporting a People’s Vote. However, I ask that as my Councillor you write to the Labour Party leadership calling on them to support wholeheartedly a vote on the terms of Brexit with the option to Remain.

Yours sincerely

 

 

{Give your name and street address so that they know you live in the Borough/ Ward/ London Assembly constituency}

 

 

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