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Write to your Labour MP
04 Jan, 2019

Back a referendum once the deal has been voted down

London4Europe Committee member Michael Romberg provides a model letter with additional material from Vice-Chair Nick Hopkinson

If you do just one thing to Stop Brexit, please write (even if again) to your MP in the run-up to the Meaningful Vote. We assume, but cannot be sure, May’s miserable deal will be voted down. If Jeremy Corbyn then calls a vote of no confidence the Parliamentary arithmetic suggests that too would be voted down – so no general election. If all that comes to pass as expected, MPs who have loyally backed Jeremy Corbyn’s pro-Brexit/ pro-general-election stance will need to make up their own minds what comes next. That is our opportunity. The ways to influence them are outlined here.

For an MP who is already committed to a people’s vote you can write more briefly, making clear that you support their position and focussing on why a general election is not a solution.

The model letter is therefore designed for party loyalists and for Remainers who have not yet come out for a referendum. It contains some core paragraphs designed to make the case for a referendum. It also explains why a general election will not work and why Jeremy’s Better Brexit is not worth promoting.

It also has some optional text depending on your MP’s stance and the position of their constituency. You can find out some useful information on where your MP stands here.

You can also get an idea of their voting record by clicking here.

The more you can personalise your letter the better. The contact details of your MP can be found by entering your postcode here.

Or you can look them up on the Parliament website, which has further useful material about each MP.

If you can manage to get in to see your MP in person – that would be even better.

 

 

Articles on this page reflect the views of the author and not necessarily of London4Europe

 

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MODEL LETTER

Dear

It is widely expected that Theresa May’s unloved Brexit deal will be defeated in the House of Commons later this month. You will then need to decide what is best for our country. I ask you to back a public vote, a referendum on the terms of Brexit with the option to Remain (People’s Vote).

The case for a referendum is clear. In 2016, the Leave campaign did not have a plan. Now there is a plan but it is not likely to obtain the overwhelming support of the House of Commons. Nor would any other plan under discussion: not leaving without a deal, not a Canada FTA, not Norway Plus, not Jeremy Corbyn’s. No plan will match the conflicting promises made by Leave campaigners in 2016.

So the same electorate which mandated the launch of the process should consider whether it is happy with the Brexit deal achieved and decide what happens next. A referendum in 2019 would ask a different question from 2016; it would not be a re-run. We now all know so much more than we did in 2016. Electors could either give an informed consent to a Brexit plan; or they could decide to stay in the EU.

A general election will not resolve Brexit. General elections answer the question “Who should form the government?”. They do not answer single-policy questions. That is what a referendum does.  Moreover the Labour party is just as divided on Brexit as the Conservatives are. If Labour won a pre-Brexit general election and actually had to implement Brexit it would tear itself apart in the process just as the Conservatives are doing now. As in 1975, a referendum would avert a party crisis (that did not work for the Conservatives because Brexit is still live; the 2019 referendum would settle the question).

If Jeremy Corbyn does not call a no-confidence motion after the defeat of the Government’s Brexit plan the Parliamentary party must recognise that – in the words of the 2018 Conference resolution – “we cannot get a general election”. It follows that the party must move to consider “all options …, including campaigning for a public vote”

Nor would Jeremy Corbyn’s Brexit proposal be a solution. A Customs Union where we would have a say over what the EU did and the freedom to write our own trade deals is unlikely to be accepted by the EU. Nor will he obtain the exact same benefits as single market membership while refusing freedom of movement and rejection of state aids rules; the EU has shown itself firm against cherry-picking. After collision with the reality of negotiations, his deal would look much like Theresa May’s – just acknowledging the probability that there is no solution to the Irish border which does not involve a customs union. Jeremy Corbyn’s Brexit would fail Labour’s six tests.

Labour is an internationalist party. Nothing in the Labour party’s history or programme suggests that it needs to leave the EU in order to promote the well-being of its voters. The Labour-voting electorate want Swedish welfare, French healthcare, German training programmes and co-determination, Dutch care of left-behind communities. Railways and utilities are in state hands in many EU countries; state aids are much higher in some EU countries than here. Any Party programme that did require EU exit is unlikely to command popular support.

Opinion polls show that the national mood has now clearly moved to Remaining in the EU.You will no doubt have seen the most recent November polling from Best for Britain which shows   INSERT NUMBER HERE  % support in your constituency for Remain and  INSERT NUMBER HERE    % support for a People's Vote.

[IF TRUE: Your constituency voted Remain in 2016  *OR*   IF TRUE Your constituency voted Leave in 2016 but opinion polls suggest that it has moved to Remain.   IF TRUE: The local borough council has called for a People’s Vote. So a decision to give people the chance to vote in a referendum would be popular with your constituents.]

I ask that in the Parliamentary votes you support a People’s Vote – a referendum on the terms with the option to Remain.

Yours sincerely

 

 

 

{Give your full name and street address so that they know that you live in the constituency. If you don’t live there but for example run a business there then explain your connexion.}