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Write to your MP
22 Oct, 2018

Call for a People’s Vote

Follow up the great march for a People’s Vote on 20 October. Write to your MP to call for a Peoples’ Vote – a referendum on the terms of Brexit with the option to Remain. Here is a model letter to get you started written by Michael Romberg – a member of the Committee of London4Europe.

 

The best thing to do is to see your MP. Make an appointment and meet them. Face-to-face is much the most effective means of communication. Only if you are certain that your MP is backing a People’s Vote would that be unnecessary. You can find contact details for your MP here.

But do please write to your MP. Sure, most letters will be read only by a staffer. But a half-way efficient office should at least count them. So at the minimum your letter shows them that we are still here. You might even get a reply.

If your MP is a Liberal Democrat or a known firm supporter of the People’s Vote your letter can be short – telling them that you support their stance.

The model letter below is for use with most Conservative and Labour MPs.

At the start is a core element for all Conservative and Labour MPs. Then there are short separate sections that you can add in for different sorts of MP (Labour, Conservatives). The letter is aimed at a wavering Labour MP and a Conservative who is not a wild Brexiter. If your MP is in different place then you will wish to adapt the letter.

So, the model letter is just a start. The more you can personalise it or just use it as an inspiration to write your own letter the better.

If your constituency voted Leave in 2016 you can check here whether it is now likely to be for Remain in the polls.

If you are writing soon after the 20 October People’s Vote march you may wish to refer to the news reports of turnout, certainly in the hundreds of thousands with the organisers estimating over 600,000.

Find your MP’s e-mail address by entering your postcode here.

 

 

MODEL LETTER: CORE PARAGRAPHS

 

Dear

PEOPLE’S VOTE

I urge you to support the People’s Vote – a referendum on the terms of Brexit with the option to Remain in the EU. A vote on an idea does not commit us to follow whatever plan is later produced. Having started with a referendum, only another referendum has the political authority to confirm or change course.

The Need for a Referendum on the Terms of Brexit

MPs will make an independent judgement on the merits of the Brexit deal when they vote on the terms of the withdrawal agreement and the Framework Future Relations with the EU.

They will also have to pay regard to the June 2016 referendum result. But referendum votes were cast without knowing what Brexit meant. Therefore the 2016 result will be a poor quality guide to MPs of what the public think at the end of the process.

No plausible deal with the EU comes anywhere near the promises made in the Leave campaign or in the 2017 election campaign. No-deal is even further away.

A referendum on the plan would be standard project management practice. No-one takes a project from idea to implementation without a review of the project once there is a definite plan whose benefits, costs and risks can be properly assessed. In the context of Brexit, that project review relates to the terms of Brexit agreed with the EU (or to a no-deal Brexit).

Since we started the process with a referendum then as a matter of political legitimacy it must be for the electorate as a whole to say whether the project should go ahead or not once the terms are known.

What the public think

Opinion polls tell us that the country is still divided half and half on whether Brexit is a good idea, though Remain is now shown consistently as the larger half. Staying in the EU is of course more popular amongst younger voters who will live longest with the consequences of the decision.

We can assume that the call for a rethink will rise substantially when the Brexit negotiations are ended and for the first time we know what Brexit actually means. While some Leave voters will be happy with the outcome, others will not wish to pay the price or will think that it is not the version of Brexit that they voted for. MPs should now anticipate the demand for a rethink that will arise then. Otherwise, Parliament and its Members risk being behind the curve.

What happens in Parliament

It does not look as though there will be any particular form of Brexit that would obtain a majority of MPs exercising their judgement of what is best for Britain. Theresa May’s claim that the only choice is her deal or no deal is false. Parliament has the power to choose another option.

I urge you to choose to establish what people think when they know the facts. Ask them in a referendum – a People’s Vote with the option to Remain.

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

{Give your full name and street address so that the MP knows that you are a constituent. If you are a party member it is probably worth saying so.} 

 

 

MODEL LETTER: PARAGRAPHS FOR PARTICULAR MPs

Labour

A Peoples’ Vote would be good for the Labour Party

A general election cannot resolve Brexit. Both the main parties are divided on Brexit. The problem with Brexit is Brexit itself, not just Theresa May’s handling of it. If Labour formed the government, the same tensions that are tearing the Conservatives apart would flame up in Labour as the desire amongst some for Brexit met the opposition of others and the intractable facts of what deals the EU can offer and the economic and social consequences of Brexit.

For Labour, a further advantage to a referendum on the terms is that it would support party unity. As in 1975, it would allow the party to rise above its divisions and electoral concerns. The reason that using a referendum to overcome party problems has not worked for the Conservatives is that Brexit is still a live issue. The referendum on the terms should settle the question, as it did in 1975.

And it would be popular with Labour voters. Professor John Curtice’s analysis (Is Labour’s Brexit dilemma being misunderstood? 12 February 2017) has shown that even in Leave constituencies Labour supporters voted Remain. In opinion polls they are firm for wanting a further vote. So the Party’s current pro-Brexit stance is opposed by Labour party supporters and voters across the whole country.

 

Conservative

Country or party?

At present, the Government risks taking us out of the EU without the full-hearted consent of the British people. That would of course have serious consequences not just for the country but also for any political party that supported Brexit against the wishes of the majority.

You will also recall Winston Churchill’s dictum: “The first duty of a member of Parliament is to do what he thinks in his faithful and disinterested judgement is right and necessary for the honour and safety of Great Britain. His second duty is to his constituents, of whom he is the representative but not the delegate.” Party came third.