Newsletter 19 October
Dear Member or Supporter
Roll of Honour - Gold: for local authorities that have come out for a People's Vote on any deal/ a bad deal and with a Remain option: LB Hammersmith & Fulham, LB Ealing (position re-affirmed by the leader after the local elections), London Assembly, LB Richmond upon Thames, LB Merton, Mayor of London, LB Tower Hamlets, LB Lewisham, LB Lambeth
Bronze: For local authorities that have come out for options including a People's Vote if there is no general election and with no commitment to Remain being an option: LB Haringey
The first bit of good news is that LB Lewisham on 3 October resolved "To write to the Government urging it to put the terms of any Brexit deal to the people of the UK by way of a referendum with an option to remain full members of the EU." Moreover, the Council noted that "Lewisham Labour Group will In the event of a referendum being called it will campaign for a “Remain” vote and will write to the Labour Party NEC asking that the Labour Party nationally campaign for a “Remain” vote.". That is a terrific outcome not only in the call for a referendum but also on the position the Labour Party should adopt. Gold section of the Roll of Honour. Congratulations to all Lewisham EM members who helped to bring about this good result.
More good news: LB Lambeth on 10 October passed a resolution calling for a people's vote and joins the Roll of Honour. The motion has no precondition and includes the Remain option: "Support the campaign for a People’s vote on the terms of the UK’s exit from the European Union... To call on the government to ... give the British people a vote on whatever deal is finally negotiated alongside the opportunity for a vote on keeping the many benefits Britons currently enjoy by staying in the European Union". The motion explicitly congratulates Mayor Sadiq Khan for backing a public vote. It follows an earlier resolution by Lambeth Labour party to submit a motion to the Labour party conference calling for a people's vote. Congratulations to all London4Europe members in Lambeth who wrote to and met their councillors and boosted public support in order to press for the resolution. This campaigning makes a real difference.
On 11 October, LB Haringey passed a resolution "To support the call for a general election should Parliament vote down a Brexit deal or talks end with a no deal, and if this is not possible, to keep all options on the table, including campaigning for a public vote". That is a long way short of what we would like: it is contingent on there not being a general election and does not say that Remain should be an option. The ruling Labour group voted down the Liberal Democrat motion and substituted its own, in line with Labour's national policy. But still the resolution is better than nothing and this Borough also joins our roll of honour, though in the bronze category. Congratulations to all our members who campaigned for a people's vote and managed to get this much progress.
We are waiting to hear what happened at yesterday's Council meeting at LB Waltham Forest. The motion for debate was "This Council calls on the Government to: Give the British people a vote on whatever deal is negotiated, which includes an option to remain in the European Union. The public should be given a final say on the most important decision to affect this country in decades, in full knowledge of the facts.".
Please support the live Campaigns
Do you live in LB Camden (Keir Starmer's borough)? The recent Council meeting ran out of time before it could discuss the Brexit resolutions. We hope that the next meeting on 12 November will do so. That provides time for you to write to your councillor to get them to back a motion calling simply for a referendum with the option to Remain, rather than Labour's preferred alternative of a general election with a referendum only as a fallback. L4E Committee Member Michael Romberg's letters were published in the Hampstead and Highgate News and the Camden New Journal.
Please write to your councillors in LB Barnet (Conservative-controlled, but Labour group have put down pro-Remain motion for full council 30 October and hope to persuade some anti-Brexit Conservatives), LB Hounslow (debate in full council on 30 October), LB Redbridge (Labour group considering its position before Council on 22 November), Brent (Labour Group considering which motions to discuss at 26 November council), LB Southwark (hopes for a debate in full council on 28 November) where there are live campaigns; and LB Islington (especially Islington! - where members are launching a second attempt to persuade the ruling Labour group to come out for a People's Vote).
You can launch a campaign in your Borough in four simple steps
As far as we know the following Labour & Liberal Democrat controlled Boroughs have not yet backed the People's Vote and there is no active campaign for them to do so. London4Europe have written to the Green, Labour and Liberal Democrat group leaders/ directly elected Mayors in each to ask them for their position, which may trigger some action. But it is what their constituents think that really matters to councillors. So if you live in these Boroughs, you can make a real difference:
- Liberal Democrat controlled: Kingston upon Thames, Sutton (voted Leave 2016; opinion polls suggest now Remain)
- Labour controlled: Barking & Dagenham (voted Leave 2016; opinion polls suggest now unclear), Croydon, Enfield, Greenwich, Hackney, Harrow (ruling Labour group have no plan for a motion), Newham
Four easy actions that you can take are:
- write to your ward councillors, the leader of the council/ directly elected Mayor and the leaders of the Labour, Liberal Democrat and Green groups
- write to your local newspaper - an under-utilised resource - you can take inspiration from the letter in the blog and from published letters - see the Camden paragraph above - (please send us links to published letters)
- ask your friends and neighbours to follow steps 1 & 2
- tell us what you are doing and progress, e.g. commitments to table motions - E-mail: London@euromove.org.uk
Mayor Sadiq Khan's call for a public vote on the terms with the option to Remain and with no precondition (such as an attempt to call a general election) should be a boost to your local campaign.