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Do we wish to win the next referendum?
08 Oct, 2018

Letter in the New European


The New European 4-10 October 2018 published a shortened version of a letter from London4Europe Committee Member Michael Romberg. The letter is a call to do better than 1975's 67R:33L. That means persuading six million 2016 Leave voters to vote Remain with enthusiasm. We must not let trying to obtain the referendum crowd out building the policies and the campaign needed to win it. We have too little time anyway. Showing what Remain could do would strengthen calls for a referendum. So Remain organisations need visibly to get on with the referendum campaign itself.

The text as published reads:

Do we wish to win the next referendum? Because we show no sign of it. Too many of us are hoping to scrape over 50%. But increasing student turnout is not the answer. Our aim must be to heal the country and settle the question.

The harms of Brexit will not do it - voters will blame the EU. The economic case is no more likely to land with the electorate than it did in 2016. Showing the emptiness of Brexiters' claims will be dismissed as lack of courage and vision. So what might work?

First, we can make the positive case for the EU. Pooling sovereignty is much better than taking back control at obtaining for us what we want: more protection for workers and the environment when we know we will not be undercut by other countries. 

Second, we heard you. We really did. The 2016 vote showed a much deeper level of unhappiness with the way society works than most of us realised. Only some of that was down to the EU. Most of it was UK-driven.

Our role as campaigners is to explain how much easier it would be to address the grievances in this country if we stayed. There would be more government time and capacity, more money, the chance for joint action across the EU.




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