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Indexed list of Remain blogs
18 Jul, 2019

Lines for campaigners

Our blogs are intended to provide campaigners with arguments that we can use when talking about the Remain cause with uncommitted voters. This is an indexed list of blogs under various headings. A companion index covers the blogs from London4Europe and certain other bodies that deal with the case for the referendum itself and how it should be conducted.

Some of the older blogs have elements that are lightly out of date - the introduction will have comments on Theresa May as Prime Minister, say; we have kept them in this index because their core message is still relevant. Some data will not be quite the latest. Occasionally some of the arguments have been overtaken by later events - for example  after the 2019 European Parliament elections the Spitzenkandidat system was not used to fill top EU jobs. So please use especially older material with discretion.

We also have a section of Campaigners' Briefs which reduce material to two page notes of points to make and answers to questions you may be asked - useful for preparing yourself when you go out canvassing, on a street stall or just for any conversation with a Leaver. 

We welcome contributions for new blogs and other campaign materials - please send them for consideration to:    london@euromove.org.uk.

We would also welcome feedback on how to make this index more user-friendly.

 

** Updated 23 August 2019 **

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

A: THE OVERALL CASE FOR REMAIN

B: PEACE AND THE ORIGINS OF THE EU

C: EUROPEAN STRUCTURES

C1: Democracy - how the EU works

C2: EU agencies

C3: The UK's net contribution to the EU

C4: Euromyths

C5: Facts

C6: The Council of Europe (not an EU body)

D: SOVEREIGNTY, IDENTITY, FREEDOM OF MOVEMENT, IMMIGRATION

D1: Sovereignty

D2: European identity and shared history

D3: Freedom of Movement and Immigration

D4: Human rights

E: ECONOMY, TRADE, EMPLOYMENT

E1: Economy

E2: The Single Market

E3: Trade outside the EU

E4: A customs union with the EU

E5: Business

E6: Employment, unemployment, skills, labour  markets

F: SOCIAL POLICY

F1: Healthcare

G: ENVIRONMENT, FOOD, AGRICULTURE, ANIMAL WELFARE

G1: Environment

G2: Food, agriculture and fishing

G3: Animal Welfare

H: UK POLITICS

H1: UK Politics

H2: Labour Party

H3: Northern Ireland and the backstop

H4: Scotland

I: LEAVERS AND BREXIT OPTIONS

I1: Leavers

I2: Benefits of Brexit

I3: Brexit process

I4: The Withdrawal Agreement

I5: How to make the discussion of Brexit go away

I6: The Norway/ EEA option

I7: No-Deal Brexit

J: CAMPAIGNING

J1: How to campaign - messages

J2: Underlying discontents in the UK that laid ground for Leave vote

J3: Remain and Reform the EU

J4: How to campaign - ethics

J5: How to campaign - techniques & materials

 


 

A: THE OVERALL CASE FOR REMAIN

Why the UK should be a member of the EU

A compendium of notes and quotes including the harms of Brexit

March 2016 speech by then L4E Chair Nick Hopkinson on the overall case for Remain

Why Leave? A look at the benefits we derive from EU membership

Five top reasons for staying in the EU

A Paean to Europe

It's exciting to be a European

The EU is not "a necessary evil": the positive case for membership from a speech by Tom Watson MP (Labour)

6 Simple thoughts to hold on to during the Remain March (March for Change - 20 July 2019)

 

 

B: PEACE AND THE ORIGINS OF THE EU

The EU has taken Europe from two world wars to lasting peace

The EU has transformed relations between member states to peaceful co-operation. UK/ Irish relations a specific beneficiary.

Peace was the original impetus for the EU; free trade is not enough to preserve peace

We always knew we were joining a community, not just a common market

Britain's history means that we fail to understand that the EU is about peace, not trade

What's wrong with Brexit is that it is just nationalism

War is a waste of young lives - the EU brings peace

Remembering Pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a member of the German resistance

English exceptionalism draws the wrong lessons from D-Day. It was the failure to create an EU after WWI that led to WWII. 

 

 

C: EUROPEAN STRUCTURES

C1: Democracy - how the EU works

The EU is democratic, both as regards individuals and as regards states

Applying Tony Benn's "five questions to ask the powerful" to the EU

Leavers say "the EU always re-runs referenda until it gets the right answer"

Leavers say "the EU always disregards referenda with which it disagrees - look at Greece"

Good information to drive out misinformation about the EU

 

C2: EU agencies

A list of EU agencies and how they affect our lives for the better

Importance of the European Food Safety Authority

What we lost from the departure of the European Medicines Agency

EU agencies we have lost from the UK

 

C3: The UK's net contribution to the EU

Cheap at twice the price: look at what it costs per day

"£350m for the NHS" was a trap for us. Let's not fall into it again

 

C4: Euromyths

We could just change the colour of the passport - without leaving the EU

 

C5: Facts

EU & UK factsheet: population, budget, economy & more

 

C6: The Council of Europe (not an EU body)

A celebration of the body that is the guardian of the European Convention on Human Rights

 

 

D: SOVEREIGNTY, IDENTITY, FREEDOM OF MOVEMENT, IMMIGRATION

D1: Sovereignty

The few arguments for Brexit and the better arguments for pooling our sovereignty in the EU

Does EU membership enhance or reduce sovereignty? Yes 

What happens when countries pool sovereignty

What Leavers mean by sovereignty - our counter-arguments

A European army? Not anytime soon

 

D2: European identity and shared history

A visit to the House of European History in Brussels

Dreams of British exceptionalism underpin Brexit

England-alone fantasies underpin Brexit - we should talk about Britain in the world

 

D3: Freedom of Movement and Immigration

Leavers are reassured if we say that immigrants assimilate; emphasising diversity makes them nervous

Loss of wages due to immigration exists - but is dwarfed by other effects

Immigrants bring money to local public services because many including schools, GPs are funded per capita

Immigrants pay for your pension

The emergency brake in the EEA treaties is of little use

Cooking curry is a skill, not a genetic trait. This blog looks a the different messages the Leave campaign used in 2016 including fear of Islam

How bigots are treating EU27 citizens and spoiling Britain

EU27 citizens in the UK have been distressed by Brexit

 

D4: Human rights

Brexit would harm efforts against Female Genital Mutilation

 

E: ECONOMY, TRADE, EMPLOYMENT

E1: Economy

Most economists think that Brexit will make us worse off - here's why

Leavers say the short term forecasts of the effect of the vote were wrong, so the long-term forecasts can be disregarded. We explain the issues

John van Reenen's 2016 Massachusetts Institute of Technology paper on the long run effects of Brexit

Leavers say "We'll be alright - we are the 5th biggest economy"; see what happens when you look at GDP per capita

Leavers say: "We'll be alright - we are the 6th biggest economy" - but our 3% of world GDP is small compared with the 57% of USA, EU27 & China

 

E2: The Single Market

Why it is good that there is an EU law on bendy bananas

The single market enables British jobs - Brexit harms them

The Grenfell Tower fire should lead to a re-think of the lazy assumption that all regulation is bad - and that the EU must be bad because it issues regulations.

 

E3: Trade outside the EU

Trading on WTO rules - misguided ideas debunked

Germany exports more than we do. So why do we have to leave the EU to boost exports?

The EU is not protectionist

The hollow claims of Global Britain

Imposing tariffs will not lead to a tax bonanza

Border controls will not be ready for Brexit - criminals will benefit

A German manufacturer works with China. So why do we need to leave the EU in order to trade?

European Commission launches online tool to measure how well Europe and Asia are connected

Some advantages and many disadvantages from Brexit for trade negotiations

Low prospects of good trade deals with China and the USA

 

E4: A customs union with the EU

A customs union would not solve our need for friction-free trade and would bring problems of its own

A customs union with the EU would still be a hard Brexit

Frictionless trade needs membership of both the single market and the customs union

 

E5: Business

The EU's REACH directive is good for health, the environment and for business

Pharmaceuticals industry opposed to Brexit

Brexit and Cyberattacks seen as biggest threats to business

EU27 countries winning business because of Brexit

Philips expects Brexit to affect UK manufacturing

What would our industrial strategy be after Brexit? The Government is doing little to prepare for the huge shifts implied.

Brexit threat to air services and Open Skies

Brexit puts the UK's involvement in smart green technology at risk

 

E6: Employment, unemployment, skills, labour  markets

Brexit effects on unemployment by constituency

Science skills gaps after Brexit

Engineering Employers Federation calls for skills boost to close productivity gap

Wealthier EU27 citizens leaving the UK

The UK is just average on youth unemployment/ Not true that half of Spain's young people are unemployed

 

 

F: SOCIAL POLICY

F1: Healthcare

Risk of reduced access to healthcare when abroad after Brexit

Reflections on the benefits of the EU prompted by using the EHIC when abroad

 

 

G: ENVIRONMENT, FOOD, AGRICULTURE, ANIMAL WELFARE

G1: Environment

Better to work with EU member states to protect the environment - ask the dolphins

EU funding helps to map bumblebees and hopes to address risks to crop pollination

 

G2: Food, agriculture and fishing

Brexit could undermine EU protective rules for food safety

Should cattle be de-horned? A Swiss referendum story

 

G3: Animal Welfare

Overblown claims about higher animal welfare after Brexit

 

 

H: UK POLITICS

H1: UK Politics

Bar chart of MPs' declared referendum stance 2016

 

H2: Labour Party

Jeremy Corbyn's Brexit plan is similar to Theresa May's. Speeches from spring 2018

Jeremy Corbyn's Brexit plan is based on fantasies

Jeremy Corbyn & Theresa May want the same Brexit

Jeremy Corbyn commits Labour to back Remain - but only against the Government's Brexit. He still prefers his own Brexit.

 

H3: Northern Ireland and the backstop

The intractable problem that Brexit raises on the Irish border 

Does the Irish border problem prevent Brexit?

What does the Irish backstop really rule out

 

H4: Scotland

Billy Connolly thinks that Brexit will push Scotland towards independence in Europe

 

 

I: LEAVERS AND BREXIT OPTIONS

I1: Leavers

We misread Leavers - their main concern is sovereignty, with immigration in second place; so that's what we have to talk about. Linked to that we can show how all the political parties have proposals to enable people to "take back control" that will work better than Brexit.

We have to talk to Leavers about sovereignty - it's what matters to them

An overview of the messages we could use to address Leavers' concerns

A viewing of the film Brexitannia reminds us that for Leavers sovereignty is the key issue

Claims from Leave Means Leave - and counter-arguments

What Leavers mean by sovereignty - our counter-arguments

Leave voters vary in how much they would be willing to pay for what they see as the benefits of Brexit

 

I2: Benefits of Brexit

Leaving is not the only way to obtain them - here reducing protection for newts

 

I3: Brexit process

The EU has not been punishing the UK

Ignore the problems of the Government's deal - focus on Brexit - Chair's newsletter

 

I4: The Withdrawal Agreement

What's wrong with the Government's deal - an analysis of Theresa May's '40 reasons to back the deal'

The Withdrawal Agreement is fine - it's Brexit that is no good

Paying our bills (the "divorce settlement")  and why it's wrong to call it a divorce settlement

 

I5: How to make the discussion of Brexit go away

Chair's newsletter argues that a referendum is better at making the need to talk about Brexit go away than Brexit would be

Only a decision to Remain can make the Brexit debate stop

Jeremy Corbyn wishes that Brexit would go away; it won't if we do it

The Conservatives believe that if Brexit happens, it will go away as an issue. That is a delusion

 

I6: The Norway/ EEA option

What's wrong with the Norway options

 

I7: No-Deal Brexit

Arguments against No-Deal: long term relationship damage and lack of democratic legitimacy

Only a few think that "No-Deal" means "Remain"

From where did the idea of No-Deal come?

 

 

J: CAMPAIGNING

J1: How to campaign - messages

Questions to ask Leavers: so how does that Brexit of yours work?

"£350m for the NHS" was a trap for us. Let's not fall into it again

A collection of useful quotes from Churchilll, Burke, Thatcher and many more

The issues that might make voters change their minds - research from August 2018

What we should say to Leavers given their disappointment with the deal brought back from the EU negotiations

Campaigning themes

Identity matters more than economics

We need to make an emotional appeal to Leave voters

We need to have a small number of consistent messages on the themes of sovereignty, democracy, community, identity - so here are suggestions for the key messages to transmit; but not all our messages land, so here are some messages to avoid.

Remainers' fantasies: ideas some of us hold that are harmful to our campaign

Because Leavers' views are also valid, we need to make the positive case for the EU

Views are entrenched. So we have to make our case positively on areas that matter to all of us: identity, freedom of movement, hope

 

J2: Underlying discontents in the UK that laid ground for Leave vote

Austerity was the source of problems with wages and public services, not EU immigration

The vote was to Leave - it was not an anti-austerity protest

How politicians can work across party boundaries to support Remain but offer distinct solutions to the UK's underlying problems

We will not return to how things were. Nor will addressing domestic issues under politics as usual work, since it was for Leave that people voted

 

J3: Remain and Reform the EU

Let's not make promises that we cannot deliver on

 

J4: How to campaign - ethics

Referendum Campaign Pledge of good conduct

We'll have to keep campaigning after the referendum - so we will be around to answer for our promises - that should help to keep us on the straight and narrow path.

 

J5: How to campaign - techniques & materials

Sign-up sheets to bring in new members

Listen to their concerns, find common ground, work out their personal hopes for Brexit, leave them with questions

 

 

 

 

 

 

The articles listed on this page reflect the views of their authors and not necessarily of London4Europe