Newsletter - 25 January 2019
Dear Member or Supporter
Goodish news from LB Hackney. The Council has passed a resolution: "Hackney Council therefore supports the call on the Prime Minister and her Government to rule out a 'no deal Brexit' and be prepared to extend Article 50 to avoid the UK crashing out with 'no deal', and supports the right of Parliament to stop such a ‘no deal’ scenario. Hackney Council supports this action as a first credible step in achieving the call for a General Election or ensuring enough time is given for all options, including campaigning for a public or ‘people’s vote’, with a clear option to remain in the EU, on the table. Council believes this would resolve the current political deadlock and provide the democratic endorsement, or not, of a final deal." A general election cannot resolve Brexit. So the Council goes onto the silver section of our roll of honour. Congratulations to all members who campaigned to bring about this result.
In the City of Westminster, the Conservative majority on 23 January voted down a motion put down by two Labour councillors which called on the Council to declare that there should not be a No-deal Brexit; that there should be a general election; and either the new government elected in that general election or the present government if there is no general election should hold a referendum with the option to Remain. According to Labour Group leader Adam Hug the reason given by the Conservative group was that Brexit is not something the council should be talking about. Nonetheless thank you to all members who wrote to their councillors in support of the motion.
LB Sutton have published their agenda for 28 January. Regrettably, it does not contain a motion calling for a People's Vote. So the call by the controlling Liberal Democrat councillors for a People's Vote is likely to be as far as the Council goes.
Roll of Honour
There are 32 boroughs, plus the City, so 33 authorities. 14 - just under half - have already come out directly for a referendum (People's Vote), as have the Mayor and the London Assembly. They are listed in the Gold roll:
Gold: for local authorities that have come out for a People's Vote on any deal/ a bad deal and normally explicitly 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, LB Waltham Forest, LB Hounslow*, RB Greenwich*, LB Camden, RB Kingston-upon-Thames, LB Redbridge, LB Brent
* Explicit Remain option not formally part of resolution
Silver: For the local authorities that have come out for all options to be on the table including a public vote if there is no general election. Remain should be an option in that public vote: LB Southwark, LB Islington, LB Hackney.
Bronze: For the local authority that has come out for all options to be on the table including a public vote if there is no general election and with no commitment to Remain being an option: LB Haringey
Campaigns in the Boroughs
Please write to your councillors (model letter in the blog) in these Boroughs. (All boroughs voted Remain in 2016 except where stated; dates of full council meetings to March 2019):
- Conservative controlled: Hillingdon (Voted Leave in 2016, now Remain*; Council meeting 21 February), Kensington & Chelsea (Council meeting 6 March) and Wandsworth (Council meetings 6 February, 6 March)
- Labour controlled: Barking & Dagenham (voted Leave 2016; now probably Remain*; Assembly meeting 30 January (no Brexit motion on agenda), 27 February), Croydon (Council meetings 28 January (no Brexit motion on agenda), 4 March), Enfield (Council meetings 30 January (no Brexit motion on agenda), 27 February), Harrow (28 February), Newham (Council meeting 18 February, 18 March; write to the directly elected mayor as well as your councillors).
- Liberal Democrat Controlled: Sutton (Meetings 28 January (no Brexit motion on agenda) and 25 February; controlling Liberal Democrat group have called for a People's Vote, but no motion has been put to the Council).
- No overall control (Conservatives largest group): Havering (Voted Leave in 2016, still Leave*; Council meetings 27 February, 20 March)
* Assessment of present status is based on Survation's borough level analysis of polling, November 2018 and more background here
How to Campaign
- write to your ward councillors (model letter in the blog), the leader of the council and the leaders of the Green, Labour and Liberal Democrat groups
- write to your local newspaper - an under-utilised resource - you can take inspiration from the model letter to councillors in the blog (please send us links to your published letters)
- if your MP is a supporter of the People's Vote ask her/ him to call on the Council to come out for a People's Vote
- ask your friends and neighbours to follow steps 1 - 3
- tell us what you are doing and the progress made, e.g. commitments to table motions - E-mail: [email protected]
You can then take your campaign to a higher level in your Borough with these steps:
- get involved with your local EM branch
- contact other Remain groups in the borough and ask them to mobilise their members
- meet your councillors, the leader of the council/ directly elected mayor (Newham) and the leaders of the Green, Labour and Liberal Democrat groups
- ask a public question at a Council meeting - they will have a guide on their democracy pages
- launch a formal petition to the Council - they will have a guide on their democracy pages
- street campaigning with your EM local branch or other Remain organisation
And afterwards, please remember your thank-you and follow-through letters to councillors and in the local press.
The contents of this newsletter reflect the views of the author and not necessarily of London4Europe