London4Europe campaigns to keep the UK in the EU
Richard Newcombe was elected Chair of London4Europe in February 2018. He sets out the purpose of our organisation as we enter the next critical phase of the process to decide whether we will Remain in or Leave the EU.
We recognise the validity of the 2016 referendum as far as it goes. The Government has a democratic mandate to pursue Brexit. But Leave had no agreed plan or manifesto. No-one takes a project from idea to implementation without a review of the plan. So the mandate expires when there is a plan – when the terms of Brexit have been agreed with our most important single partner, the EU. There should then be a decision on whether to go ahead with Brexit on the basis of that plan, or whether to Remain in the EU.
London4Europe believes that the process with the greatest democratic legitimacy for taking that decision is a people’s vote on the terms of any deal (or leaving the EU without a deal) with the option to Remain. You can join the people’s vote campaign here.
London4Europe makes the case for EU membership. We focus on recognising the EU as underpinning peace and cohesion in Europe; those were its origins. We see the EU as a promoter of democracy especially in the states that emerged from Communist and Fascist dictatorships – a safer, freer Europe benefits us all. The EU enhances individual freedom, especially through freedom of movement. The EU increases prosperity through the Single Market and the Customs Union.
We also recognise that many Leave voters have real and valid grievances with the way the economy and society have worked for them. If 2016 Leave voters are to vote Remain, then those issues have to be addressed. We do not agree with the solution proposed by the Leave campaign. But we respect Leave voters’ desire for a better life. Most of their concerns can be addressed by a more honest debate amongst MPs in Westminster about the measures which we can already take within our own control. While London4Europe as a non-party/ all-party organisation takes no side in the party political debate, we draw the attention of voters to the competing proposals that all the political parties make for addressing the problems and opportunities facing the UK and our people.
Just as the capacity of the British government is overwhelmingly absorbed by the distraction of Brexit, so the campaign to Remain in the EU absorbs all our energy. Once that campaign has succeeded, we will be able to focus on encouraging the EU - and the UK - to learn lessons from the 2016 referendum. These include addressing the misrepresentation of the EU by many of our politicians, the sense of remoteness of the EU from citizens and a lack of a feeling of democratic control.
Blogs on this page represent the views of the author and not necessarily those of London4Europe.