Let's celebrate Europe Day
Europe Day is held on 9 May every year celebrates peace and unity in Europe. The date marks the anniversary of the historical 'Schuman declaration'. At a speech in Paris in 1950, Robert Schuman, the then French foreign minister, set out his idea for a new form of political cooperation in Europe, which would make war between Europe’s nations unthinkable.
His vision was to create a European institution that would pool and manage coal and steel production. A treaty creating such a body was signed just under a year later. Schuman’s proposal is considered to be the beginning of what is now the European Union.
Whatever anyone thinks about the European Union, it is clear that Brexit is not turning out to be so simple as some of its advocates claimed two years ago. The claims of the "easiest negotiation ever" and "trade will not be affected", not to mention "£350 million a week more for the NHS" are all proving false.
Meanwhile the benefits of the European Union - the world's largest single market for goods and services, a customs union that is vital to much of our manufacturing industry, a force for democracy and peace in Europe and beyond, a driver for better environmental and social standards, and a forum for Europe wide co-operation on issues from air transport and mobile phone tariffs to medicine and movement of nuclear materials - are being made clearer as Brexit gets more complex.
North East for Europe is joining with other groups across the country to call for a People's vote on the final Brexit Deal - if it doesn't match up to what was promised in the referendum, we the people should have the right to reject it.
This weekend, North East for Europe are marking Europe Day with a picnic on Sunday. email us for more details if you wish to join us.
A People's vote on the Brexit Deal
North East for Europe has welcomed the launching of a joint campaign for a People's Vote on the Brexit Deal.
The campaign brings together all the main groups that have been campaigning for the UK to retain strong ties with the Europan Union, including the European Movement, Britain for Europe and Open Britain.
There are 3 key reasons for the campaign:
1. New facts have come to light about the cost and complexity of Brexit.
2. Promises made about Brexit, like more money for our NHS, won’t be kept.
3. The Brexit process is a mess, which makes it more likely we will get a bad deal.
Starting with our action day in Newcastle on 14th April we, and millions of people across the country, are calling for the people, not just politicians, that decide whether we accept whatever Brexit deal (or no deal) the government end up negotiating.
North East for Europe says that:
- The 2016 referendum was not a vote for a destination. And the Government’s hard Brexit plan was decisively rejected by the public at the General Election in June.
- With less than a year remaining until we crash out of the EU, new facts are coming to light every day, on everything from the divorce bill, to the NHS, to the border in Northern Ireland.
- The Government has announced that we will withdraw from the Single Market and the Customs Union, where half our trade in goods and services are sold, and we still don’t know what will replace it.
- Given that the Brexit that was promised is not being delivered, it is only right that the public should be able to take a look at the deal before we leave and express their view on it.
If you agree that the people of this country deserve to have the final say on any Brexit deal, please join us in telling our MPs and Government that we want a People's Vote on the deal.
Theresa May has done nothing to unite the country
One year after invoking Article 50, Theresa May is to visit a mother and toddler group in Newcastle, and is calling on the country to unite behind her Brexit vision - a Brexit which she herself (in April 2016) said would make the country less safe.
If the prime minister really wanted the country to unite after the 2016 referendum, she should have recognised the range of views that existed, and tried to draw people together then, but instead she has given in to the UKIP wing of her party and pursued an extreme form of Brexit, threatening to withdraw not just from the EU, but from almost anything associated with it - the single market, the European Medicines Agency, the European Economic Area, Euratom ... and many other things that were not on the ballot paper on 23rd June 2016.
The referendum was won by a narrow majority, with 27% of the electorate not voting and since then maybe a million young people have become old enough to vote. To describe Brexit as "the will of the people" is a statement of belief, not a statement of fact.
Even leaving aside questions about the role of Cambridge Analytica and how the Leave campaign may have over-promised and over-spent in the referendum, it is clear that Brexit is not going to give £350 million a week to the NHS, there won't be trade deals to sign as soon as we leave the EU, and there are too many questions about issues such as the Irish border, and how integrated international supply chains (that companies such as Nissan rely on) will be able to operate in Theresa May's brave new world.
Until she can give coherent answers to these questions, why should Brexit-sceptics unite behind her version of Brexit?
If she really thinks she can deliver a wonderful Brexit deal, surely the best way to let the country unite around it would be to let the people of this country say if they think the deal is worth it?
So, Theresa May, we hope you enjoy your visit to Newcastle and the North East. We remember your fine words in Downing Street when you became prime minister, but so far we haven't seen actions to match them. It is time to stop lecturing us and start delivering something we can really unite around.
North East for Europe are pleased to announce the list of speakers for the rally in Newcastle on March 25th includes:
Lord Adonis (former Labour Minister and one of the leading critics of Brexit)
Mike Galsworthy - Scientists for the EU
John Appleby (Newcastle University)
Wendy Taylor (Newcastle City Councillor and Consultant at the Freeman Hospital)
Michal Chantkowski (Green Party)
Phil Brookes (retired GP)
Professor Tanja Bueltmann (EU citizen and leading Brexit critic)
Lord Paddick (Liberal Democrat)
Music will be by Connor Dixon and Madeleina Kay.
The rally will be at Grey's Monument between from 2pm to 4pm on 25th March and is one of a series of rallies across the country on the weekend of 24th and 25th March to mark the imminent first anniversary of the Article 50 notification and to call for Britain to remain in the European Union and an end to the chaos and damage of Brexit.
Because of the current weather conditions, and the likelihood of continued snow, ice, and transport difficulties, the discussion and social meeting planned for 2nd March in Durham has been postponed.
North East for Europe apologises for any inconvenience. We will announce a new date and details of venue as soon as the event has been re-arranged
The prospect of Brexit is making difficulties for the NHS.
Far from gaining money from it (remember that promise on the Brexit bus?), the NHS is already suffering from the effects of Brexit as the numbers of nurses and doctors from other EU countries declines. Further, the government decision to withdraw from Euratom threatens to damage not just the nuclear industry, but also the availability of radiation treatments for cancer.
Members of European Movement, Open Britain, Angels for Europe and others will be distributing leaflets at The Monument between 11am and 1pm next Saturday as part of a national day of action regarding the NHS and Euratom to draw attention to these issues and press for a change of direction.
Come along and join in!
The leave campaign used the phrase ‘take back control’, but the Government have been working hard to stop Parliament having control of the Brexit process.
A crucial vote in the House of Commons is expected to take place on December 12th, when MPs will debate and vote on Amendment 7 to the EU Withdrawal Bill. This cross party amendment would give Parliament a proper vote on the final Brexit deal.
Please email your MP today to ask them to sign and vote for Amendment 7 (tabled by Dominic Grieve) of the EU Withdrawal Bill.
You can find the email address of your MP here: http://www.parliament.uk/mps-lords-and-offices/mps/. If using their constituency email address, please also copy in their parliamentary one, as emails to these are logged.
If MPs support this amendment it will be added to the final version of the Bill. This will ensure that our MPs are given the chance to fully scrutinise the deal the government makes with the EU before we leave – and that the option to remain in the EU stays on the table.