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.
The committee of North East for Europe have agreed to affiliate with European Movement UK. The European Movement was formed in 1949 and has consistently campaigned for Britain to be at the heart of a democratic, integrated and efficient Europe. North East for Europe and the European Movement do not believe Brexit is in the UK’s best interests.
By affiliating and working with the European Movement we aim to increase our reach and capacity. We want to work with all like-minded groups and individuals in the North East to promote a strong and coherent message about the benefits of EU membership and the failures of Brexit.
It was David Davis who said “If a democracy cannot change its mind, it ceases to be a democracy”, and as the problems and contradictions of Brexit become clearer, we believe people throughout the UK will want a change of mind and direction. By working with European Movement UK we can help give voice and strength to this call for change.
The North East Rally for Europe is about supporting and celebrating the importance of the EU to the North East, and calling for a rethink and an end to a damaging Brexit.
It is a way of standing up peacefully to say “No” to Brexit and its adverse effects. We are doing our duty for democracy, our country and our region in wanting the best for our country and our region
Approximate timings for the rally are (subject to changes on the day):
2pm - "First half":
Welcome & incidental music (Dr Jacky Collins, North East for Europe / Madeleina Kay, Singer/Songwriter & EU activist)
Baroness Quin (House of Lords - Labour)
Lee Williscroft-Ferris (Animal Welfare Party)
Jamie Patterson (No 10 Vigil)
Prof. Eleanor Spaventa (University of Durham)
2.45pm - Incidental music break (Madeleina Kay)
3pm - “Second half"
- Welcome back (Dr Jacky Collins, NE4EU)
Lord Shipley (House of Lords - Lib Dem)
Neil Taylor (Scientists for EU)
Jude Kirton-Darling MEP (North East Member of European Parliament - Labour)
Natalie Bennett (Former Leader of the Green Party)
3.30pm (approx) - Closing remarks (Dr Jacky Collins, North East for Europe)
Closing Music - 'Ode to Joy' Zac Hamilton
You can sign up to tell us you you are coming - or just come anyway!