CAMDEN FOR EUROPE NEWSLETTER – 16th SEPTEMBER 2016

This newsletter will appear every two weeks on the Friday or Saturday. It relies on contributions from readers! Please send news and views tonewsletter@camdenforeurope.org by 8am on the Friday. The next deadline is 30th September.

Many thanks to those readers who have contributed to this issue.

Camden for Europe also has a website – www.camdenforeurope.org

CONTENTS

  1. Upcoming activities
  2. Recent activities
  3. What’s going on elsewhere: this time, we have a round up of national groups with links, some blogs, a new campaign and a report of a meeting at the European Movement.
  4. Other contributions from readers: this time, we have some analysis of  the referendum numbers

UPCOMING ACTIVITIES

STREET STALLS
Saturday 17th September, 11am – 1pm, and Saturday 1st October, 11am-1pm. A street stall in the plaza in front of King’s Cross station, near corner of Pancras and Euston roads. Please do come and show the strength of European feeling and spread the word. We will have leaflets, stickers and other resources to hand out. Call or text David on 0779 407 1810 for more information or to let us know you can come.

SOCIAL EVENT
Wednesday 5th October, 7.30pm. Professor Alan Winters, Director of Sussex University’s Trade policy Observatory http://www.sussex.ac.uk/bmec/research/uktpo  will open a discussion on Trade Policy and UK relations with Europe.  (See chapter 7 http://voxeu.org/content/brexit-beckons-thinking-ahead-leading-economists). The Holly Bush, 22 Holly Mount, London NW3 6SG.

RECENT ACTIVITIES

LETTER TO 27 EUROPEAN LEADERS
As you know today 27 European leaders are meeting in Bratislava. Philip Richmond organised that we and 23 other groups write a letter to all 27 leaders, ending with the appeal:

“As you meet in Bratislava on 16 September and in your subsequent dealings with our government, please remember that 48% voted to remain part of the European Union and we are still campaigning for that to happen. We have not given up on the EU; do not give up on us!”

The letter was translated into all EU languages, and 27 copies were delivered by hand to the Slovak embassy here in London and sent directly by email. The full text of the letter is at https://camdenforeurope.org/letters.

The initiative has been reported in the Polish press – Dziennik Baltycki, a regional paper for the north of Poland – and will be appearing later today (16th) on French Television – 24 heures en questions – a new current affairs programme on the LCI channel. See:-

http://www.dziennikbaltycki.pl/wiadomosci/a/europo-nie-zapominaj-o-nas-apeluja-brytyjczycy-w-liscie-do-przywodcow-panstw-ue27-w-bratyslawie,10635266/

and

http://www.tf1.fr/lci/24-heures-en-questions/videos

WHAT’S GOING ON ELSEWHERE

NATIONAL GROUPS WITH WEBSITES
Here are links to some of the main groups so far helping to galvanize the growing European movement (we will be providing more links to different parts of the ever-spreading pro-European movement in subsequent editions).

The European Movement. This was founded in 1947 to campaign for Britain’s place in Europe.  President: Baron Paddy Ashdown.  (Founding president: Winston Churchill.)  Read about the Movement’s  coordination of grassroots campaigns and its own Red Lines. http://euromove.org.uk/ (see report of discussion on 3 September from Monica Threlwall below).

Open Britain. Cross-party grassroots organisation replacing Stronger In, campaigning to ensure the UK is seen as outward looking and open for business.  It has launched a petition for the UK to be in the single market.  Supported by Nick Clegg, Chuka Umunna, Dominic Grieve, Anna Soubry, Pat McFadden and Norman  Lamb. http://www.open-britain.co.uk/

Britain for Europe. Cross-party campaign working country-wide with groups to promote the UK’s national interest by seeking to remain in the EU.  It aims to resist the triggering of Article 50, to mitigate Brexit by seeking the best deal in negotiations and to support a pro-EU stance within Britain. Camden for Europe has discussed affiliating. Date to watch: 24 September, Bristol.http://www.britainforeurope.eu

Another Europe is Possible. A campaign set up to make the progressive case for the EU and now campaigning both to reverse Brexit and to achieve a more democratic Europe, free of austerity economics and welcoming refugees. http://www.anothereurope.org

Common Ground. Group campaigning to keep the UK in the EU and even if that is not possible to build a better Britain – fairer, more open and honest.  Seeking to change the minds of leave voters, Common Ground works with a campaigning network supporting its principles. http://commongrounduk.com/

Vote for Europe. Non-party pressure group dedicated to endorsing just one person committed to remaining in the EU in each parliamentary constituency.  With this mechanism in place, voters could, through pledging their votes to pro-EU parliamentary candidates,  influence the House of Commons and reverse Brexit before a general election. http://www.voteforeurope.org.uk/

More United.uk. With high profile support (Paddy Ashdown, Simon Schama and Dan Snow),  this group also aims through crowdfunding to back parliamentary candidates across parties who support its founding principles, which include a close relationship with the EU, in order to assist moderate progressive MPs to get elected. http://www.moreunited.uk/

March for Europe. March for Europe organised the marches on July 2nd and September 3rd.  It is a non-partisan, diverse, inclusive movement seeking strong ties between Britain and Europe, and to put Britain at the heart of the EU, using its influence to driveEU-wide reform. http://www.marchforeurope.net

Vote Leave Watch. A grassroots campaign created to scrutinise the claims made by Brexit campaigners in the EU referendum, and hold them to account for their promises.They will do so in the interests of the 48% who voted to remain and the 52% who will want to see if the promises made to them are fulfilled. http://www.voteleavewatch.org.uk/

InFacts. Set up before the referendum, InFacts is a journalistic enterprise making the fact-based case to stay in the EU or, failing that, for strong relations between Britain and the EU.  https://infacts.org/

BLOGS
Blogs on Brexit are multiplying.  Each newsletter will identify just a few of these which Camden for Europe may find interesting:

Former diplomat, John Pedler, offers his view on the closing window for Remainers to challenge Brexit http://mondediplo.com/outsidein/a-last-challenge-to-brexit . Le Monde Diplomatique consistently carries informative articles on the EU and Brexit as does The New European.

With a plethora of think tanks and universities blogging on the Brexit process, there is an abundance of material.  The LSE’s Brexit Bloghttp://blogs.lse.ac.uk/brexit/ is a good place to start.  Professor Sionaidh Doublas-Scott, who contributed to the blog on September 5th,  has agreed to come to  share views with Camden for Europe on the legal implications of Brexit

NEW CAMPAIGN FOR EU RESIDENTS IN BRITAIN
There is a new campaign to involve the EU Residents in a formal protest about their exclusion from the franchise, coordinated by Giuseppe Le Cicerobeppe2000@hotmail.com and Monica Threlfallmonicapersonal2010@gmail.com. If anyone knows of an EU national resident in the UK, do pass on their names and emails. If you know any barristers or QCs who would be interested in drawing up a legally sound critique of our EU Residents’ disenfranchisement, please let Giuseppe and Monica know. The Facebook page is EU Residents in Britain.

DISCUSSION AT THE EUROPEAN MOVEMENT
The European Movement (see the list of national groups for details and link) called a meeting after the 3 September March. Monica Threlfall attended and reports back:-

  1. There was a discussion about what is the key move we should be calling for, a second referendum, or for Parliament to refuse to revoke the orginial European Communities Act, and/or for the MPs to vote on whether the government should  trigger Article 50 or not. Richard Corbett, MEP for Yorkshire and the Humber said his view was that we should propose “THINK AGAIN” as a slogan and a demand directed at the government. He means it as a criticism, and to mean that nothing sofar proposed is satisfactory, and that different measures are needed. I believe  Corbett thinks that the road ahead will be bumpy for the government, but that we should firmly oppose what they suggest rather than looking at ways to make the best of it.
  2. There was also a discussion launched by the Deputy Chair of EM Brendan Donnelly, about ‘the emotion thing’ that Remainers alledgedly failed to trigger in the public (to a sufficient extent) during the Referendum campaign. He proposed that we should drop all mention of the ‘reforms’ the EU supposedly needs (but are overly complicated, even nitpicking) and move towards a more positive, enthusiastic endorsement of the EU as it is, as the best thing that has happened to Europe since 1945 – or at least 1957!  I agree one can be more whole-hearted in one’s approval of the fundamental purpose of the EU, a unique collaboration among independent states to keep the peace and thereby achieve prosperity and wellbeing, while recognising the huge challenges along the way.

OTHER CONTRIBUTIONS FROM READERS

SOME ANALYSIS OF THE REFERENDUM RESULT

Monica has also done some analysis of the voting numbers:-

  • leave proportion among total population:                                   27%
  • leave proportion among adult population 18+ :                          35%
  • leave proportion among registered electorate:                          37%
  • remain proportion among total population:                                25%
  • remain proportion among adult population 18+:                        31%
  • remain proportion among electorate:                                         34%
  • To make up its shortfall, Remain only needs to convert 634,754 previous leavers.
  • Remainers can also claim that many of the 28% of the registered electorate who did not vote should be counted as passive Remainers, because doing nothing/not voting, even when you are registered, is in effect, tantamount to staying with the status quo.
  • Arguably it’s wrong when the government or the media talk of respecting the British people’s decision, or say the ‘majority’ of Britons chose Leave.
  • Residence in the UK should have been the criterion for Leaving, because residents whatever their nationality are stakeholders in the country’s future (to say nothing of children and young people under 18).With over 3 million EU residents and over 16m. Remainers, we are MORE than the Leavers. So always answer back to those who talk of ‘the people of Britain’ having chosen Brexit. No, ‘the people’ did not chose Leave.

Remainers are the majority : EU residents matter!

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