Britain for Europe conference 

Pro EU Conference
Tuesday 24 October, Westminster

10.15 am – 4.30pm

Please join us at the Pro-EU Conference, which will focus on current developments in Parliament, how public opinion on Brexit is changing, the impact on the UK of political changes in France and Germany and how we can build our strength to have maximum impact, both locally and nationally. 
The Conference is taking place alongside a lobby of Parliament by pro-remain groups from across the country, so we can show MPs that there is widespread and deeply rooted support for the UK remaining within the EU as a country that champions peace, prosperity, human rights and protection of the environment.

Speakers include Rt Hon Dominic Grieve QC MP, David Lammy MP, Susie Courtault, Julia Cavalier, Mike Galsworthy, Ian Dunt and Quentin Peel.

You can book your place on Eventbrite here. Tickets cost £5, which includes coffee or tea on arrival.

The day is being organised by Britain for Europe on behalf of Britain for Europe, European Movement UK, Scientists for Europe and Healthier IN Europe. 

Camden for Europe is a local group affiliated to the national Britain for Europe campaign. 

October day of action in Islington – 14 Oct

A message from our colleagues in Islington in Europe:

We need your help next Saturday 14th for our October Day of Action.

We’ll have a street stall on the west side of Upper Street next to the side entrance to the Angel Central shopping centre, from where we’ll be leafleting local people and drumming up interest in our forthcoming legal advice event.

Meet there at 12noon. Please let Nick Turton (islington.in.europe@gmail.com) know if you’re coming.

This street activity is timed to coincide with 12 regional rallies being held that day by fellow campaigners across the UK.

Campaign against Brexit at the Labour conference

Britain for Europe, the umbrella group for community pro-European groups like ours, are organising a Stop Brexit March and Rally at the Labour Party Conference, on 24 September.
If you’re a Labour activist or sympathiser, why not go along?

12:30 – Assemble at The Level in Central Brighton (BN1 4SP) for a march past the conference centre: bring your banners, whistles, instruments, EU and national flags.

14:30 – Rally on Hove Lawns, Kings Way, Hove (BN3 2PE) with national and local speakers, plus special guests. 

19:00 – An Evening of Political Debate and Entertainment book (Doors open at 6.15) Book here.

Sir Keir Starmer event

Shadow Secretary for Exiting the European Union, Sir Keir Starmer QC, MP for Holborn and St Pancras, has agreed to give a keynote address to our group.

Sir Keir Starmer (photo by Chris McAndrew – CC-BY 3.0)


The European Commission and UK Brexit Secretary, David Davis, are at odds over whether and how to settle key issues which the EU says must be resolved before the European Council gives the green light for talks on a trade deal between the UK and EU27 to begin alongside the Article 50 negotiations. The Council vote is due in mid-October and parliamentary debate is starting here on the Repeal Bill, so Sir Keir’s talk will come at a critical and volatile moment.

With the Labour Party supporting continued membership of the single market and a customs union for a transitional period, do join us to hear how Labour intends to interrogate and challenge the Government’s approach to Brexit at Westminster. Sir Keir’s remarks will be followed by a Q&A session.

We expect demand to be high and as our hosts, The Holly Bush, are offering us the room free of charge (and exceptionally on a Thursday), we must on this occasion ask guests to dine from the menu in order to meet the pub’s minimum spend requirement.

When: October 12th 2017 from 7pm

Where: The Holly Bush Pub (Romney Room), 22 Hollymount, NW3 6SG 

Please register for the event here via Eventbrite.

CAMDEN AND ISLINGTON IN EUROPE NEWSLETTER (15th OCTOBER 2016)

A warm welcome to the first joint newsletter from Islington In Europe and Camden For Europe (for more about who we are and our objectives and strategy, see below). We have teamed up to bring together the latest developments on what’s happening where and when, info on future events and how you can get involved, and discussions on Brexit related issues.

The newsletter appears every two weeks, normally on the Friday or Saturday, and relies on contributions from readers: so please send news and views tonewsletter@camdenforeurope.org (next issue deadline 8 am on Saturday 29 October) – and many thanks to readers who have contributed to this issue. Please forward this to anyone you think might be interested.

Camden for Europe and Islington in Europe also have websites –www.camdenforeurope.org and www.islingtonineurope.org. You can also follow us on Twitter (@CamdeninEurope and @IslingtonIn) and join us on Facebook (Camden for Europe and Islington In Europe).

Slogan
We asked for ideas for a slogan in the last edition. So far we have had one: “We are the 48%.” Comments and other ideas please.

CONTENTS

1.    Who we are, objectives and strategy

2.    Upcoming activities

3.    Recent activities

4.    What’s going on elsewhere

5.    Discussion: The Potential EU resident’s vote, The English Identity Problem, Lessons from the Campaign: Look North

WHO WE ARE, OBJECTIVES AND STRATEGY

We are two informal, non-party political groups that emerged from local branches of the Stronger In campaign. However, we are not affiliated to Open Britain (the successor to Stronger In); instead we are planning to affiliate to Britain for Europe, which we think  is the most promising national group campaigning for UK membership of the EU.  This will require us to set ourselves up as unincorporated associations with members and elected officers. (Camden will do this in early December and all readers will be invited to join for free ahead of this).

Since June, we’ve been keeping the flame alive, writing letters to our MPs and to local newspapers, meeting with our MPs, organising a number of events with thought-provoking speakers and running street stalls. We also turned out for the London’s March For Europe event in September, and more recently for the London Day of Action. We are in regular contact with other emerging groups in London and the wider UK, and we recently organised that we and 23 other groups wrote a letter to all 27 European leaders who met at the Bratislava summit, reminding them that 48% in the UK voted to remain part of the European Union and were still actively campaigning.

Recently there have been some significant political developments and this has helped both groups to clarify an outline campaign strategy. This involved considerable discussion and is primarily a practical tool designed to help us campaign more effectively. A draft is set out here.

“We believe that the decision to stay in or leave the European Union must reflect the settled will of the British people. This is not the view of the Government: it wants to use the Royal Prerogative to issue a notification of the UK’s intention to leave as set out in Article 50, and it wants the notification to be irreversible, regardless of what the British people think once the terms of exit are known.

Our first campaign objective is to ensure that the notification is conditional on the British people approving the exit terms negotiated by the Government through a referendum. This will ensure that this huge decision does indeed represent the settled will of the British people. This requires a majority of Members of Parliament to vote accordingly. Hence we need to try and persuade MPs to do this. We are now working on the messaging and organisation required.

We believe that the UK should remain in the European Union. We recognise that this can only happen if a significant number of those who voted to leave change their minds, and either vote against it in a referendum or, if a referendum is not achieved, persuade MPs to vote against it.

Our second campaign objective is therefore to persuade people to change their mind.

These two objectives are quite separate. Even if you believe in Britain leaving, you may well believe that the decision should depend on a genuinely democratic process.

The two campaigns are national, hence our plan to affiliate to a national organisation, most probably Britain for Europe.”

We would very much welcome comments on this, particularly on the ‘messaging and organisation’ needed for our initial campaign – please write tonewsletter@camdenforeurope.org.

UPCOMING ACTIVITIES

STREET EVENTS

17 and 18 October, Royal Courts of Justice. On Thursday an important legal case started at the High Court in the Royal Courts of Justice (The Strand, London) and it will continue on 17 and 18 October.  This will challenge the Prime Minister’s insistence that she can invoke Article 50 without a vote in Parliament. Details are here:
https://www.mishcon.com/news/firm_news/main_arguments_of_the_article_50_legal_challenge_set_out_-_one_week_before_court_hearing_10_2016

To show our support for and to gain publicity (media will be there), Britain for Europe would like people to be outside the Royal Courts of Justice at 9am on the 17th and 18th. You will be free to leave by 10 a.m. Please bring EU flags. (This will not be the last word – the verdict will be appealed and the Supreme Court will hear the case in December).

PUBLIC MEETING
Tuesday 18 October, 7.30 pm. A public meeting on the EU and Brexit organised by Camden MP Keir Starmer, with the panel also including Sarah Hayward, Leader of Camden Council and the other Camden MP Tulip Siddiq. If you require any further information, or if you would like to raise specific concerns about the EU referendum result and next steps, you are invited to contact Keir Starmer’s office on 020 7219 6324. It will take place at St Pancras Church, Euston Rd, London NW1 2BA. Click on the link below to register.
http://www.keirstarmer.com/public_meeting_about_the_eu_referendum_and_brexit.

PRO-EUROPE CHRISTMAS CARDS!
We have received the following announcement:-
Alba White Wolf with Creative Campaigning for EU bring you pro-EU Christmas cards, packaged in packs of ten cards and in six different designs. Buy these collectively as a group to send to friends and to your local MP, or to sell for group fundraising. The minimum order is 12 packs for £36 inc. P&P to a UK address. The price per pack is lower on larger orders (24, 36 or 96 packs). Profits to be donated to Britain for Europe.
http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/bleu-christmas-cards-for-eu
Please note: orders received by 7 pm on Saturday 22 October will only be processed if the target sales level is achieved (around 1800-1900 packs of cards). If this target is reached, a higher stretch target will be revealed. Packs will be delivered to funders during the last week of November.

STEERING GROUP
The next meeting of the Camden steering group will be on 3 November. If you would like to get more actively involved in the group please emailnewsletter@camdenforeurope.org.

BRITAIN FOR EUROPE SECOND NATIONAL MEETING
We will send delegates to the national meeting planned for 5 November to build on the private discussions we have already had (see under Recent Activities).

RECENT ACTIVITIES

MEETING WITH OTHER GROUPS

Discussions with Britain for Europe and Common Ground. Following the national meeting on 24 September, Philip Richmond has had further discussions about both overall campaign strategy and formal structure with representatives of Britain for Europe (BfE) and Common Ground. There is some hope that a strategy broadly similar to the Camden and Islington strategy can form the basis for co-operation between these national groups, and also make it more likely that the London Pro-EU Forum will become the London region of BfE. For more details contact Philip – Philipnw5@gmail.com.

DISCUSSION AND SOCIAL EVENT – TRADE POLICY
Professor Alan Winters of Sussex University spoke on Trade Policy and the ‘Future of UK relations with the EU’ at Camden for Europe’s highly successful first discussion meeting – 50 attendees were seriously impressed by Professor Alan Winters’ remarks and the quality of the debate.   With the EU accounting for half UK trade, negotiating relations with the EU will be the ‘big game’ with a great deal to play for, said Winters.  (E.g. For every 1% of exports to the EU lost, a 25% increase in exports to Australia would be needed to compensate.)  European attitudes suggest a ‘soft Brexit’ would likely require the UK to leave the Customs Union and conclude sector-specific agreements – involving awkward tradeoffs for the UK.  E.g. Where would the May government make sacrifices to achieve ‘passporting’ for the City?  ‘Hard Brexit’ based on WTO rules or a free trade agreement would have serious disadvantages since border checks would slow movement making exporting much less free than currently the case. Winters advocated smart diplomacy to buy time / negotiating transitional arrangements based on the status quo for three years to enable trade relations satisfactory to all parties to be sorted.

STREET STALL AND ACTION DAY
Camden held a street stall on 1st October and three on the 8th October (the latter as part of a London wide Day of Action) and recruited somewhat under 200 supporters.
Islington also held two stalls on the 8th, using the banner “We need to talk about Europe.” Volunteers asked passers-by open questions, such as “How do you feel about Brexit?” 8 volunteers at each stall were in conversations with people for an energising two full hours, with a mixture of strong Brexiteers, Remainers who feel we need to move on and those who are glad to see groups on the streets again. Respondents were also invited to sign a petition asking for Parliament to have the final word on whether we should proceed with Brexit on the terms that emerge and219 signed. The petition also worked well as an engaging point.  Many people took the new brand-new business cards, and signed up to this newsletter and 40 people responded to a survey on Brexit (on the Islington web site).  Finally, there was interest from non-Brits in a guide on how to apply for permanent residence and British citizenship. Volunteers’ feedback was positive and that this is a good way of reconnecting with Remainers, ‘liberal Brexiters’ and those who felt they were left behind.

WHAT’S GOING ON ELSEWHERE

How Article 50 really works. There is much confusion about how Article 50 works. This paper  by Andrew Duff published a few days ago sets out to clarify the situation.http://www.policy-network.net/publications/6141/After-Brexit

Meeting of the left anti-Brexit movement. 450 people attended an event on 8 October co-organised by Another Europe Is Possible, Open Democracy, the Democracy in Europe Movement 2025, and the LSE Human Security and Civil Society Research Unit. The subject was: What went wrong and what next?’ A declaration was agreed committing Another Europe Is Possible to a series of progressive campaigning priorities in the Brexit negotiations, and to work towards an agreement to join forces with the Democracy in Europe Movement, with a further conference called in January. For more details see http://www.anothereurope.org/what-went-wrong-hundreds-join-conversation-at-brexit-britain-event/

Voluntary dual citizenship? Bristol for Europe has suggested that should Brexit happen, British citizens who want it should be offered European dual citizenship on an individual basis, with representation in the European Parliament. Seehttp://www.euractiv.com/section/uk-europe/opinion/tuesday-give-brits-voluntary-dual-eu-citizenship/.

DISCUSSIONS

THE POTENTIAL EU RESIDENTS’ VOTE
From Monica Threlfall:

 

For more details contact Monica on M.Threlfall@londonmet.ac.uk

THE ENGLISH IDENTITY PROBLEM AND BREXIT

Kenneth McArthur builds on Alastair Bruton’s contribution to the last newsletter
As Alastair says, where people are confident about their identity, they’re more relaxed about – and indeed welcome – difference. We see evidence for this in London and in Scotland, where Scots have long emphasised their Scottish identity, and where we saw Remain win with a higher share of the vote than in London.

However, many have described the EU referendum as an essentially English referendum, and the differential turnouts across the four nations of the UK would seem to support that analysis. (Scotland’s turnout was 6% lower than England’s – and almost 20% lower than that in the 2014 independence referendum – while Northern Ireland’s was more than 10% lower.)

Anthony Barnett writes eloquently in “WHAT NEXT: Britain after Brexit” (https://unbound.com/books/brexit/excerpt):

“The first [reason for the strength and energy of the vote to Leave] touches an uncomfortable nerve of voice and identity. Brexit was essentially an act of the English. But most English people define themselves as English by saying they are British. At the same time most show complete indifference to Scotland, without which the country cannot be Britain. Yet as a result of Brexit, Scotland is likely to go its own way. Whereupon we English will have to be ourselves. Alas, for many of us this is not a happy prospect as it releases forces of denial, repression and discomfort bound up with illusions of grandeur, alarm over becoming a ‘small nation’, and the country’s peculiar class and social system. This complex, and its failure to find a healthy voice in the way the Scots and Irish mostly now have, lies at the heart of the culture of Brexit.”

I would contend that until the UK is remade as a federation, with England having its own national institutions and distinctive political outlet and identity – just as Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales do today – a large part of England will never be comfortable enough in its own skin to support involvement in projects like the European Union. Treating Englishness and Britishness as more or less the same thing is something of an insult to people in the UK’s other three constituent countries who also identify as British – but, more importantly, it results in an English nation insecure in its own identity and, as a result, ill-at-ease with the perceived threat to identity which inevitably results from globalisation and the involvement of supranational institutions in its national life.

LESSONS FROM THE CAMPAIGN: LOOK NORTH

From Colin Penn 

It is just over 100 days since the Brexit vote in June and often that is a moment to pause and reflect about progress and trends since a significant event. Certainly over the course of September there has been an intensifying pace of announcement, review, surmise and opinion.

It is also becoming obvious there will be no advantageous trading arrangement with Europe after Brexit, no automatic right to travel to Europe, live and work in Europe and have our health looked after under a European wide insurance scheme, all of which benefits were anticipated would somehow continue to exist post Brexit.

Financial and business commentators are uniting: they are indicating that trading and specifically financial services organisations no longer think existing trading links and passporting will endure after Brexit; that those businesses, institutions and manufacturers are beginning to reassess their UK domicile and where they will need to go instead, simply to overcome the intensifying atmosphere of doubt and uncertainty and get some solid planning going for their future.

However there are lessons from the Referendum campaign everyone involved do well to bear in mind. The Bremain campaign failed: parts of our country were left out of account. Those concerned punished the Bremain campaign in their areas: that swung the vote. The result was lost outside London and the South of England.

Recently, too, a lot of data is emerging about, frankly, the underlying plight of many in our country. Outside that prosperous South and East of the country, the reactions against the European project translated into a vigorous rejection of our continued link with Europe.

The Bremain narrative needs to pick up, therefore, not from where it left off in June, but start by acknowledging its campaigning deficits. By this I mean specifically our borough needs to look North: not scorn the people who swung the result in Sunderland and elsewhere as somehow misguided. Instead we need to look at the reasons why things are that dire for those people.

Indeed it’s not just them: recent GDP analysis is beginning to show that for a lot of people in the UK the impact of economic and structural change has been poverty and joblessness.

Another survey demonstrates that young people, the so-called “z” generation, under thirty, are actually less well off than predecessor generations. Quantitative Easing, which is so comfortingly sustaining the economy at the moment, is doing so through asset price inflation. That means basics, like a home, is now unaffordable for this category of young people.

Meanwhile, company results demonstrate Mike Ashley and Phillip Green’s new on-line venture, My Sale, is now going rather well. How is that happening?

Ultimately, for the Islington group we feel that this data fuels our conviction that the UK needs to collaborate in Europe to see it through ugly social and economic circumstances the consequences of which will be dire if we cannot avert these by a joint effort. This is the only way to reset our country’s path towards a secure, safe and prosperous future for everyone.

After all, 100 years ago, the countries that now collaborate in Europe were at war with one another: 1916 saw terrible consequences for the European population from conflict. We don’t want to go there again.

 

 

CAMDEN FOR EUROPE NEWSLETTER – 30th SEPTEMBER 2016

This newsletter appears every two weeks on the Friday or Saturday. It relies on contributions from readers! Please send news and views for the next issue by8pm on Thursday 13th October to newsletter@camdenforeurope.org.

Also: we need a slogan for the group. If you have any ideas please send them to the above email address.

In a spirit of federalism (but also subsidiarity), the next edition will be rebranded ‘Islington and Camden For Europe Newsletter’ and will contain details of activities and events of both groups.

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
  4. Other contributions from readers:  What is Europe For?

UPCOMING ACTIVITIES

STREET STALLS AND DAY OF ACTION
Saturday 1st October, 11am-1pm  A street stall in front of Mornington Crescent Station. Please do come and show the strength of European feeling, raise our local profile and spread the word. We will have leaflets, stickers and other resources to hand out. Call or text David on 07794 071 810 for more information or to let us know you can come.
Saturday 8th October, 11am-1pm (times to be confirmed). We will run street stalls at King’s Cross (as above), at Euston Station (precise location to be confirmed) and at Mornington Crescent Station. This is part of a London wide day of action facilitated by the London Pro-European Forum and will involve collecting signatures in favour of single market membership. Please do come – call or text David on 07794 071 810 for precise times and locations.

DISCUSSION AND SOCIAL EVENT
Wednesday 5th October, 7.30pm-8.30pm. 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).
Venue: The Holly Bush, The Romney Room (upstairs), 22 Holly Mount, London NW3 6SG. The food at The Holly Bush is excellent. Any queries, please contact Valerie,  v.yorke@btinternet.com.  To register, please click on this link using the password CfEdiscussion-winters:
https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/camden-for-europe-discussion-trade-policy-and-uk-relations-with-the-eu-tickets-28085029078.

PUBLIC MEETING
Tuesday 18th October, 7.30 pm. A public meeting on the EU and Brexit organised by Camden’s MP for Holborn & St Pancras, Sir Keir Starmer, with the panel also including Sarah Hayward, Leader of Camden Council and Camden’s other MP, for Hampstead & Kilburn, Tulip Siddiq. If you require any further information, or if you would like to raise specific concerns about the EU referendum result and next steps, you are invited to contact Keir Starmer’s office on 020 7219 6324. It will take place at St Pancras Church, Euston Rd, London NW1 2BA. Click on the link below to register.
http://www.keirstarmer.com/public_meeting_about_the_eu_referendum_and_brexit.

STEERING GROUP
The steering group continues to meet regularly and if you would like to help the group with its work please email newsletter@camdenforeurope.org.
The group’s current thinking is that we will affiliate to Britain for Europe which will involve formalising our membership, agreeing a basic constitution and so on. An update on this to follow in the next edition.

RECENT ACTIVITIES

MEETINGS WITH OTHER GROUPS

Britain for Europe (BfE) national meeting. Philip Richmond represented Camden for Europe at the 2nd national meeting in Bristol on 24 September. This is a cross-party campaign for the UK to remain in the EU – as far as we are aware the only such campaign.  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, but there is clearly still work to do on the strategy. At the meeting it was agreed that there should be regional groups (i.e. committees) based on European Parliamentary constituencies and these would be elected by local groups such as ours. The committees would help create and provide support to local groups and would be represented on a UK Governing Council. This body would set national policy and appoint an executive.  Election to the Council is scheduled for the next meeting in Birmingham on 5th November following consultation on a model constitution for local and regional groups and on a system for elections. For more details of this consultation contact Philip – Philipnw5@gmail.com.

London Pro-EU Forum meeting. Philip Richmond and Nick Pimlott represented Camden for Europe on 28th September. There was some criticism of the Britain for Europe strategy (by those who think Article 50 should be accepted) and it seems unlikely this entity will affiliate as the London region. The Camden for Europe steering group will be discussing how to facilitate the formation of such a region, as we are in touch with several other London based groups.

Islington in Europe. There was a meeting with the Islington group on 25th September. It has the same objective as us – the UK to stay in the EU. It was agreed we should remain two separate groups – this preserves the grassroots connection and ensures two sources of ideas for activities. We will, however, have a single newsletter sent to both mailing lists, possibly combine the websites in due course, press BfE to adopt a visible national advocacy role, and conduct programmes of events open to those on the mailing lists of both groups. These will be about both the public issues and the campaigning strategy.

STREET STALL
A successful street stall was held on 19th September at King’s Cross – a good spot. There were plenty of people who said they were pleased to see we were still campaigning, although others were not quite sure why we were still campaigning given the referendum has now happened. We probably need a stronger simple message to explain why we are here and what we are campaigning for. Please send ideas on this, and for a slogan that can sum it up, to newsletter@camdenforeurope.org.

WHAT’S GOING ON ELSEWHERE

We are not reporting much this week. But this blog by the Austrian Chancellor is interesting:
https://www.socialeurope.eu/2016/09/europe-must-become-fair-again/
It raises issues about what Europe is for – see next section.

OTHER CONTRIBUTIONS FROM READERS

WHAT IS THE EU FOR?
An email discussion has started. Here are some contributions. Please join in by writing to newsletter@camdenforeurope.org.

From Alastair Bruton
In the C21st, there are major areas of public policy — eg regulating markets and multinationals,  the environment, fishing and agriculture, trade negotiations, and aspects of tax, crime, security, defence and foreign policy — which are much better handled by supra-national organisations. This isn’t just about Europe. Much the same trend towards international cooperation has been strengthening around the world since the mid-C20th – producing the UN, NATO, IMF, WTO etc etc.The dull but vital function of the EU (and it’s way ahead of ALL the others in this respect) is to provide an institutional structure in which voters can keep at least some democratic control over all these decisions.
But clearly no one will ever love the EU if that’s how it defines itself. So here’sthe second part of my answer: the fundamental point of the EU is to encourage in every possible way, whether in business or academia, government or the arts,  the free and open interaction  of ideas among Europe’s innumerable cultures and traditions so that everywhere from Limerick to Bucharest, Gdansk to Lampedusa, the challenge of difference is met not dodged and instead of violence and hatred, the clash of ideas spurs creativity leading to a better life for everyone.
One clear lesson of the Brexit vote is that where people are confident about their identity and about their future – as in London – this ‘challenge of difference’ does indeed spur creativity and make for a better life for everyone. But where people have little hope in the future and feel their way of life to be threatened, it clearly doesn’t. So if anyone in the UK were ever to want to make the EU attractive to voters again, their first reforms would have to focus on ensuring that the whole country shared in the prosperity etc currently hoarded by the metropolitan few. Virtually all the anger and resentment expressed in the Brexit vote is derived from the failings of domestic UK government.
In Britain, the other big problem in selling the EU to voters is that politicians have been telling them whoppers for so long. So I think that the most important  thing that we can do now, is to tell the truth however radical it may seem. Voters are sick of being patronised by politicians as if they were children who can’t understand.
[However] protecting people from the material consequences of globalisation isn’t — and shouldn’t be — the job of the EU. It simply doesn’t have the democratic legitimacy to require massive transfers of wealth either among its members.
The EU shouldn’t do anything that individual member-states can do better for themselves — just as member-state governments shouldn’t do anything that their own regions and city governments can do better.

A response from Charles Seaford
As Alastair rightly says, the EU should indeed avoid doing anything that individual member-states can do better for themselves and also it will be a long time before it has the legitimacy to require massive transfers of wealth between its members. However many of the areas of public policy that Alastair mentions are in part designed to protect people from the material consequences of globalisation, suggesting there are good reasons why a supra-national organisation is sometimes better equipped to perform this function than a national government. Using this headline for what Alastair calls the boring functions is, I suggest, more likely to be effective, and in a way is more honest, than attempting to create a second purpose (the challenge of difference) designed to provide inspiration. The latter may appeal to people like us, but it will be a very long time before it has mass appeal – as Alastair more or less implies.

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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Newsletter

 


  • Aims and Objectives
  • Organisation
  • Name 
  • Internet and social media
  • Campaigning activities
  • Social events and community meetings
  • Other groups

Aims and objectives 

  • Feedback from the 26 July meeting was that detailed drafting of objectives should not take precedence over actions and activities.  Nevertheless we will need to include a mission statement on the new website (see below).  It is clear from our meetings that, whilst everyone is pro-EU, pro-Europe and in favour of the best possible relationship between Britain and EU emerging from the present situation, there are differences in emphasis and approach between individuals.  We propose therefore to develop a broad statement of principles that hopefully most people will feel able to sign up to and circulate this for comments via a Survey Monkey.

Organisation

  • Thirteen people have come forward to volunteer for the steering committee.   Their names and email addresses are set out at the end of this email.  A number of us met for a kick off meeting on Friday 29 July.
  • The group covers a lot of important skills and expertise – political campaigning, communications, PR, web, social media, connections with local MPs/press/academia/nationals from other Member States, law, economics, international development and trade policy, environmental policy, management, history, science and technology policy, even particle physics!  It would be useful to have in addition a representative of students in Camden and someone from the BME community, if anyone would like to volunteer.
  • It was felt that at present the priority is to get communications and our online presence working properly, so the only jobs that have been allocated for the moment amongst steering committee members are:
    • Website editor: David Freeborn
    • Social media: Katie Newbury
    • Mailings/data controller: Keith Moffitt
    • Newsletter: Nick Pimlott
  • Later in the year, we will hold an Annual General Meeting to agree on objectives and a constitution and hold open elections for committee members.

Name 

  • In line with other similar groups and to move away from the Stronger In name, we will call ourselves “Camden for Europe“.  This can be changed in due course if desired by the membership.

Internet, mailings and social media

  • A website has been created with the url camdenforeurope.org.   Thanks to David Freeborn and Oli Usher for taking this forward.
  • Our mailing list has been moved to Mailchimp (thanks to Keith Moffitt) to streamline the sending out of communications by email and help us manage the list.   We have created a generic mailbox – info@camdenforeurope.org – which will appear on the website.   Please continue to feel free to email anyone on the committee personally (email addresses below, cc’ing the general mailbox).
  • Social media: Katie Newbury continues to manage the Facebook and Twitter accounts for Holborn & St Pancras which will be renamed “Camden for Europe”.  For online discussions about news/ideas/analysis etc, we would suggest continuing to use the Facebook page as this is the most familiar and easy to use platform.  If there is sufficient support from the members we will convert the Facebook page to a closed group but at the moment propose to keep it open.
  • Survey Monkey:  we plan, probably after the summer break, to send round a Survey Monkey to gather information about people’s skills and interests and what they could offer.

Newsletter

  • We will institute a newsletter in email format to be edited/curated by a willing volunteer (Nick Pimlott in the first instance).   Given the impending holidays we will send the first of these towards the end of August and aim to send them out fortnightly thereafter.
  • The aim is that the newsletter will include:
    • Information on recent and upcoming Camden for Europe activities and events
    • Information about activities and events being organised by other groups
    • Links to relevant news items, articles or other discussions
    • Any thoughts, ideas or analyses that you would like to share with the Camden for Europe group as a whole (as many of you do by email now)
    • A selection of posts from our Facebook and Twitter accounts
  • We are dependent on contributions from you so please send anything that you think might be interesting to include in the newsletter to newsletter@camdenforeurope.org.

Campaigning activities

  • The key to getting campaigning activities going will be individuals or groups of individuals coming up with ideas and going out and doing them.
  • Street stalls remain a good way to show presence locally, raise awareness, and sign up new volunteers.  Keith ran a very successful street stall in West Hampstead on Saturday and signed up a lot of new members.  Maralyn Lai is running street stalls on 2nd, 3rd and 4th August in King’s Cross, Somerstown and Tufnell Park.  Valerie Yorke is looking into cost-effective options for having banners printed for use on street stalls.  People from other London boroughs are very impressed that we are already running street stalls!
  • Other ideas for activities:
    •  A communication offensive with European opinion – write to European newspapers, open letter to European leaders etc – to try and break the impression that is taking hold in Europe that Brexit is a done deal.  Philip Richmond has agreed to prepare a draft.
    • Liaison with local press in Camden – Keith will pursue this with his contacts.
    • A letter on behalf of Camden for Europe to Keir Starmer and Tulip Siddiq in advance of the Parliamentary debate in Westminster Hall on 5th September (nb this is just a debate; there will be no vote, but it will be an important opportunity for the arguments to be aired in a public forum).  Bryn Kewley will take forward the drafting of this.
    • Arrange a meeting with Keir Starmer (Stephen Tindale) and Sarah Haywood of Camden Council (Keith).
    • Liaison with European communities in Camden (Vanessa Mayneris).
  • This is just a start.  Please, please come forward with proposed activities and suggestions for things that you would like to do.  The role of the steering committee is to provide a platform to advertise and support the activities of members, not to dictate what those activities should be.

Social events and community meetings

  • We will organise a regular social evening once a month for members to meet and discuss.  The first social event will be on 18 August 2016 at 7pm at the Grafton Pub in Kentish Town.   This will just be an opportunity to meet each other, have a drink and chat informally.
  • We are in the process of agreeing a regular slot with the Grafton for future monthly meetings.  Further details to follow.
  • We will where possible arrange a guest speaker for these events.  Valerie Yorke will approach Sussex University UK Trade policy Observatory looking at Brexit trade policy proposals /implications  and Prof Douglas-Scott, leading European constitutional lawyer, to see whether in principle they would be prepared to address one of our meetings in Sept/Oct.

Other groups

  • We continue to keep up to date with the activities of other groups.
  • Nick attended a meeting of London pro-EU groups organised by Lambeth on Wednesday 3rd August.   Representatives from Tower Hamlets, Lambeth, Chelsea & Fulham, Islington, Tooting & Wandsworth, Hackney, Kingston, Southwark and Westminster/Britain for Europe were there, as well as one of the national coordinators of March for Europe. The main outputs of that meeting were:
    • Lambeth is setting up a London-wide forum of all pro-European groups as a means of sharing ideas, supporting each other and collaborating.
    • There was general disappointment about the recent communications from Stronger In and their top-down approach.  Stronger In is thought likely to re-brand and become more of a lobbying organisation.
    • There is a need for an overarching parent organisation for all the various groups.  Britain for Europe was generally thought to have the better approach from a grassroots perspective but it is early days.  No-one wanted to see rivalry between BFE and Stronger In.
  • We will keep in touch with Britain for Europe and send a representative to, or make sure Camden’s voice is heard at, the Britain for Europe national council meeting on 17th August.
  • We will keep a watching brief on other groups – eg MoreUnited.uk, Remain United, Vote Leave Watch etc.  None of these currently appear to offering the kind of national umbrella that BFE is attempting to create.  Please share any input or inside information on other groups that you may come across.
  • As I am sure many of you know, March for Europe is organising a central London march on 3 September to coincide with the re-opening of Parliament.

Finally, please note that we are sending you this email on the basis that you have previously received emails from us about pro-EU activities in Camden or otherwise expressed an interest in pro-EU activities in Camden or more widely.    If you no longer wish to receive emails or other communications about Camden for Europe, please let Nick Pimlott or Keith Moffitt know or click “unsubscribe” below.   If you have any questions about the use of your personal information, please contact Nick or Keith.

All the best

Nick

Members of steering committee

Nick Pimlott – nicholaspimlott@gmail.com
Philip Richmond – philipnw5@gmail.com
Keith Moffitt – kmoffitt@cix.co.uk
Bryn Kewley – bryn.kewley@e3g.org
David Freeborn – dafidius@gmail.com
Vanessa Mayneris – vanessa.mayneris@icloud.com
Katie Newbury – katienewbury@googlemail.com
Virginia Beardshaw – virginia@beardshaw.eu
Oli Usher – o.j.usher@gmail.com
Stephen Tindale – stephen.tindale@hotmail.com
Valerie Yorke – v.yorke@btinternet.com
Rick Chiles – rick.chiles@googlemail.com
Andrew Rose – roseaj1@yahoo.com