From Our Newsletter
We have now arrived at the point where everyone knows just how disastrous Brexit is. Those of you who are European Movement members might have joined the members’ forum this week with speaker Dominic Grieve, former MP, and CEO Anna Bird where our future direction was made clear. We cannot as a movement start marching through the streets demanding that we re-join now. This is for many reasons including the Covid-19 pandemic, of course, but also because the EU does not want us back yet, especially not whilst we have a Vote Leave government in place and Boris Johnson as PM.
We must also remember that the EU will now go into a reform stage, as I’ve discussed with you before. This could make the EU environment more favourable for us to re-join in the future. See: https://eastmidlandsbylines.co.uk/two-tiers-in-a-reformed-eu/
The reality is that we have close proximity to Europe and we need to have a good relationship with the EU. And we expect that the current deal will gradually have flesh added to the bare bones (Brexit is far from ‘done’). So, although we appreciate that some people will disagree, we must be patient and build up support for the EU ‘brick by brick’.
July 25th 2020
The Russia Report by Hugo Mann, CEO EMUK
After more than a year and a half of delay, the Russia Report was finally released to the public this morning. The report’s conclusion that the government “did not take action to protect the UK’s process in 2016” highlights the need for greater oversight over our democratic processes, and we wholeheartedly welcome the report’s recommendation for a post-referendum assessment of Russian attempts at interference, similar to what happened in the United States.
The people who were most in favour of Brexit love to speak about British sovereignty - yet fall remarkably silent when presented with concrete evidence that a foreign power has interfered in our democracy on multiple occasions. It is shameful that the government has been so reluctant to act in the face of such a blatant threat from a hostile actor. This is not a partisan issue - the extent of Russian influence poses a significant challenge for us all, and it must be tackled in order to protect our democracy.
But the Russia Report isn’t the only thing that we should be talking about today. Last night, parliament voted on amendments to the Trade Bill. They began by voting down New Clause 17, an amendment designed to prevent the NHS being subject to any form of foreign control by 340 votes to 251.
New Clause 17 also sought to:
- Protect NHS staff from having their wages slashed by any future trade deal
- Regulate medicine prices
- Protect patient data from being sold off
The Conservatives clapped for the NHS - and then put it on the negotiating table.
Pretty bad, right? But wait - there’s more!
MPs also voted against New Clause 11, which sought to protect food standards and animal welfare.
We’re not done yet!
Perhaps most alarmingly, MPs then voted against ensuring that parliament would have a vote on any post-Brexit trade deal. They literally voted against giving themselves a say.
July 22nd 2020
Open Letter to Leics MPs
Many thanks to the majority of local MPs who replied to our last open letter or individual constituents saying they supported a deal with the European Union, even though few wanted to extend the transition period.
In 2019 all Conservative MPs pledged to support the PM’s ‘oven-ready’ deal which was not just the Withdrawal Agreement but also the ‘Future Relationship’ Political Declaration. This document commits to a ‘level-playing field’ in order to access non-tariff and non-quota trade.
Anyone voting Conservative in 2019 was supporting a close relationship with the EU, just as the majority of Leave voters in 2016 were voting for ‘the exact same benefits’ and probably the ‘Norway option’ (EFTA) together with ‘the easiest trade deal in history’.
Now travellers are learning what leaving the EU means even with a deal – reduced passport validity; no reciprocal EU healthcare even for UK citizens who have retired to an EU country; visas required if staying in the EU for more than 90 days; pet passport delays; and increased data roaming charges. And, of course, it is much worse for businesses who now have greatly increased red tape added to their EU exporting and importing procedures.
Without a deal, businesses must cope with tariffs and quotas and an end to ‘just in time’ manufacturingin just 5 months from now. This will specifically impact upon small to medium exporters. UK businesses and farmers are also potentially faced with changes and costs arising from any new US trade deal including a lowering of agricultural food standards.
The European Movement believes that a deal based on the Future Relationship document is essential (barring joining EFTA or a further extension to our single market and customs union membership).
We hope you all agree and will hold the PM and his advisors to account on behalf of your Leicestershire and Rutland constituents.
Carol Weaver (Dr)
Chair: Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland European Movement
June 2nd 2020
January 24th 2020
he European Movement is proudly led by the grassroots. Therefore, following the election, we surveyed our membership and activists about what our priorities should be going forward.
The results revealed three central themes about what our next steps should be:
- Ensuring that European values and standards are maintained
- Pursuing a close relationship with Europe
- Highlighting the impact of Brexit and holding the government to account.
The European Movement remains committed to building an organization for the future which is worthy of our 70 year history. We will be announcing our next steps in greater detail at the Grassroots for Europe Conference tomorrow and following through over the weeks ahead.
Our central objective is and always has been to promote a close relationship with our European partners. We recognize, of course, that the Government has a mandate to implement Brexit, but we continue to believe the policy to be a profound national mistake. Therefore, we will exercise our democratic right to campaign, at both national and local levels, for the UK to retain strong ties with the European Union and its member states.
In keeping with the results of the survey, we will fight for as close a relationship with the EU as possible and to ensure that European values are upheld in law. We will show why we believe that a policy of alignment of rights and standards with the rest of Europe would offer better economic and social prospects to the British people.
We will, for example, support full British participation in European programmes which:
- Address the global climate emergency
- Support economic and social development in low income countries
- Promote exchanges between European universities
Brexit is clearly now going to happen, but the European Movement will seek to expose its consequences – and hold to account those responsible.
Please join us as we take this next step.
January 22nd 2020
The European Movement UK was founded in 1949 and is not going away! Whilst Brexit will be happening and People's Vote might rebrand, our movement in the UK and across the wider Europe remains strong.
One job for us is to watch Brexit and keep people informed. The European Movement will be holding Boris Johnson and his government to account.
Over the last week:
All three parliamentary assemblies in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales have voted against the Withdrawal Agreement.
The cost of the UK's vote to leave the EU reached £130 billion, with an estimated £70 billion likely to be added by the end of 2020.
MEPs raised serious concerns about the rights of EU citizens after Brexit.
300 jobs were lost due to Brexit at Car parts factory Antolin Interiors in Kent and JLR have announced more job losses.
Yet the media was obsessed with Big Ben and Meghan!
In a moving speech from German MEP Terry Reintke:
"I know that even with this movement that is unique in European history, it has not been possible to put this decision back to the people. But these demonstrations and all the signs and all the tweets and all your votes there were not in vain. You built something absolutely beautiful over the past years and this is the largest pro-European citizens’ movement that we have seen, and we will build on that."
Yes we must do it!
Meetings are taking place within various pro-EU UK groups to think about the future and many of you will have been consulted.
One large meeting will take place on 25 January but is full now. The Grassroots for Europe conference on the future of the pro-European movement will include a speech from European Movement chair Stephen Dorrell about some exciting projects that our movement will be undertaking this year.
We shall keep you informed both here and through our Facebook closed group 'Leicestershire & Rutland Branch European Movement' which you are welcome to join.
contact: [email protected]