Progress in Building the Case against Government’s Brexit Policy

Published on February 05, 2018

I write to update you on our continuing progress in building the case against the government’s Brexit policy.

For too long the position of pro-Europeans has been undermined by our failure to coordinate our activities and make our case to the public. We have spent too long explaining our differences with each other – rather than demonstrating to the public how the government’s Brexit policy is prejudicing the economic and political interests of our country.

I am delighted to report that this is starting to change.

In my Christmas message I celebrated the two key victories of 2017 – the decisions of the Supreme Court in the Gina Miller case and the House of Commons on Dominic Grieve’s amendment to the EU Withdrawal Bill. Following these victories we can be confident that Britain will not leave the EU unless and until Parliament has consented to the terms of withdrawal.

Parliament has, with the support of the Supreme Court, taken back control.

The key challenge in 2018 is to ensure that the campaigns inside and outside Parliament are coordinated so that when Parliament considers the withdrawal terms proposed by the government, it is subject to sustained public pressure to let the people have the final say.

Ministers have claimed the right to conclude an agreement with the EU in secret, arguing that only they can defend Britain’s interests in the negotiations. The truth is the opposite; it was the people who, through the 2016 referendum, initiated the process and it is they alone who can accept or reject the terms. Parliament must use the opportunities created in 2017 to ensure that right is protected.

The Coordinating Group announced by Chuka Umunna this week is part of the process required to achieve that result. European Movement is working closely with Open Britain, Best for Britain, Britain for Europe and the other organizations convened by Chuka to campaign against the government’s Brexit policy.

Our argument is simple

  • The key test is not transition but destination;
  • The government is fundamentally split about the desirable destination;
    • Some ministers argue for Hard Brexit;
    • Some argue for Soft Brexit;
    • Most are simply embarrassed;
  • They are therefore proposing to take us on a transition to an unknown destination;
  • Parliament and People should “Say No” before it is too late.

I am delighted that the different organizations gathered around Chuka’s table are committed to winning this argument inside and outside Parliament, and would like to thank you in advance for your continuing support for this essential defence of our vital national interests.


Stephen Dorrell

Chair of the European Movement UK

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