One of the European Movement’s local branches, Leeds for Europe, is continuing to push an online petition calling for a public inquiry into Brexit, undeterred by seeing the idea initially knocked back by the Government.
The Government was obliged to answer the petition - We call upon the Government to hold a Public Inquiry into the impact of Brexit - published on the Parliament website after it gained 10,000 signatures in its first two days.
The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office responded on Monday, 5 December:
The Foreign Office’s full response can be viewed online here.
Although the Government has given a response to the petition, it can still be signed and if it reaches 100,000 signatures within six months (by 18 May 2023) it will be considered for a parliamentary debate. It passed two-thirds of that figure on the same day the Government’s response was published. At time of writing, it is still the most popular petition on the Government's website, with just short of 80,000 signatures.
Richard Wilson, Chair of Leeds for Europe, said: “Disappointed, but not surprised, sums up our response. Our petition points out that ‘Brexit benefits’ promised have simply not been delivered.
“Has ‘parliamentary scrutiny’ to date explained to voters why this is? It’s unlikely to do so while the main opposition Labour Party – its leader especially – continues to fight shy of confronting the challenge presented by Brexit.”
The petition was the idea of Peter Packham, Treasurer of Leeds for Europe. He said: “Support for the petition so far has been tremendous and I am confident – without being complacent – that we’ll reach 100,000 signatures within a matter of weeks.”
“Brexit is proving to be enormously damaging to Britain,” Peter continued, “Both Labour and the Conservatives need to admit why this is – and tell us what they’re going to do about it. Short of a public inquiry forcing them, I don’t currently see that happening.”
“This petition is a perfect example of how EM’s Local Groups can make a real difference, not just by grabbing public attention but by taking the conversation directly to Parliament and forcing the Brexiteer Government to listen.
“By signing this petition, and other petitions backed by European Movement, we can reverse the calamity of Brexit and win the Battle for the Soul of our Country.”
European Movement is the only cross-party movement with the courage to take up the fight. We are working at all levels, from grassroots to Westminster, fundraising, marching, and speaking out to reverse the calamity of Brexit.