Newbury Town Council back People’s Vote

On the 24th September, West Berkshire for Europe received the following statement from Hugh Peacocke, Chief Executive Officer of Newbury Town Council:

“At an extraordinary meeting of Newbury Town Council it was resolved that this Council:

1)            Believes that the UK should remain in the EU.

2)            Will write to the People’s Vote campaign and West Berkshire for Europe to declare support for a ‘People’s Vote’ referendum on the final Brexit outcome to be held as long as Article 50 has not been revoked. This final say referendum should include an option to remain in the EU.”

Peter Norman, Co-ordinator of West Berkshire for Europe, said in response:

“It is hugely encouraging, that Newbury Town Council recognises the enormity of the potential damage to local businesses and opportunities for individuals in our community that will be lost were we to leave the EU.

As an organisation we recognise, however flawed, the result of the Referendum in 2016, but moreover the promises made to secure the result.  

We now have in government the leaders of the Leave campaign, who are directly accountable for ensuring the promises that they made at that time are upheld.  Failure to do so would be a huge betrayal of the British People and in such circumstances we believe it is only right that the people should be given another vote, both on what the government can deliver but also with a Remain option.

As such we will continue to campaign for another referendum and are delighted that we now have the Town Council support in doing this.”

People’s March for our Future

Saturday 21 September 2019, 10.30-1, Falkland Memorial, opposite Monument Place, Wash Common, Newbury RG14

We will be marching on Saturday 21st September through Newbury – where two Civil War battles occurred – to defend our Parliamentary Democracy against the threat that this Government’s Brexit plan poses.

You can meet us at one of two places:

1) We will initially gather at the Falkland Memorial in Wash Common at 10.30, or

2) you can join us in the Market Place in Newbury at 12 noon.

From the Market Place, we will walk to Victoria Park for speeches, once we have handed in a Summons to our MP to keep fighting for Parliament and against No Deal!

THE PEOPLE OF NEWBURY HAVE THEIR SAY

 

This week’s edition of the NWN reports on the success of the street stall run by West Berkshire Stronger Together (WBST) in Newbury last Saturday, 16 June 2018.

Using two Brexitometers, passerbys were asked to vote on a number of issues that were highlighted during the Referendum and in Government statements since then, with a final poll on how well people thought the Brexit process was going and whether the People should have a vote on the final deal. Newbury shoppers voted by placing colour stickers on a board.

Over 400 people, a mix of both Leave and Remain voters, participated casting over 2,400 votes on the various issues highlighted. The biggest vote of the day was on the progress being made on Brexit, where 365 votes (91% of those cast) did not think Brexit was going well.

And in a sign that people are not resigned to Brexit or believe that the Government should be left to get on with it, 70% of votes cast were for a People’s Vote on the Final Deal.

Members of WBST will be taking part in the March for a People’s Vote this coming Saturday, 23 June, in London. If you would like to join us, we will be gathering at Newbury Station from 9.30am on Saturday morning.

Welcome the ‘The Brexit Bus’ on its National Tour

Join the “Is It Worth It?” Campaign

The Hampshire Branch of the European Movement is hosting the “Brexit is it worth it?” bus next week, on Monday 26th and Tuesday 27th February. We invite you to join one or more of our welcoming parties.

There are 5 local venues:-

Berkshire – 26 February

7PM  Reading             M&S Broad Street

Hampshire – 27 February

9.30   Basingstoke      Anvil Coach Bay, Churchill Way East

11.15  Southampton   Outside Guildhall

13.00  Portsmouth      King Henry I Street, outside Guildhall

2.30    Chichester       Coach Bay, West Street by Cathedral Bell Tower

 

There will be a mix of local and national speakers and we need lots of supporters to show the media how passionately we care about Brexit. The campaign is a grassroots initiative by a pro-European group that raised over £16,000 through crowd-funding to pay for a bus to tour the UK. We aim to draw attention to the true cost of Brexit by asking the question “Is it worth it?” – we want to encourage those who voted leave to change their minds.

The campaign’s national launch was on Wednesday, 21st of February in London with the bus now touring 33 different cities and towns around the UK. A big welcome for the bus in our area is best for good media coverage.

 

If you would like to come to more than one stop then join us on the bus. Anyone interested should contact HantsEM@outlook.com.

More information can be found online here:-

Web: http://www.isitworthit.org.uk

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/isitworthitbus

Twitter: http://twitter.com/isitworthitbus

The European Movement is a national, non-party organisation formed to promote a better understanding of Europe. However, this campaign is not overtly pro-EU. We ask supporters not to bring EU flags or insignia. We are very happy for people to display party political badges and colours or the Union Jack.

Brexit and the future of the NHS

On Sat 13 January, members of West Berkshire Stronger Together took to Northbrook Street in Newbury to talk to residents about Brexit and the future of the NHS.

The potential impact of Brexit on the NHS is extremely concerning. In a recent Lancet article, ‘How will Brexit affect health and health services in the UK?’, the effects on health were described as ranging “from somewhat negative to very negative, with few opportunities [and] the harder the Brexit, the worse the effects, with no deal being the worst of all.”

It was a good to have this opportunity to talk to local people and listen to their concerns.

  

Guy Verhofstadt’s letter to West Berkshire Stronger Together

In April, West Berkshire Stronger Together wrote to Guy Verhofstadt expressing our desire to remain EU citizens and engage with him to ensure that we are not stripped of our rights.

Today we received his reply and confirmation of his desire to support those of us who continue to “feel European”, irrespective of the UK’s relationship with the EU.

We are deeply grateful to Mr Verhofstadt for his response and his assurance that our voices are being heard.

Let us know your thoughts on his letter.

Dear all,

First of all, let me apologise for the delay in replying to your email and thank you for your support.  In this difficult negotiating process, it is good to know that citizens are on our side.

I fully understand your concerns. One cannot hide from the fact that the withdrawal of the UK from the EU may have negative consequences for citizens. Safeguarding citizens’ rights is a priority for the EU in its talks with the UK, and the European Parliament has made it very clear from the beginning that it is citizens first.

From the moment this process started, I have been convinced that some sort of special solution needs to be found for individual citizens, like the members of West Berkshire Stronger Together, who want to maintain their ties with the European Union.

However, I have to say that this will be difficult, but what I will promise is that I will do everything I can for people like you who feel European.  You are not alone and your voice is being heard.

Kind regards,

Guy Verhofstadt

WBST attend Britain for Europe Conference

On 24th October 7 members of WBST attended a Pro EU Lobby and conference at the QEII Centre in Westminster organised by the cross-party Britain for Europe organisation.

A series of speakers representing all major parties addressed the conference, along with leading members of Britain for Europe and other pro EU groups.

Speakers at the Conference included David Lammy MP (Labour), Dominic Grieve QC MP (Conservative), Caroline Lucas MP (Green) and Wera Hobhouse MP (Lib Dem).

David Lammy opened the conference and told the audience: “Delivering a Brexit that will satisfy the Conservative Party, let alone the country, will be impossible”.

Dominic Grieve, encouraged attendees to carry on campaigning and to remember Brexit Minister and colleague David Davis’s own words: “If a democracy cannot change its mind, it ceases to be a democracy.” Mr Grieve has spent a great deal of time studying the legal aspects of preventing Brexit. He believes that it could be stopped if there is a change in public opinion.

Wera Hobhouse reported on her experiences of winning her seat in Bath at the General Election by campaigning with a strongly pro-EU message.

Several speakers put forward suggestions on how to take the pro-EU campaign forward:

  • Talk to soft ‘leavers’ – use local arguments to persuade them to change their minds, such as citing examples of local healthcare workers, teachers and others deciding to return to Europe in the face of an uncertain future in the UK
  • Point out the impact that the fall in the value of the pound has already had on household spending on food
  • Most people have more in common with immigrants than politicians. Many people when challenged will admit that immigration is not a problem in their own area

During the afternoon 6 of the WBST group crossed the street to the Houses of Parliament to meet with Richard Benyon MP. In response to questions from the group, Mr Benyon said that although he had been a strong campaigner for Remain he had accepted the result of the referendum. He said he would do his best to ensure that Britain got the best deal possible. In particular, he is working with Greener UK to ensure that any new environmental legislation matches that of the EU.

Mr Benyon strongly believes that ‘No Deal’ is not an option and he would support ‘stopping the clock’ if this meant there was a chance of a better deal. He is also confident that MPs will be given a vote on the final Deal. However, its clear that currently he will only follow the government line.

Tom Bruffato, Chair of Britain for Europe, stated clearly that Article 50 is revocable – parliament has the power to reverse it.

At the conclusion of the conference we were urged to:

  • Continue campaigning
  • Keep lobbying MP’s and show them that public opinion is shifting to a pro-EU stance
  • Encourage pro-EU MP’s to come forward and work for an ‘Exit from Brexit’
  • Keep saying that we want a vote on the deal.

Ceinwen Lally, WBST Member

29 October 2017

People’s March for Europe: ‘those who voted Leave were lied to’

On Saturday 9 March 2017, thousands of anti-Brexit protesters descended on London to express their anger at the impact leaving the European Union is already having on our country.

Speaking to the Independent, West Berkshire Stronger Together member Tony Vickers said he was not angry with those who voted to Leave the EU:

“They were lied to, and those poor sods are going to get poorer – while the rich politicians who led the Leave campaign, the ones with dosh, are going to be okay.”

What impact is Brexit having for you? Is it helping or hindering you, your family and your business?

 

Democratic Challenge

Stephen Dorrell, chair of the European Movement UK, has challenged the Brexiteers’ position that to oppose Brexit is to be undemocratic.

In his article in The Independent earlier this week, he discusses how circumstances, reality and opinions are naturally subject to change: “Democracy is the means by which the ministers … are subject to constant challenge, and required to provide day by day explanation and justification for the actions they take in our name.”

So to challenge is democratic … just as those in favour of leaving the EU have been challenging our membership since 1975!

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