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MK Lib Dems Back the People’s Vote Campaign

by Richard Greenwood on 22 October, 2018

On Saturday 20th October a number of MK Lib Dems travelled down to London to support the People’s Vote campaign.  On the day it is estimated that over 700,000 people marched, the second largest protest this century, with only the Stop the War march with an estimated 1 million people being larger – which is another time the Lib Dems went against the government and media barons to fight on the right side of history!

The Milton Keynes Liberal Democrats have been campaigning to support the People’s Vote campaign, and it is clear that when people know about the campaign – regardless of how they voted in 2016 – there is a massive amount of support for a People’s Vote on any Brexit deal.

We felt the time is right to submit a motion to MK council to try to build on the cross-party support for the campaign that already exists.

What is the People’s Vote campaign?

However people voted in 2016, it is clear that most people didn’t vote for what is now happening!

Promises and predictions were made on either side, and whichever way people voted, they voted for our country to be better off.

Among other things, the Leave campaign promised:

  • More money for the NHS and other services
  • More money for regional development funding
  • Protection of all existing rights, and more rights
  • That the EU needs the UK more than we need them
  • A Leave vote would mean that the EU would give the UK anything we demanded
  • Dozens of trade deals lined up within a few years (i.e. now, and they’re not)
  • That leaving the EU would be quick and easy

Many people voted for the reasons above, and they voted for our country to be better off.  Based on how Brexit is going they no longer expect the things they voted Leave for to be delivered.

In addition to the positive promises of Leave no longer looking likely, people are unhappy that serious issues such as the following weren’t discussed properly at the time of the 2016 referendum, and the debate failed to properly inform them.

As a result more and more people are backing the People’s Vote campaign, including many who voted Leave in 2016.  And the People’s Vote campaign isn’t one to just stop Brexit, it will be up to the people to decide if Brexit is good enough.

If the deal agreed by the government lives up to the promises of 2016 people will vote to Leave again.  If any deal agreed fails to live up to the positive promises of 2016, then people will have a right to change their minds!

What are MK Lib Dems Doing?

We’ve been out campaigning making the positive case for a People’s Vote, making people more aware (see one of our ‘Brexitometers’ by clicking here) as Lib Dems, and some of our activists have also been working alongside members of other parties and none as part of the cross-party campaign group European Movement: Milton Keynes (see one of their ‘Brexitometers’ here!).  The People’s Vote is in line with the policy our party has had since 2016, as our party has long believed that the promises made by the Leave campaign are undeliverable, and the people should have a right to vote again once the reality of Brexit is known and any deal (or lack of deal!) is on the table.

In addition to the People’s Vote, one of the highest priorities of our party has been to confirm the rights of those who have come from the EU to work here and contribute, as nurses, teachers and many other essential roles.  That is especially true for those who have made a life in the UK, contributing to the UK and bringing up their families here, the government should commit to ensuring the existing rights of non-UK EU citizens already living here are maintained!

We have also now submitted a motion to Milton Keynes council, calling on the council to back the People’s Vote campaign.  The wording of our motion, to be discussed on Wednesday 24th October is below:


MK People’s Vote Councillor McCall – 10 October 2018

1. That this Council notes that for the 2016 Referendum:

  • There was nationally a vote of 52% to 48% to leave, a close result which was also reflected the voting in Milton Keynes;
  • There were a range of positive promises made by the Leave campaign, including more money for the NHS and other public services, a quick and easy Brexit with a wide range of trade deals negotiated soon after a vote to leave which would be in addition to all existing deals, that all current rights would be protected, and anyone who voted for these positive promises were doing so to make the country better off; and
  • It was right that Parliament give the Government permission to negotiate a deal which lived up to the positive promises of the Leave campaign.

2. That this Council further notes that since the 2016 Referendum:

  • There are many new issues which the public have become aware of that were not sufficiently discussed during the referendum, including the complexity of the border in Ireland, the opening up of our food sector to ‘chlorine chicken’ and other similar goods in exchange for any trade deal with the USA and that no new significant trade deals are confirmed, and the risk of losing large manufacturers such as Airbus;
  • None of the possible deals on the table between the UK Government and EU are seen as likely to deliver the promises of the leave campaign;
  • The Government in Westminster has confirmed that it is creating plans to stockpile supplies including food and medicine in the case of a no-deal-Brexit, something that definitely wasn’t discussed at the time of the 2016 referendum;
  • The NHS, which was already suffering a staffing shortage is finding it harder to employ staff from elsewhere in the EU and many staff are leaving, which has a much more serious impact in Milton Keynes with a high proportion of staff from elsewhere in the EU and a growing population;
  • Many of the services provided by this Council, including social care, are reliant on staff from elsewhere in the EU and if the Council cannot recruit enough staff then services to many of the most vulnerable in Milton Keynes will be threatened; and
  • There are a large number of non-UK EU nationals living in Milton Keynes who remain concerned at the impact of Brexit on their and their families’ futures.

3. That this Council therefore:

  1. calls for non-UK EU citizens already in the UK to be given immediate right to remain, in line with current EU rules;
  2. adds it’s support to the campaign calling for a People’s Vote on any final Brexit deal or no deal with an option to stay in the EU;
  3. calls on the Chief Executive to write to the local MPs, the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government and the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union expressing these views and asking them to support a People’s Vote. 

2 Responses

  1. Steven Walden says:

    Please advise how I can come and support the peoples vote in Milton Keynes. I live in Westcroft

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