September 2019 Newsletter

Brekshire for Europe logo

What a mad couple of weeks! The Brexit situation is moving fast and we need to keep up the pressure on Boris and his No-Deal colleagues. There are lots of protests and events planned – details of all upcoming events are included in this newsletter. Now is the time to get active. Please join us whenever and however you can.

View from our Chair, Peter Leisupe

Welcome to the Banana Republic! What have we become? The Brexit referendum has made us the laughing stock of the world!  The foolishness of Cameron has shown the weakness of our political systems. We have a “democracy” based on a feudal past and a parliamentary system not even from the times of empire, but from the 16th century! It is time we moved in to the 21st century with a modern written constitution.

Berkshire for Europe has been active during the last fortnight attending and supporting rallies to defend our democracy and continuing the battle to defeat Brexit.  The rally in Reading on Saturday 7th September was significant; we had local Labour MP Matt Rodda the Liberal Democrat Dr Phillip Lee, the Greens and the Women’s Equality party all speaking on the same platform. Long may that continue! I thank the Berkshire for Europe members who also spoke at the rally – you are heroes!

Now for the Reading Festival …. what can I say! It makes campaigning worthwhile! It was a fantastic campaign. It is not often we have such genuine engagement with young people. Some were so grateful that we were there, they gave us beer and ice lollies!! We distributed nearly 30K of stickers of all kinds and had about 3000 signatures for our petitions – brilliant!!  Our wrist bands went in 2 hours flat!!!! Social media during the campaign was also a great success – we had over 500k views! The young people actually listened to us and they said, countless times, ‘we’re glad you are out here campaigning’ and they genuinely thanked us. It was the most enjoyable, heart-warming campaigning I have done in 3 and half years! See the photos further on in the newsletter.

We also had a stall at Reading Pride the week after the festival. That too was an astonishing success!  At times our stall was mobbed. My thanks to all who contributed. Again, see the photos below.

Please keep checking Berkshire for Europe social Facebook page for up-to-date initiatives. It is constantly changing as the political situation changes.
Also I must beg for some money. We have spent all our crowd funder for materials, stickers, etc. We were mobbed at times for our Bollocks to Brexit/Bollocks to Boris Stickers at the very successful Reading Music Festival campaign targeting the young.

Our recent campaigns

The Reading festival
Over the bank holiday we joined forces with Open Britain and had an amazing three days of campaigning. We had teams down by the riverside, getting signatures on the People’s Vote petitions, giving out stickers, talking to young people and getting them to have a go on our Brexitometer. Reports from inside the festival were that it was awash with our luminous yellow stickers!

We also had teams at Reading station, talking to people as they arrived in the town. Another team headed to the car parks to distribute leaflets about the October 19th march on every windscreen.

We were joined by Peter Cook from the EU Flag Mafia, who kept everyone entertained with his Anti-Brexit music. Reading East MP, Matt Rodda joined us, as did Judith Bunting, Lib Dem MEP, and Labour Councillor and candidate for Reading West, Rachel Eden. Femi from Our Future Our Choice (pictured below) also came along on the Friday. It was great to have such high-profile support.

We encouraged everyone we spoke with to register to vote. We had great support – the vaste majority were massively supportive of what we are doing and they are ready to make their voices heard at the very next opportunity.

The whole campaign was a real bonding experience for everyone involved. Special thanks to the organiser, the key co-ordinators and the base camp hosts! And huge thanks too to everyone who contributed to the Crowdfunder to pay for the stickers and wristbands – we couldn’t have done it without you! We circulated just over 30k of Stickers over the events!

The team enjoyed an ice-cold beer or glass of chilled wine at the end of each day. Here we are, posing for a group photo.

Reading Pride
There was little rest for some members of the team, who were back out campaigning the following weekend for Reading Pride. The weather was a bit more wild, but luckily our gazebo and stand stayed put … which is more than can be said for the Conservative Party Gazebo! The day was a great success – we had a huge amount of support and distributed many stickers.

Reading Rally
Last Saturday we attended a Rally in Reading, protesting about the Prorogation and against Brexit in general. There was a short procession, followed by a gathering outside the Town Hall for speeches. Matt Rodda, Labour MP for Reading East spoke, as did Dr Phillip Lee, MP for Bracknell and recent joinee of the Lib Dems. There were additional speeches from the Green Party the Lib Dems and the Women’s Equality Party. Thanks to the local Lib Dems for organising this event. It was a great success and we had several heartfelt speeches from members of Berkshire for Europe too. There may well be more Rallies in the local area in the next few weeks – please keep an eye on our Facebook page and website for updates.

Advertisements

We are in the news

A quick summary of recent news articles about Berkshire for Europe

https://www.wokinghampaper.co.uk/wokingham-against-no-deal-campaigners-canvass-shoppers-views/

https://www.pbs.org/newshour/amp/show/in-britain-boris-johnsons-brexit-hardball-prompts-protests/

https://www.bracknellnews.co.uk/news/17881391.wokingham-residents-protest-parliament-suspension/

Thoughtful article

Suspending Britain’s Parliament Is an Act of Desperation – BNN Bloomberg

Suspending Britain’s Parliament Is an Act of Desperation

(Bloomberg Opinion) — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s plan to suspend Parliament is hardly the “coup” that his more emotional opponents have claimed. Even so, the move is shabby politics, a gamble that might well fail, and an eloquent demonstration of the prime minister’s weakness.

On Wednesday, Johnson asked Queen Elizabeth II to prorogue the legislature for five weeks before beginning a new session in mid-October, a little over two weeks before the Brexit deadline. This isn’t unprecedented or on the face of it unlawful. It still leaves time for the House of Commons to veto a no-deal Brexit if it can muster a majority for that. But proposed at a moment of national crisis, this suspension will be the longest in decades, and Johnson’s stated reason — that it’s necessary to introduce a “bold and ambitious” domestic agenda — is plainly dishonest.

What’s the real objective? The prime minister seems to be banking on two possible outcomes.

One is that he’ll tempt the opposition into calling a no-confidence vote and hence an election. With Labour in complete disarray, and Brexit opponents split on every other matter of public policy, this has a certain strategic appeal. But any such course would threaten only more costly delay and uncertainty over Brexit.

The second rationale is that the suspension, if it isn’t overturned by the courts, will frustrate efforts to stop Britain from exiting the European Union without a deal come Oct. 31. Preserving the possibility of a no-deal exit is the core of Johnson’s Brexit strategy, his main leverage in talks with the EU.

Again, one can see the strategic sense in this calculation. Again, though, it’s grossly irresponsible. A majority in Parliament has already rejected a no-deal exit. Only about 25% of the public supports it — indeed, only half of those supporting Brexit agree with it. It would be the worst possible outcome to this whole misbegotten process, leaving the U.K. poorer, weaker and indefinitely adrift.

More than anything, Johnson has demonstrated the weakness of his own position. He’s an unelected prime minister heading a minority government. With this threadbare legitimacy, he’s facing the most consequential decision a British prime minister has had to make in decades. And his unpopular negotiating position is pointing the country toward calamity. To escape this bind, he’s chosen tactical maneuvering rather than wise leadership.

Johnson’s supporters think suspending Parliament is a cunning move. It’s better understood as an act of desperation — and, if this still counts in British politics, an assault on the national interest.

–Editors: Timothy Lavin, Clive Crook

To contact the senior editor responsible for Bloomberg Opinion’s editorials: David Shipley at davidshipley@bloomberg.net, .

Editorials are written by the Bloomberg Opinion editorial board.

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

August 2019 Newsletter

Brekshire for Europe logo

With Johnson now PM and the 31st of October just weeks away, we’re reaching crisis point. We now have a cabinet full of extreme Brexiteers and we’re hurtling towards No Deal. This is a very dangerous time, but it was always going to come to this and we need to hold fast and keep resisting. There are various ways that this could play out and we need to make sure that our voices are heard. We have several campaigns coming up. Now is the time to get active. Please join us whenever and however you can.

View from our Chair, Peter Leisupe

We have the arch liar in chief as PM, flouting democracy! We recently gave the people of Maidenhead the choice of voting for Boris or Jeremy Hunt or Larry the Downing Street cat. As you can see from the photo below, the cat was the people’s choice – support the will of the people!

Sadly we now have the delusional unicorns in charge of the country. The very latest economic figures show that the economy is contracting.  I hate to think what the figures will look like if we ever leave. God help us! Already we see the new Brexiteer members of cabinet talking to Trump, who apparently has a pen in hand ready to sign a trade deal if we capitulate to their trade demands. Chlorinated chicken and hormone-stuffed beef any one? Thankfully the US congress will block any trade deal unless we respect the Good Friday Agreement. We should not underestimate the strength of the Irish diaspora in America; the prospect of Brexit has reinvigorated this section of American society.

My thanks to all who contributed to our crowd funder to pay for our campaign at the Reading festival – we now are able to fully fund our events there.  Please volunteer to help out. Details are below.

We have been out on the streets with our Brexit quiz. It was well received in Broad Street, Reading and proved to be an excellent engagement tool.  Many volunteers also joined the March for Change in London on the 20th of July. This was another successful demonstration, celebrating our membership of the EU. We will of course be supporting the coming march in London in October. Please note that the date for this march has changed from the 12th of October to the 19th of October due to a clash with a charity event.

It is increasingly looking like a general election will be happening soon. We will be asking for volunteers to help in street stalls, door-to-door leafleting and canvassing. To find out more details of future events and to keep up to date, please join our closed FB page, Berkshire for Europe – Social.View from our Chair, Peter LeisupeWe have the arch liar in chief as PM, flouting democracy! We recently gave the people of Maidenhead the choice of voting for Boris or Jeremy Hunt or Larry the Downing Street cat. As you can see from the photo below, the cat was the people’s choice – support the will of the people!

Sadly we now have the delusional unicorns in charge of the country. The very latest economic figures show that the economy is contracting.  I hate to think what the figures will look like if we ever leave. God help us! Already we see the new Brexiteer members of cabinet talking to Trump, who apparently has a pen in hand ready to sign a trade deal if we capitulate to their trade demands. Chlorinated chicken and hormone-stuffed beef any one? Thankfully the US congress will block any trade deal unless we respect the Good Friday Agreement. We should not underestimate the strength of the Irish diaspora in America; the prospect of Brexit has reinvigorated this section of American society.

My thanks to all who contributed to our crowd funder to pay for our campaign at the Reading festival – we now are able to fully fund our events there.  Please volunteer to help out. Details are below.

We have been out on the streets with our Brexit quiz. It was well received in Broad Street, Reading and proved to be an excellent engagement tool.  Many volunteers also joined the March for Change in London on the 20th of July. This was another successful demonstration, celebrating our membership of the EU. We will of course be supporting the coming march in London in October. Please note that the date for this march has changed from the 12th of October to the 19th of October due to a clash with a charity event.

It is increasingly looking like a general election will be happening soon. We will be asking for volunteers to help in street stalls, door-to-door leafleting and canvassing. To find out more details of future events and to keep up to date, please join our closed FB page, Berkshire for Europe – Social.

CALL TO ACTION!

Reading festival, 23rd – 25th August

The festival is almost upon us and we have a great team of campaigners ready to go. We’ll be handing out stickers and wristbands (see below), encouraging people to register to vote. We’ll also be asking people to participate in Brexitometers, and much more. We still need more volunteers to make sure we maximise our impact. Please let us know if and when you can help. We’re asking people to sign up for shifts, so it should be easy to fit at least one shift in. Check out our closed FB page, Berkshire for Europe – Social for more details or contact us directly for more information.

Reading Pride, 31st August

We’ve booked a stall at Reading Pride. Come along and say hello, or help out if you can. We’d love to see you there. It’ll be great fun, as always.

People’s Vote March – London, Saturday 19th October

Please note that this date has changed from the original planned date of the 12th October due to a clash with a charity event for Great Ormond Street. Please put the date of Saturday 19th October in your diaries. An anti-Brexit rally is now being planned for the 12th if you are unable to make the 19th. More details of the rally will follow.  

SODEM – Westminster

SODEM is still campaigning outside Westminster. Please join them whenever you can. We need a massive Remainer presence outside Parliament. Check SODEM’s FB page and Twitter feed for updates.

Bastille Day
We had a stall at the Bastille Day event in Reading for the whole weekend. It was a good opportunity to engage with the public and it was the ideal event at which to celebrate being European.4

March for Change
A group of us travelled up to London for the march back in July. It was a great day. Despite a heavy shower in Reading, the weather was on our side. We heard many good speeches in parliament square and it was an uplifting day. The message – No to Boris, No to Brexit, Yes to Europe was a powerful one.

Street campaigns
We’ve had stalls in Reading, Wokingham, Bracknell and Maidenhead most weekends over the last month. Many people have wanted to chat with us about Boris Johnson and the way he is steering things. The Brexitometers have proven useful, as always. Come along and join us if and when you can.
 
Wokingham
Berkshire for Europe was out on the 10th of August with our friends in Wokingham for Europe with their Brexitometer in Market Place in Wokingham centre. For a very windy quiet day you can see from the photo that we had considerable interest from the public. In all we had some very interesting conversations and it was a successful day out! Mr Redwood MP does not appear to be very popular!
Door-to-door campaigning
Some members of our group have joined forces with our Open Britain friends and have been campaigning on door steps in the Reading area. This has proven to be extremely successful – people seem really willing to engage and we’ve had some fascinating conversations with both leavers and remainers … and with those that are still on the fence or are fed up with Brexit! It’s been a really effective way to open up the debate and to gently talk about the positives of EU membership. We’re always looking for more volunteers and each session begins with a short training session – please join us if you can.
Regular Social
We’re planning another social evening for August. Exact date is yet to be confirmed. Keep an eye on our closed Facebook page, Berkshire for Europe – Social, for details of when and where.