We’re back!

Hello. After a bleak summer which has seen all things Brexit go from dire to worse, we’re back and battle-ready. We hope you’ll join us.
Our first newsletter of the autumn rounds up what’s coming up in the weeks ahead, and how you can become involved. Happy reading!
Not a member? Then go the “Get involved” page and sign up now.


The main stories

Meet Peter Leisupe, our new Chair!

Hello everyone! I am the new chair of Berkshire for Europe, and I look forward to the fight ahead against the idiocy that is Brexit.

Berkshire for Europe has now awoken from its summer slumber, ready and anxious to continue the fight. Already we have joined up with Open Britain with a joint stall in Broad Street Reading this Saturday. Please come and meet us. We will have other events coming up over the autumn. Our first social event will be on the 19th of September in the Three Guineas, where I hope to meet you all and talk about what needs to be done to defeat Brexit. (More details of both events below.)

It is amazing over the last two months how the Brexit political landscape has changed. Labour is beginning to see some sense with its policy shift to supporting continued membership of the single market during a Brexit transitional period. This is a start, we of course will be fighting to persuade
them to oppose Brexit full stop.

The Conservative party is descending into farce with red lines moving and promises of the end of European Court of Justice “Interference” seemly a distant dream. There are many Conservatives who oppose Brexit. We must support them and persuade them to show courage in standing up for what they believe in. A key goal for us must be to engage the young: after all, it’s their future and it will be their country! We must mobilise them.

Brexit is most definitely not a done deal, there is still absolutely everything to play for! Let’s work
together and stop this lunacy.

I want to take this opportunity to thank Marie for her hard work in setting up and growing this group over the past year. These will be big shoes to fill! I am happy to know she will still be with us as Secretary so that knowledge will not go from the group.


Council Election Update

We’ve been lucky to have experienced candidates standing for two of our most crucial open roles in the Council, as Chair and Secretary.

Marie French, Founder and outgoing Chair, has stepped down from the position of Chair due to personal circumstances but will be staying on to support the group as Secretary. Peter Leisupe has taken up the reins and will lead the group into the next phase as you read in his introduction above. As there was only one candidate for each role, these were elected by default and members were not called upon to vote. You can see the full make-up of the Council on our website under the “Who we are” page.

However, we still have several vacancies, the most urgent of which is Events Officer. The group needs an organised person to get our public and national events organised. This applies to our public conferences and also gathering up local people to come to national events and taking part in initiatives such as leafleting etc. on a local level. High energy levels and organisation are a must for this central role. This is a crucial role, particularly as the group re-launches this coming month. If you think you are the person to step in here, please get in touch! We could do with your help.

We also still need a Campaigns Officer as well as other ad hoc helpers from those who can lend a hand with anything from fundraising to leafleting. Get in touch with us and let us know your availability, however much or little time you have to give to the campaign.


EVENTS

Help Stall Brexit!
Berkshire for Europe and Open Britain are joining forces to run a stall outside the main entrance of Marks & Spencer on Broad Street in central Reading on Saturday the 2nd of September from 10am-4pm. This national day of action is also supported by the European Movement, to which Berkshire for Europe is affiliated.
Leaflets and cake (as in “have your cake and eat it”) will also be available. Leaflets from a variety of pro remain for groups will be handed out.
Open Britain will be asking the public to sign their anti-hard Brexit petition Berkshire for Europe will of course will be supporting a hard remain message that’s anti-Brexit altogether.
Please come and join us. We need volunteers to staff the stand and engage with the public. Come when you can and stay for long as you are able.

Drink and Be Merry
We’re a sociable bunch at Berkshire for Europe and enjoy the times away from the campaign when we’re just chilling, chewing the fat and putting the world to rights in a relaxed environment. We don’t spend all the time Remoaning about Brexit, or even talking about it!
Our first social of the autumn is on Tuesday September 19 from 7 pm at The Three Guineas, Reading Station. It’s a nice central location with stacks of public transport so we look forward to seeing people there. Just rock up, grab a drink and get stuck into the chat! Food is also served if you fancy eating.

Five Reasons to Fear the Great Repeal Bill
The Great Repeal Bill may represent the most extensive transfer of power away from elected representatives in history. It empowers the government to remove rights and protections that we all value. Dr Sam Fowles, lawyer and academic, will explore the powers in the bill, rights, protections, and people most at risk, and how we can fight back.
7.30pm Wednesday 6th September
RISC, 35 – 39 London Street, Reading RG1 4PS
More info Jackie Oversby: 07745310794 / jackieoversby@gmail.comwww.globaljustice.org.uk/reading

Now is the Autumn of our Discontent…
A string of events is planned nationally over the coming weeks, including:
September 09 – People’s March for Europe, London 11am https://peoplesmarch4eu.org/
There are also plans for marching on the conferences of all the main political parties this autumn: on September 17th at the Lib Dem gathering in Bournemouth, on September 24 when Labour meets in Brighton and on October 1 at the Conservative conference.
Our colleagues in Sevenoaks and Swanley have a good summary: http://sstie.uk/autumn-of-discontent-stop-brexit

Some of us are going to be going to some of these events where possible – especially those closer to Berkshire – leave a message on Facebook or chat to us at the drinks if you want to travel together or share a lift.


MEMBERS HAVE THEIR SAY

‘I Voted Leave …’ By Len Middleton (who didn’t)

“I voted Leave” – Yes, there is a Facebook page called that! It’s here: https://www.facebook.com/euIVotedLeave – Over 150,000 people follow this page.

Is this a place to post?
I think the jury’s out on how much of Facebook is an echo chamber, but if you want your view to be seen by 150,000 people this might be the place. Just because it has 150,000 followers doesn’t mean they all pay attention!

What do you find there?
This is not for the faint-hearted. People post things for which they would be arrested if they said in the street. I’ve reported one posting for racist content. Another poster was complaining that someone “grassed him up” to Facebook. But there are also several other pro-EU posters – so it’s not all bad!

Dispatches from Mainland Europe
Outgoing Campaigns Officer Hania Orszulik writes:
I am leaving Berkshire for Europe for a year while I study for an MA in European Studies at the University of Leuven, Belgium. During this year away, I will keep in touch with this this fantastically committed group, and do what I can from afar to support the campaign.
I look forward to bringing quarterly updates from mainland Europe, with reactions from the media and the public from a European perspective.


Persuading Leavers to Remain… or not
Member Paul Easthaugh has written eloquently for our website on the best approach for the public persuasion that will be needed if we are to persuade Leavers to change their minds.
Read it in full in the next blog post down from this newsletter.


Want to contribute an article to a future newsletter? Get in touch!