UK citizens wherever they live are not getting a fair BREXIT deal from the EU.

One of the things that was clear from the Millions in the Margins advice we commissioned in March last year is that during the Brexit negotiations, the EU has ignored its own treaties and the principles which should underpin its actions and negotiations.

This has resulted in UK citizens not being treated in an appropriate and proportionate fashion by the EU.

The EU has not protected some classes of EU citizen, and has discriminated against others, who have made life changing decisions based on their EU citizenship rights.

The serious possibility of a No-Deal exit, whether intended or accidental, from the EU only exacerbates the damage being done to the rights of EU citizens, and removes the partial protections contained in Theresa May’s ill-fated deal.

Despite the Alberto Costa amendment being passed by the Commons last week the EU has said that it will not agree to a standalone citizenship rights agreement. More evidence, if it were needed, that the EU is not standing up for its citizens.

The Millions in the Margins identifies a number of areas where the actions of the EU will be open to challenge, due to the way it has ignored EU and International law.

Similar logic and legal analysis has now been used by Kieron Beal QC and three other lawyers to produce an advice which Gina Miller is using to remind the EU and its member states that they have obligations to the EU, to all its member states, and by implication to the citizens and businesses of those member states, that it cannot simply ignore and/or walk away from.

This advice, and thus Gina Miller’s argument, apparently suggests that the EU27 could in fact unilaterally extend the Article 50 period and perhaps should do so.

Whether it is a sustainable legal or political argument to suggest that the EU could refuse to let a member state leave, the legitimacy of the EU27 unilaterally extending the Article 50 period is, at best, debatable.

The judgement of the CJEU in the Andy Wightman case would suggest that it is not possible. The UK has the sovereign right to give notice of leaving the EU, and the sovereign right to decide to revoke that notice, sovereign rights that cannot be overridden by the EU.

That is not to say that the EU couldn’t ask the UK or offer to extend the Article 50 period.

The EU must abide by the principles encapsulated in its treaties and the laws that flow from them.

The current difficulty is how to challenge the EU on whether it has conformed to EU and International law in its negotiations, both in the positions it has taken and their outcomes.

As we saw in the Harry Shindler case, EU citizens do not have any standing with the CJEU unless they have actually been deprived of rights or otherwise not treated in accordance with EU law. To put it bluntly, we have to wait until we have lost our rights before we can challenge the EU at the CJEU.

As things stand, the only body that can bring the EU to account is the EU Parliament, which could refer the matter to the CJEU and ask for a ruling on whether the process and conclusions are consistent with the treaties and laws of the EU.

Making a move to bring pressure to bear on MEPs, so that they will speak for us in the EU Parliament, is currently the only sure-fire way to ensure that EU citizens, a group which for the time being includes UK citizens, are treated properly wherever they are.

We must all have been, at best, notes in the margins of a great many papers produced since the referendum, notes made by politicians and negotiators who found it too complex, difficult and inexpedient to stand up for us and our rights. Or even to respect the law.

Many of us, who never dreamt that their situations would only figure there, are finding that’s exactly where they are, if indeed they are noted at all. Many more have still to find that things they’ve taken for granted for 45 years are about to be swept away. We must not allow ourselves to be swept away with them.

Whatever happens, 29th March 2019 will not be the end of the matter.

If we leave there will be legal challenges to be made to seek redress for EU citizenship rights that have been stripped away from EU citizens who have made life changing decisions based on those rights.

If there is an extension to the Article 50 period, be it short or long, to put it to a People’s Vote or not, we need to continue the work we have started and make people aware of the very real consequences of leaving the EU.

For The People’s Challenge this will involve building on the Millions in the Margins and the Legal Milestones advices we commissioned in order to provide more detail on the specific areas that those documents highlight.

To do this we will again need your support, help and backing both in the work and, as importantly, funding that work.

Even lawyers working at heavily discounted rates cost significant amounts of money, as every legal challenge there has been over the past 2 and a half years shows, and to make sure that we get the best value from the money that is spent on expert legal advice, we have to make sure that we prepare an accurate and coherent brief for the work we want them to do, backed up by the necessary supporting information.

In crowdsourced and funded work such as this every little helps, a fiver, a few quid can make a big difference as long as enough of us pitch in.

____________________________________________________

The People's Challenge - logoWe value your support, apart from the sheer time and effort involved, much of what we do costs money that we can only afford to spend with the financial support of people like you.

Many people have contributed not once but multiple times and we know that there are practical limits on what people can do. Whether you can make a contribution (please click on the image above) or not please spread the word among your contacts and on the social media.

Our aim is to help people see what’s going on, understand what they are, or aren’t, being told, and decide what is best for our country: what is in the national interest, protecting fundamental citizenship rights and ensuring Parliament and not the executive is sovereign.

There is still a long way to go and there are no guarantees about what the outcome will be. The only thing that is certain is that if we stop trying we will lose.

To help protect our fundamental rights, and support Parliament in safeguarding them, please support us so we can maintain our campaign and make your voice heard.

Please share this article as widely as you can, thank you very much for your support.

You can follow us via our blog, on Twitter @PeoplesChalleng and our Facebook page.

Published by Grahame Pigney on behalf of The People’s Challenge Ltd.

 

 

Posted in Article 50 negotiations, Brexit, People's Challenge, The Millions in the Margins, What Is Best For Our Country | Tagged , , , ,

Important vs Urgent vs Important AND Urgent – Fighting Brexit

There are a number of campaigns challenging the results of the 2016 referendum plus the recently announced NCA (National Crime Agency) investigation.

The issues that these campaigns are focused on are without doubt very important.

The various challenges have yet to get over the first, and very high, hurdle – will the court admit the challenge? Indeed one or more has been rejected by the courts at least once.

However, we have to prioritise the IMPORTANT and the URGENT.

If we are to neutralise or even mitigate the effects of the attack on our democracy, we need to prevent the forces of darkness pushing the UK into an uninformed Brexit – that is URGENT.

It is IMPORTANT that we prevent this happening again in the future. But if we fail to prevent the corruption of the 2016 referendum from dictating the immediate future of the UK, we will lose not just a battle but a campaign, and possibly the war.

Even more URGENT is the need to lobby our parliamentarians, persuade them to base their decisions on what is Best for the UK and support those parliamentarians who are prepared to take the position articulated by Edmund Burke in 1774:

“Your representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgment; and he betrays, instead of serving you, if he sacrifices it to your opinion.”

The will of the people is what it is on the day, it is neither immutable nor unchangeable. As David Davis said in 2012: “If a democracy cannot change its mind, it ceases to be a democracy.”

Nobody voted for a future that impoverished the UK and its citizens, weakened its social services, its NHS, it social cohesion, its own union of nations – far from all that, the Leave campaigns promise was that the UK would be better off outside the EU.

This is why it is URGENT that we fight the self-serving and supposedly idealogical arguments from Theresa May and others.

The Leave campaign’s economist, Patrick Minford, said that Brexit would mostly eliminate UK manufacturing and increase wage inequality. He advocated a transition of around 10 years to help industry “adjust”.

Patrick Minford told the Foreign Affairs Select Committee in 2012: “It is perfectly true that if you remove protection of the sort that has been given particularly to the car industry and other manufacturing industries inside the protective wall, you will have a change in the situation facing that industry, and you are going to have to run it down.”

He echoed this in a piece in The Sun, writing: “Over time, if we left the EU, it seems likely that we would mostly eliminate manufacturing, leaving mainly industries such as design, marketing and hi-tech. But this shouldn’t scare us.”

Politicians and campaign groups must use the tools they have been provided with to prevent the self-immolation that the UK (Theresa May) seems intent on.

Once we have turned back this existential threat to what makes the UK great, we can then address the failings in the Union and the democratic system we rely on.

Some 1,500 lawyers have backed The People’s Vote campaign including some who have advised The People’s Challenge:

Sir David Edwards KCMG PC QC FRSE – Former European Court of Justice Judge and co-author of the Three Knights Opinion commissioned by The Peoples Challenge.

Helen Mountfield QC – Lead Counsel for our successful challenge to the Government’s intended use of Royal Prerogative to trigger Article 50 and a co-author of the Three Knights Opinion.

John Halford – Partner at Bindmans LLP who led our Article 50 challenge and the teams that produced The Knights Opinion and Millions in the Margins Advice.

Jolyon Maugham QC – Triggered the pre-action letter that led to The Peoples Challenge to the Government’s use of Royal Prerogative to make the Article 50 notification.

Between now and 29th March persuading our parliamentarians to take decisions based on what is Best for the UK and its people is both URGENT and IMPORTANT.

____________________________________________________

The People's Challenge - logoWe value your support. Just keeping track of the campaigns and challenges that have objectives that match our own takes time and effort, much of what we do costs money that we can only afford to spend with the financial support of people like you.

Many people have contributed not once but multiple times and we know that there are practical limits on what people can do. Whether you can make a contribution (click on the image above) or not please spread the word among your contacts and on the social media.

Our aim is to help people see what’s going on, understand what they are, or aren’t, being told, and decide what is the best outcome for the UK: an outcome in the national interest, protecting fundamental citizenship rights and ensuring Parliament and not the executive is sovereign.

There is still a long way to go and there are no guarantees about what the outcome will be. The only thing that is certain is that if we stop trying we will lose.

To help protect our fundamental rights, and support Parliament in safeguarding them, please support us so we can maintain our campaign and make your voice heard.

Please share this article as widely as you can, thank you very much for your support.

Published by Grahame Pigney on behalf of The People’s Challenge Ltd.

Posted in Democracy, People's Challenge, The Millions in the Margins, The Three Knights, What is Best for the UK?, What Is Best for UK | Tagged , ,

10 reasons why we need a Mueller style inquiry into the 2016 referendum.

We know that the referendum was tainted by deliberate deception (Turkey’s imminent accession to EU membership, £350m a week spent on EU membership that would be spent on the NHS after Brexit….), foreign influence and blatant ignoring of the rules concerning spending by certain leave campaign organisation.

That is quite apart from the promises of the easiest trade deals possible, and that the EU would be falling over itself to accommodate the UK during the withdrawal negotiations.

Fair Vote are pursuing a challenge for a judicial review of Theresa May’s failure to initiate a public enquiry into the circumstances surrounding the 2016 referendum.

Fair Vote have engaged John Halford at Bindmans LLP to represent them. We know John well as he represented us during the “Miller” case, directed the compilation of the Three Knights Opinion for us and worked with us on our Millions in the Margins campaign.

Fair Vote have made their initial written submission for permission to proceed with the case for the judicial review. This initial submission has been refused, perhaps unsurprisingly in this highly charged political climate, and they are now planning to make an oral submission to be allowed to proceed

However, the reasons for refusal seem specious to say the least, even to a layman. They are all based on the rejection of the case for a judicial review being sought by Sue Wilson and Otrs.

This demonstrates a fundamental misunderstanding of the reasons behind Fair Vote’s submission and how it is very different to the challenge being pursued by Sue Wilson.

Fair Vote’s submission is based on the damage being done to the UK’s system of democracy as a result of the lies, external influence and illegal spending perpetrated by certain people and organisations during the 2016 referendum campaign.

Fair Vote do not claim to be able to overturn the 2016 result or reverse Brexit. What they are seeking to do is something even more important – establish why the rules governing our democratic process broke down and what should be done to stop it happening again.

Fair Vote’s challenge is an extremely important, probably up there with the challenge to the government over its intended use of Royal Prerogative that we initiated 2 and-a-half years ago.

Here are 10 specific reasons why Fair Votes challenge should succeed:

  1. Only an inquiry could reach comprehensive, robust, independent, evidence-based conclusions about what really happened in the EU Referendum – including involvement of individuals, companies and donors abroad and exploitation of loopholes in electoral law – to ensure the truth is known, lessons are learned for the future, and public confidence is restored.
  2. Only an inquiry would allow the UK to take the lead on investigating issues of Russian interference in the 2016 Referendum (avoiding the lead investigation by default being Robert Mueller’s examination of the role of Russian influence in the US elections). There is no Police, National Crime Agency or any other form of investigation happening at present that can compel Russia to publicly explain its actions. The need for accountability of this kind was why an inquiry had to be ordered by Teresa May herself into Alexander Litvinenko’s killing. That happened because Marina Litvinenko won a judicial review challenging Mrs May’s refusal to establish one.
  3. Only an inquiry would be in a position make factual findings on evidence other bodies – such as the Electoral Commission and Information Commissioner – have been unable to secure because of the limits on their jurisdiction. An inquiry would allow for a form of accountability for wrongs that are not currently crimes or regulatory offences (or which may be, but cannot practically be prosecuted).
  4. Inquiries can require witness attendance, cross-examination and the production of documents. The unwillingness of individuals – like Dominic Cummings – and organisations – like Facebook– to co-operate with investigations to date can be overcome using these special investigatory powers which other bodies lack.
  5. Only an inquiry will be able to do these things publicly. There would be clear transparency benefits. As well as having a narrow focus on commission of offences, Police, National Crime Agency and Electoral investigations are inevitably be conducted in private. By contrast, an inquiry allows core participants to engage in the Inquiry and, where permitted by the Chair, to cross-examine witnesses in public and to examine documents, and for the media to report fully on the steps taken in the investigation.
  6. The process of the inquiry and action on its recommendations for changes in the law could help address the threat to democracy and restore trust and confidence in the machinery needed to guard against it, especially because of its functional independence.
  7. That functional independence could address concerns about the role of senior public figures. For instance, a number of senior politicians, including those who sat on the Vote Leave Board and/or the Vote Leave Campaign Committee. To date, only Mr Cummings has been asked about his role and he flatly refused to be questioned about it publicly (by the Commons DCMS Committee). Only an inquiry will be able to put questions to them and require answers.
  8. An inquiry would not be starting from scratch. It would draw on the expertise of the Electoral Commissioner and Information Commissioner and build on the evidence gathering those bodies have undertaken so far along with that of the Commons DCMS Committee.
  9. An inquiry would be able to draw lessons from events and prevent events from re-occurring by making recommendations, including for law reform. The recommendations already made by the Electoral Commission, Information Commissioner and Commons DCMS Committee could be considered and endorsed if appropriate, but the main purpose of the inquiry would be to make evidence-based recommendations based on its own investigation, not to duplicate the work of others.
  10. Public Inquiries are powerful things. Exposing the facts surrounding the 2016 referendum will help with understanding the extent of the damage done to public confidence (including that arising from one country having interfered in the domestic affairs and democratic processed of another country) and re-establishing the integrity of our system of democracy. An inquiry would allow an acknowledgement of what went wrong and ensure that the record is set straight. And if information about the commission of crimes came to light as a result of an inquiry, this could be separately dealt with by the police prosecutors – as happened after the phone hacking inquiry.

Please support Fair Vote’s Crowd Justice campaign if you can. They have already raised nearly £90,000 and need to raise at least £100,000 in order to proceed to an oral hearing seeking permission to proceed with the challenge. You can find their main submission here  and the submission explaining why Fair Vote’s case has nothing to do with the one being pursued by Sue Wilson & Otrs here.

We know from our experience with the “Miller” case that seeking justice and ensuring the rule of law does not come cheaply, particularly when you have a government whose priorities seem to be self-interest and obfuscation.

____________________________________________________

The People's Challenge - logoWe value your support, apart from the sheer time and effort involved, much of what we do costs money that we can only afford to spend with the financial support of people like you.

Many people have contributed not once but multiple times and we know that there are practical limits on what people can do. Whether you can make a contribution (please click on the image above) or not please spread the word among your contacts and on the social media.

Our aim is to help people see what’s going on, understand what they are, or aren’t, being told, and decide what is best for our country: what is in the national interest, protecting fundamental citizenship rights and ensuring Parliament and not the executive is sovereign.

There is still a long way to go and there are no guarantees about what the outcome will be. The only thing that is certain is that if we stop trying we will lose.

To help protect our fundamental rights, and support Parliament in safeguarding them, please support us so we can maintain our campaign and make your voice heard.

Please share this article as widely as you can, thank you very much for your support.

You can follow us via our blog, on Twitter @PeoplesChalleng and our Facebook page.

Published by Grahame Pigney on behalf of The People’s Challenge Ltd.

Posted in Democracy, Political Integrity, Public Inquiry 2016 referendum | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Is a People’s Vote now more likely or are we heading for a default No-Deal exit – the answer is in Jeremy Corbyn’s hands

The scale of Theresa May’s defeat is incredible. Far exceeding anything whether measured in votes or percentages that a Government has suffered in the modern era.

But, which way does her defeat push things? The opposition to her deal will fragment and drift away – spread between the No-Deal, Norway, soft-Brexit, let’s renegotiate once we are in No 10, and pro-EU groupings.

Some will argue that if parliament is that divided then a People’s Vote is the only option, on the other hand a divided and paralysed parliament will inevitably lead to a No-Deal exit on 29th March.

What is needed now, more than ever, is leadership – leadership that will focus on what unites the greatest number of people rather than focusing on their differences.

The no confidence vote tabled by Jeremy Corbyn may well prove nothing as Thresa May almost certainly has enough backing to defeat it.

What will be crucial is what Labour does immediately after the no-confidence vote being defeated.

Will Jeremy Corbyn back the Labour membership in turning a conveniently ambiguous Brexit policy into a policy that will save the UK from the dark and dank corner that Theresa May and her Brexiters are steering the country into?

____________________________________________________

The People's Challenge - logoWe value your support, apart from the sheer time and effort involved, much of what we do costs money that we can only afford to spend with the financial support of people like you.

Many people have contributed not once but multiple times and we know that there are practical limits on what people can do. Whether you can make a contribution (please click on the image above) or not please spread the word among your contacts and on the social media.

Our aim is to help people see what’s going on, understand what they are, or aren’t, being told, and decide what is best for our country: what is in the national interest, protecting fundamental citizenship rights and ensuring Parliament and not the executive is sovereign.

There is still a long way to go and there are no guarantees about what the outcome will be. The only thing that is certain is that if we stop trying we will lose.

To help protect our fundamental rights, and support Parliament in safeguarding them, please support us so we can maintain our campaign and make your voice heard.

Please share this article as widely as you can, thank you very much for your support.

You can follow us via our blog, on Twitter @PeoplesChalleng and our Facebook page.

Published by Grahame Pigney on behalf of The People’s Challenge Ltd.

Posted in Article 50 negotiations, Brexit, Meaningful Vote, Parliamentary Sovereignty, People's Challenge, Political Integrity, What Is Best For Our Country | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

UK Voter Id – Another government attack on the UK’s democratic process

Under cover of Brexit darkness, the government is mounting another, typically surreptitious, attack on our democracy.

The government, without any substantive evidence, is implementing a system by which we will all have to have a “Voter Id”. You may have thought that you already had one by registering on the electoral roll, but you would be wrong.

The government is using various instruments and prerogatives to attempt to subvert our right to vote and other rights we have under the 1688 Bill of Rights. These are our rights and it is for Parliament to decide how they are exercised. We must stand up to these abuses, just as we did when the government tried to use Royal Prerogative to trigger Article 50.

If we are at all concerned about our fundamental rights and the rule of law, we must support Neil Coughlan’s campaign to ensure that there is proper democratic, parliamentary oversight of the restrictive measures the government is attempting to impose.

Neil makes a persuasive case for opposing the imposition of Voter Id in this video.

In 2017 there were just 28 allegations of impersonation out of nearly 45 million votes cast. This is 1 case for every 1.6 million votes cast. Of those 28 allegations, 1 case resulted in a conviction – that’s 0.000063%.

One of the key pieces of evidence used to support the need for the Government’s voter ID pilots was discredited by the UK Statistics Authority (UKSA).

The government claimed that in-person voter fraud more than doubled between 2014 and 2016, a statistic that is technically accurate, a rise from 21 cases in 2014 to 44 in 2016. What the government fails to explain is that the number of allegations then fell by more than a third in 2017, to 28.

In short, the number is insignificant, even if all instances were to happen in a single constituency.

3.5 million voters (7.5% of the electorate) do not have any photo ID. If restricted to passports and driving licenses, potentially 11 million electors (24% of the electorate) would not have a qualifying ID.

Either Voter Id is a solution looking for a problem as the Electoral Reform Society suggests or it is a measure against something other than electoral fraud.

Voter Id in the USA is being used as a tool to disenfranchise the most vulnerable members of society: the poor, the elderly, the disabled, ethnic minorities, the homeless. The UK government’s introduction of Voter Id in the UK would disadvantage the same groups of people.

The crux of the argument is perhaps that these groups are thought to be not only unlikely to vote for the Conservative party, but also likely to vote for other parties, particularly Labour. So it is just a whole lot easier to stop them voting than it is to convince them to vote Tory.

Vote Tory or you don’t get to vote. Neat, isn’t it?

All this is being forced through by the government without an Act of Parliament or even a debate in the House of Commons.

I have contributed to Neil’s campaign and I urge you to do so as well.

Grahame Pigney – January 2019

____________________________________________________

The People's Challenge - logoWe value your support, apart from the sheer time and effort involved, much of what we do costs money that we can only afford to spend with the financial support of people like you.

Many people have contributed not once but multiple times and we know that there are practical limits on what people can do. Whether you can make a contribution (please click on the image above) or not please spread the word among your contacts and on the social media.

Our aim is to help people see what’s going on, understand what they are, or aren’t, being told, and decide what is best for our country: what is in the national interest, protecting fundamental citizenship rights and ensuring Parliament and not the executive is sovereign.

There is still a long way to go and there are no guarantees about what the outcome will be. The only thing that is certain is that if we stop trying we will lose.

To help protect our fundamental rights, and support Parliament in safeguarding them, please support us so we can maintain our campaign and make your voice heard.

Please share this article as widely as you can, thank you very much for your support.

You can follow us via our blog, on Twitter @PeoplesChalleng and our Facebook page.

Published by Grahame Pigney on behalf of The People’s Challenge Ltd.

Posted in Democracy, Parliamentary Sovereignty, Political Integrity, What Is Best For Our Country | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

The past two years very much resemble the curate’s egg

The past two years very much resemble the curate’s egg.

On the one hand there has been blind adherence to a non-existent plan, which has resulted in a deal between Theresa May and the EU that virtually nobody in the UK wants, and it seems that nobody in the EU really wants it either.

On the other hand, there have been two momentous legal decisions.

The first was when the government was defeated in the Supreme Court over its intention to use the Royal Prerogative to Trigger Article 50, and the second when the Court of Justice of the EU agreed that the UK can unilaterally withdraw the Article 50 notification.

Both of these decisions are connected by a long legal thread, starting with our successful Article 50 challenge, running through The Three Knights Opinion which in turn underpinned the successful question to the CJEU by Andy Wightman and his colleagues. It is a legal thread that has been funded in large part by your contributions and support for our fundraising campaigns.

Neither of these challenges has stopped Brexit, but nobody said they would. Indeed, no legal challenge can of itself stop Brexit. But they have been the only ones to pull the government up short and restrain its autocratic deceit.

In doing so, they provided our parliamentarians with tools to help them force through a meaningful vote on the results of Theresa May’s shambolic and damaging negotiations, and gave hope that the outcome will be something that doesn’t damage our and our country’s future for decades to come.

You have also helped us fund another significant piece of legal work, The Millions in the Margins. This document highlights the ways in which the draft Withdrawal Agreement between the UK and the EU is not only discriminatory but seriously deficient in protections provided to UK citizens at home and overseas.

Although Theresa May’s deal is being touted as the end of the process, this is not so. The only way that Brexit will finish on 29th March 2019 is if the UK continues as a member of the EU.

Theresa May’s deal does nothing more than kick the can down the road yet again, with the distinct possibility of a no-deal exit from the EU on 31st December 2020.

Even a no-deal exit will not finish the Brexit process. Does anybody seriously believe the UK can walk away from the EU and not have treaties and agreements with our closest neighbours covering trade, security, defence co-operation…? Even the most myopic of the unicorn hunters don’t think that.

Fortunately, Parliament as a whole seems disinclined to believe in the myths of unicorns and rainbows spouted by Theresa May, added and abetted by Jeremy Corbyn and the brexiters.

There is still much work to be done, persuading and informing MPs on what we think and preparing for a possible People’s Vote by encouraging people to ensure they are registered to vote. There may even be new legal challenges, depending on the course things take over the coming weeks.

We send out supporters’ e-mails via Crowd Justice when we can, but as we are not currently running a Crowd Justice campaign that doesn’t always happen as quickly or punctually as events dictate.

You can also follow us via our Blog, Facebook page, or Twitter @PeoplesChalleng .

Many thanks, once again, for your support, we hope you had a good Christmas/New Year and let’s see what we can do to make 2019 A Very Good Year.

____________________________________________________

The People's Challenge - logoWe value your support, apart from the sheer time and effort involved, much of what we do costs money that we can only afford to spend with the financial support of people like you.

Many people have contributed not once but multiple times and we know that there are practical limits on what people can do. Whether you can make a contribution (please click on the image above) or not please spread the word among your contacts and on the social media.

Our aim is to help people see what’s going on, understand what they are, or aren’t, being told, and decide what is the best outcome for the UK: an outcome in the national interest, protecting fundamental citizenship rights and ensuring Parliament and not the executive is sovereign.

There is still a long way to go and there are no guarantees about what the outcome will be. The only thing that is certain is that if we stop trying we will lose.

To help protect our fundamental rights, and support Parliament in safeguarding them, please support us so we can maintain our campaign and make your voice heard.

Please share this article as widely as you can, thank you very much for your support.

Published by Grahame Pigney on behalf of The People’s Challenge Ltd.

Posted in Article 50 negotiations, Brexit, Crowd Justice, Democracy, Legal Milestones, Supreme Court, The Millions in the Margins, The Three Knights, What Is Best For Our Country | Tagged , , , ,

Why we need a People’s Vote and talk of a General Election is just a cynical distraction.

Before we start, “I want to be very clear about this”, nobody is suggesting ignoring the 2016 referendum result.

The world has moved on, we have far more information. It is entirely appropriate to ask people whether they are still of the same mind.

Theresa May asked the electorate to confirm who they wanted to govern the country after barely 2 years. Nobody said that ignored the previous election result, or that it was undemocratic. Tory MPs wanted a vote on who is their leader after 2 1/2 years, and had one.

Democracy is not something that happens every 5 years, or every 41 years in the case of the referendum, it is a system which should regulate how our country is governed every single day.

Indeed in recent time, on more than one occasion we have had to fight to be democratically governed, against a government seemingly intent behaving as a Theresa May dictatorship.

Those who propose fighting a General Election on the basis of Theresa May’s flawed deal versus membership of the EU are being disingenuous, as are those who are seeking to take advantage of the government’s Brexit incompetence to force a General Election in an attempt to gain the keys to No 10.

There has never been a party that has campaigned on EU membership as its sole manifesto issue. A manifesto is expected to contain a whole set of statements on policy and objectives that address the issues of the day, statements which with luck will not be mutually exclusive.

In any event, both Jeremy Corbyn and Theresa May stick to the dogmatic and largely meaningless mantra of “Brexit is Brexit”, and insist that the referendum result from 2 and a half years ago must be followed, apparently regardless of the damage to the UK and its citizens and residents.

EC/EU membership has divided all parties to a greater or lesser extent since the early ’60s.

In the 1975 referendum on continuing to be an EC/EU member, as in the 2016 referendum, the debate and campaign crossed party lines. As someone who listened to both, I have to say the 1975 debate/campaign was conducted to a far higher standard by both sides.

A General Election is a vote on which party is best able to deal with the multitude of issues facing the country (currently, for example, NHS funding, curbing of excessive influence of those who have most money, climate change, social care, social division, growing the economy, housing, Trident) over a five year period.

A referendum on a single issue such as membership of the EU is a fundamental matter that has consequences for peoples’ whole lifetimes, and those of their descendants.

Those consequences are not just the damage to the UK’s economy, the effect on UK citizens resident in EU27 countries or the effect on EU27 citizens resident in the UK.

There are direct and significant consequences, ignored by the UK’s politicians, the EU and the leaders of almost all the UK expatriate groups, for millions of UK residents with property, financial, business and family interests in EU27 countries.

These are the Millions in the Margins who have been “thrown under the bus” as an expedient solution for dealing with, or rather ignoring, people’s rights and obligations established by 45+ years of membership of the EU.

We now have so much more information on the actual, practical consequences of deciding to stop being a member of the EU than we had 2-3 years ago.

It is only reasonable to ask the electorate to confirm which of the options they want Parliament to take: Theresa May’s deal, or for the UK to continue as a member of the EU. It seems clear that the only opinion with a clear-cut majority is that No-Deal is completely unacceptable.

Dominic Grieve makes the arguments for a People’s Vote forcibly in his forward to Roads Not Yet Explored – Routes to a Final Say which sets out ways that this can be brought about.

Once we have settled the issue of Brexit, which is dividing the parties and the country, we can have a national debate and an eventual General Election to decide on the government best able to deliver what is best for our country on the multitude of hugely important issues being ignored by the current government.

____________________________________________________

The People's Challenge - logoWe value your support, apart from the sheer time and effort involved, much of what we do costs money that we can only afford to spend with the financial support of people like you.

Many people have contributed not once but multiple times and we know that there are practical limits on what people can do. Whether you can make a contribution (please click on the image above) or not please spread the word among your contacts and on the social media.

Our aim is to help people see what’s going on, understand what they are, or aren’t, being told, and decide what is the best outcome for the UK: an outcome in the national interest, protecting fundamental citizenship rights and ensuring Parliament and not the executive is sovereign.

There is still a long way to go and there are no guarantees about what the outcome will be. The only thing that is certain is that if we stop trying we will lose.

To help protect our fundamental rights, and support Parliament in safeguarding them, please support us so we can maintain our campaign and make your voice heard.

Please share this article as widely as you can, thank you very much for your support.

Published by Grahame Pigney on behalf of The People’s Challenge Ltd.

Posted in Article 50 negotiations, Brexit, Democracy, Meaningful Vote, NoDeal, What Is Best For Our Country | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Brexit, It’s no good harking back, what is best for our country NOW?

It’s no good harking back…

Were we told that our country would be better off outside the EU, that we could establish a new world position at the drop of a hat, that we could write our own ticket to exit the EU? Yes to all.

Was this all moonshine, is it all in the past, do we need to move on? Yes to all.

We need to channel our inner Dr Phil and say something like, “It is what it is, and the only time is now.”

There may have been lies, misdemeanours and (maybe) misunderstandings, but the important thing is what to do NOW.

Here are some suggestions:

Now we (kind of) know what leaving the EU means, even if it’s so complicated that no one (truly no one) understands all the ins and outs, we should consider the consequences for us, our workmates, families, friends and neighbours, and the economy, prospects and future of our country;

We should inform and support our MPs – that means tell them our views, and that we rely on them to do what is best for our country;

Political circumstances have put our Parliament in an almost impossible situation, so we should press for another referendum – if the last one was democratic, why wouldn’t another one be equally so? TM’s snap election last year apparently wasn’t undemocratic, so what’s the difference?

We should do all we can to make sure that everyone eligible to vote is properly registered to do so where they now live. This may be particularly important for younger people who are more likely to have relocated in the last couple of years. Perhaps you could contact your local schools, colleges, universities, employment agencies to alert people to the necessity for registration?

But just as importantly, we really shouldn’t hark back. Who did what, for what reason, in 2016 in relation to the referendum is HISTORY. Anybody reading this now has over 2 years more experience and information to draw on. As the old saying goes, it’s not where we came from, but where we’re going, that counts.

This issue has been so very deeply divisive. Building bridges is important, or at least not making the canyons any wider. What’s imperative is that we work together to get the best outcome for our country.

____________________________________________________

The People's Challenge - logoWe value your support. Just keeping track of the campaigns and challenges that have objectives that match our own takes time and effort, much of what we do costs money that we can only afford to spend with the financial support of people like you.

Many people have contributed not once but multiple times and we know that there are practical limits on what people can do. Whether you can make a contribution (click on the image above) or not please spread the word among your contacts and on the social media.

Our aim is to help people see what’s going on, understand what they are, or aren’t, being told, and decide what is the best outcome for the UK: an outcome in the national interest, protecting fundamental citizenship rights and ensuring Parliament and not the executive is sovereign.

There is still a long way to go and there are no guarantees about what the outcome will be. The only thing that is certain is that if we stop trying we will lose.

To help protect our fundamental rights, and support Parliament in safeguarding them, please support us so we can maintain our campaign and make your voice heard.

Please share this article as widely as you can, thank you very much for your support.

Published by Grahame Pigney on behalf of The People’s Challenge Ltd.

Posted in Article 50 negotiations, Brexit, Democracy, What Is Best For Our Country | Tagged , , ,