People's Vote is a United Kingdom campaign group calling for a public vote on the final Brexit deal between the United Kingdom and the European Union. The group was launched in April 2018 at an event at which four Members of Parliament spoke, along with the actor Patrick Stewart and other public figures.
The March 2019 London rally
|Formation||15 April 2018|
The Electric Ballroom
Camden, England, UK
|Purpose||Calling for a public vote on the final Brexit deal between the United Kingdom and the European Union|
In July 2017, the Parliament of the United Kingdom established an all-party parliamentary group (APPG) on the UK's relations with the European Union. Co-chairs are Chuka Umunna MP (Liberal Democrats, formerly Labour and Change UK) and Anna Soubry MP (Change UK, formerly Conservative); the remaining members of the group are Caroline Lucas MP (Green), Jo Swinson MP (Liberal Democrats), Jonathan Edwards (Plaid Cymru), Stephen Gethins MP (Scottish National Party), Ros Altmann (Conservative), Andrew Adonis (Labour), John Kerr (crossbench), Sharon Bowles (Liberal Democrats), and Dafydd Wigley (Plaid Cymru).
On 1 February 2018 The Guardian reported that a grassroots coordinating group (GCG) representing more than 500,000 members opposed to a hard Brexit had formed, with Umunna as its leader. Later that month it was reported that George Soros's Open Society Foundations had donated £182,000 to European Movement UK and £35,000 to Scientists for EU, two of the grassroot groups.
In March 2018, HuffPost reported that several pro-EU groups had moved into an office together in London's Millbank Tower in order to co-ordinate their campaign to retain strong links between Britain and the European Union. This was also reported to be in order to work alongside the APPG on EU Relations. Umunna commented, "In our democracy, it is vital that the people get their say on Brexit, rather than their elected representatives in Parliament being reduced to some rubber stamp for whatever plan Boris Johnson, Jacob Rees-Mogg, and Michael Gove have been putting together behind closed doors".
People's Vote formationEdit
People's Vote was launched at an event in London on 15 April 2018, at The Electric Ballroom in Camden. The event comprised Andy Parsons with MPs Umunna, Soubry, Layla Moran (Liberal Democrats), and Lucas speaking, as well as actor Patrick Stewart. Lord Adonis also attended the event.
On 23 June 2018, the second anniversary of the EU referendum, People's Vote organised a march and protest from Piccadilly to Parliament Square in Central London. Speakers included actor Tony Robinson (who criticised the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn for not attending the march), business owner Gina Miller, Liberal Democrats Leader Vince Cable, Labour MP David Lammy, Lucas and Soubry. An estimated 100,000 people attended the march.
The Independent wrote an editorial on 24 July 2018 calling for a "final say on the Brexit deal". Over the next two weeks the television presenter Gary Lineker, the satirist Armando Iannucci, broadcaster Gavin Esler, comedian Rory Bremner, and former Liberal Democrat leader Menzies Campbell also announced their support for the campaign.
In August 2018 the co-founder of Superdry, Julian Dunkerton, donated £1m to the campaign. In the same month the Press Association reported that, according to a leaked memo, People's Vote were attempting to secure a motion calling for a second referendum at the 2018 Labour Party conference. The following month Labour voted in favour of a Brexit motion keeping the option of a second referendum open.
In September 2018, BBC News reported that the Conservative MP Sarah Wollaston had given her support to the campaign. She was followed by Phillip Lee and former Government Whip Guto Bebb. Other Conservative MPs who openly support the People's Vote campaign are former Education Secretary Justine Greening and former Attorney General, Dominic Grieve.
2018 People's Vote MarchEdit
On 20 October 2018, protestors marched from Park Lane to Parliament Square in support of a referendum on the final Brexit deal. The march was started by the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, and featured speeches by Delia Smith and Steve Coogan. Former Downing Street Director of Communications Alastair Campbell supported the march, saying "the Brexit that was campaigned successfully for [...] doesn't exist". The organisers of the march said that almost 700,000 people took part. Police stated that they were unable to estimate the numbers involved and a later police debriefing document prepared by Greater London Authority estimated the number to be 250,000. Another estimate by Full Fact gave around 450,000.
2018 Central Hall rallyEdit
On 13 November 2018, a rally organised by the People's Vote and Best for Britain groups at 3 days' notice filled the Methodist Central Hall in London. The rally was introduced by Andy Parsons and featured an interview of Jo Johnson by Gary Lineker, and speeches by MPs Anna Turley, Justine Greening, Ian Blackford, Caroline Lucas, Layla Moran, Dominic Grieve, Liz Saville Roberts and David Lammy.
2019 People's Vote MarchEdit
On 23 March 2019, organisers said that over a million people took part in the Put It to the People march in London in support of a second Brexit referendum; independent estimates by experts in crowd estimation, researchers at Manchester Metropolitan University, put the figure between 312,000 and 400,000 people. A rally at the end of the march was addressed by SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon, Conservative peer Michael Heseltine, former Attorney General Dominic Grieve, Labour's deputy leader Tom Watson, London Mayor Sadiq Khan and MPs Jess Phillips, Justine Greening and David Lammy.
The campaign is a collaboration between several groups. They use a campaign office based in Millbank central London, apart from Wales for Europe which is based in Wales. The European Movement UK and Britain for Europe also have roughly 150 local campaign groups.
List of collaborating groupsEdit
Co-chair of Leave Means Leave, Richard Tice, branded the campaign a "losers' vote" following the London march in October 2018. Chris Bickerton, a lecturer in politics at the University of Cambridge, argued that a second referendum advocated by the campaign undermines principles of parliamentary democracy. In an opinion piece in The Guardian, he argued that the campaign promotes the idea that Leave voters in the 2016 referendum failed to understand what was at stake, a view that he characterised as elitist.
People's Vote commissioned a report into the economic effects of the Prime Minister's Brexit deal. The report, published late November 2018 by the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR), stated that the deal 'will cost UK £100bn' a year by 2030.
- Staff writer (15 April 2018). "Brexit: 'People's Vote' campaign group launched". BBC News. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
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The main groups opposed to a hard Brexit are joining forces under the leadership of Chuka Umunna to push for the public’s voice to be heard on Theresa May’s final deal to leave the EU
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- The Independent Voices (24 July 2018). "The referendum gave sovereignty to the British people, so now they deserve a final say on the Brexit deal". The Independent. Editorial. Retrieved 30 July 2018.
- Umunna, Chuka (24 July 2018). "If Brexit negotiations have taught us anything, it's that our future should not be left to 650 politicians in London". The Independent. Voices. Retrieved 2 August 2018.
Given everything that has happened and what we know now, it should not be left to 650 politicians in London to decide our future – 65 million people’s voices have to be heard. It’s the only way to break the deadlock. That is why The Independent is right to be calling for a vote on the final Brexit deal.
- Heffer, Greg (26 July 2018). "Gary Lineker joins campaign for second Brexit referendum". Sky News. Retrieved 26 July 2018.
- Iannucci, Armando (1 August 2018). "Armando Iannucci: Why I'm demanding a second referendum on the belched-up mess of Brexit". Daily Mirror. Retrieved 3 August 2018.
- Staff and agencies (18 August 2018). "People's Vote backers rally in Edinburgh for say in final Brexit deal". The Guardian | Edinburgh. Retrieved 19 August 2018.
- Staff writer (19 August 2018). "Brexit vote campaign gets £1m from Superdry co-founder". BBC News. Retrieved 19 August 2018.
- Savage, Michael (18 August 2018). "Julian Dunkerton: the man who gave £1m to the People's Vote campaign". The Observer. Front page. Retrieved 19 August 2018. Image.
- Staff writer (27 August 2018). "Campaigners seek motion on second Brexit vote at Labour conference". ITV News. Retrieved 27 August 2018.
- Staff writer (25 September 2018). "Labour conference: Members vote to keep referendum option open". BBC News. Retrieved 16 October 2018.
In his party conference speech, the shadow Brexit secretary [Keir Starmer] said all options should be kept on the table, including a so-called People's Vote.
- Sparrow, Andrew (25 September 2018). "Labour delegates vote overwhelmingly for Brexit motion backing second referendum - as it happened". The Guardian. Retrieved 19 October 2018.
13:50 Lunchtime summary - Sir Keir Starmer, has mobilised Labour support for a second referendum on Brexit in a speech... he declared: "Nobody is ruling out remain as an option."
- Wheeler, Brian (11 September 2018). "The Brexit factions reshaping UK politics". BBC News. Retrieved 15 September 2018.
The Dominic Grieve gang... Former Education Secretary Justine Greening is the most senior Conservative to have called for a referendum on the final Brexit deal. She was backed by Heidi Allen and Anna Soubry, and another prominent backbencher, Sarah Wollaston, has also joined the People's Vote campaign along with Phillip Lee and Guto Bebb
- Vox Pops on the march (20 October 2018). What really happened at the anti-Brexit rally in London (Video). Australian News Network via YouTube. Retrieved 22 October 2018.
- Gallagher, Charlotte (20 October 2018). "People's Vote march: Hundreds of thousands attend London protest". BBC News. Retrieved 20 October 2018.
- Helm, Toby; Savage, Michael; Courea, Eleni (20 October 2018). "Almost 700,000 march to demand 'people's vote' on Brexit deal". The Observer. Retrieved 21 October 2018.
The centre of London ground to a halt as an estimated 700,000 people from all over the UK marched peacefully on parliament to demand a second referendum on Brexit.
- Busby, Mattha (20 October 2018). "People's Vote march: '700,000' rally for new Brexit referendum – as it happened". The Guardian. Retrieved 22 October 2018.
Organisers claim that 700,000 people attended.
- Malnick, Edward (5 January 2019). "People's Vote march head-count less than half as high as claimed". The Sunday Telegraph. Retrieved 6 January 2019.
- "Did 670,000 march for a People's Vote on Brexit?". Full Fact. 24 October 2018. Retrieved 6 January 2019.
- Walker, Peter (13 November 2018). "Public has been duped, Jo Johnson tells Gary Lineker at rally for new Brexit vote". The Guardian. Retrieved 14 November 2018.
- Tobin, Olivia (13 November 2018). "Viewers baffled as Gary Lineker interviews Jo Johnson on Brexit at People's Vote rally". Evening Standard. Retrieved 14 November 2018.
- Forrest, Adam; Rahim, Zamira (23 March 2019). "Brexit march: '1 million' Put It To The People protesters stage historic rally for a second referendum". The Independent. Retrieved 25 March 2019.
- Stokel-Walker, Chris (25 March 2019). "We counted all the people on the Brexit march so you don't have to". Wired UK.
- "There almost certainly weren't a million people on the People's Vote march". Full Fact. 25 March 2019. Retrieved 28 March 2019.
- Staff writer (23 March 2019). "Sturgeon joins London People's Vote march". BBC News. Retrieved 24 March 2019.
- Hughes, Clyde (23 March 2019). "1 million rally in London for 2nd Brexit vote". UPI. Retrieved 23 March 2019.
- Porritt, Richard (15 April 2018). "Campaign launched to push for People's Vote". The New European. Retrieved 17 April 2018.
- Staff writer (15 April 2018). "Launch of the new national People's Vote campaign". open-britain.co.uk. Open Britain. Retrieved 17 April 2018.
- Fletcher, Martin (30 May 2018). "Inside the headquarters of Britain's anti-Brexit brigade". New Statesman. Retrieved 21 June 2018.
- "Home page". walesforeurope.org. Wales for Europe. Retrieved 27 August 2018.
Wales For Europe is a partner organisation of Open Britain
- Sabbagh, Dan (23 June 2018). "Thousands take to streets in London on anti-Brexit march". The Guardian. Retrieved 21 June 2018.
- Staff writer (23 June 2018). "Best for Britain at the March for a People's Vote". bestforbritain.org. Best for Britain. Retrieved 25 June 2018.
- Staff writer (21 October 2018). "The People's Vote March for the Future - Renew Party". renewparty.org.uk. Renew Britain. Archived from the original on 21 October 2018. Retrieved 21 October 2018.
- "Conference 2018 Motion Outcomes". womensequality.org.uk. Women's Equality Party. 9 September 2018. Retrieved 25 January 2019. Text. and image of WEP co-founder Catherine Mayer at People's Vote rally at Parliament (in WEP jumper and tan, peaked hat).
- Williams, Rebecca (20 October 2018). "March in London calling for people's vote on Brexit". Sky News. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
- Bickerton, Chris (16 January 2019). "Arrogant remainers want a second vote. That would be a bad day for democracy". The Guardian. Opinion. Retrieved 17 January 2019.
- Staff writer (26 November 2018). "Brexit deal 'will cost UK £100bn' a year by 2030". BBC News. Retrieved 26 November 2018.
- Hantzsche, Arno; Kara, Amit; Young, Garry (26 November 2018). The Economic Effects of the Government's Proposed Brexit Deal. London: National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR). Pdf.