People's Vote march, London, 23 June 2018
|Purpose||Calling for a public vote on the final Brexit deal between the United Kingdom and the European Union|
|Part of a series of articles on the|
People's Vote is a British 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, as well as the actor Patrick Stewart along with various representatives of civil society.
In July 2017 an all-party parliamentary group (APPG) on EU relations was established. Co-chairs are Chuka Umunna MP (Labour) and Anna Soubry MP (Conservative), the remaining members of the group comprise: 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 so that they could better co-ordinate their campaign to keep 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 was launched at an event in London on 15 April 2018, at The Electric Ballroom in Camden. The event comprised Andy Parsons with MPs Chuka Umunna, Anna Soubry, Layla Moran (Liberal Democrats) and Caroline Lucas (Green Party) 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 Tony Robinson (actor) - who criticised the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn for not attending the march., Gina Miller (business owner), Vince Cable (Liberal Democrats Leader), David Lammy (Labour), Caroline Lucas (Green Party co-Leader) 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.
In September 2018, BBC News reported that the Conservative MP's Sarah Wollaston, Phillip Lee, Heidi Allen and Guto Bebb had joined the campaign for a People's Vote, along with fellow MP Justine Greening.
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.
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
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.
Sarah Wollaston, has joined the People's Vote campaign along with Phillip Lee and Guto Bebb
Wales For Europe is a partner organisation of Open Britain
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