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GLOSTAYS and the campaign against Brexit

John Marjoram, Green party member and councillor, has written the following open letter to the Stroud News and Journal expressing his views on the ongoing Brexit fiasco, and mentioning his role in the campaign to scap Brexit altogether:John Marjoram

“This letter stems from an interview I listened to on BBC Radio Breakfast programme, recently, with a Conservative MP. It probably lasted less than five minutes and he was asked four or five questions, all about Brexit. In his answers, he repeatedly included the same political mantra that we hear all the time from the committed Leavers: ‘The people of this Country have decided!’

The interesting fact is that if you consider the Leavers’ vote in relation to the total number of those who had the right to vote, then you find that only 32.7% are determining our future.

Further, what has been completely forgotten is that this Referendum was an ‘Advisory’ one – namely that Parliament had to weigh up the full implications of leaving the EU – whereas in a ‘Statutory’ Referendum the Government would have to abide by the vote.

In the eyes of most people the referendum was a disaster and I would argue that it should have been declared null and void. The ‘Vote Leave’ organisation was heavily criticised by the Electoral Commission for lying about £350 million that they said was going weekly to the EU, promising this money to the NHS instead, after the referendum. In retrospective, Farage said they had made a mistake!

88% of Economists in this Country have said that leaving the EU will have a negative impact on our economy not just now but in the longer term. Already sheep farmers are very concerned about being isolated from the continent, since 95% of our exported meat goes to Europe and the single market. In the future, school children will probably need a Visa to go to Europe.

If you read the rightwing press all the time, listen to the main TV programmes and (sadly) the BBC reporting, you would naturally assume that the concept of staying within Europe is just a dream. Look closer however, and you will start seeing unusual political alliances forming amongst MPs. The Lords are also challenging Parliament.

Furthermore, we witnessed at the recent local elections Jeremy Corbyn’s difficulty in keeping Leavers and Remainders together within the Labour Party, and this showed in the results. Truly, only the LibDems and the Greens increased the number of their councillors. As they didn’t have elections, we don’t know how SNP and Plaid Cymru would have performed but we need to remember that they are also Remainders.

Local people across the country have been getting together in the last 18 months, determined not to leave Europe –full stop.

In Stroud, where the vote to remain in 2016 reached 54%, a number of us worked together on the streets before and after the referendum, and are still doing so across the whole of Gloucestershire, getting new people all the time.

Recently, we have been delivering leaflets around the towns, and the message is not to attack leavers but rather to discuss what is happening to us. We have developed a membership organisation called “GLOSTAYS”.

Within the last few months, all the different organisations in the country have affiliated with one National organisation: ‘Europe Movement’. On the 23rd June (the second anniversary of the Referendum) there will be a massive demonstration in London, calling for a further vote on the final Brexit deal. [Coaches from Stroud are being organised: email John for details].

Many of us feel confident that we can reverse this Brexit decision. So that young people can have the freedom to live or study in other European Countries, if they so wish?”

John Marjoram, Member of GLOSTAYS