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No Brexit must be a real option

Best for Britain is gearing up for an interesting and active next few months and we want all of you to be involved! We thought we’d take a minute to bring you up to speed with our developments….

First, let’s rewind. The June 2017 general election was a game changer for Brexit. Theresa May broke her word and called an election. She called this election to secure a mandate with the aim of allowing her to single handedly decide the outcome of Brexit and the fate of this country. Her gamble didn’t pay off. The election results not only show that Brexit is the most important issue facing our country, but also that the British electorate do not agree with the government’s path towards Extreme Brexit. This government has no mandate to railroad the country into a bad deal – it’s time for No Brexit to be a real option.

We believe that Parliament must have real choices in the Brexit process. Both the Labour and Conservative party have pledged to deliver the country the ‘exact same benefits’ from any Brexit that we enjoy under our current EU membership terms. We must be able to reject all deals that don’t measure up to our current terms and have the option of a deal within the EU. It would be negligent for our politicians to knowingly pursue a Brexit that would leave us worse off. All options must remain on the table, including No Brexit.

In our eyes:

  • No deal =  no Brexit: we cannot allow Theresa May to take us off the cliff edge
  • Bad deal = no Brexit: because No Brexit is better than a bad Brexit
  • Any deal = real choice: the country needs a real choice between  Brexit and No Brexit

Many of our supporters can’t see any prospect for a ‘good Brexit’. We agree. But what’s most important is public opinion across the country – and more people are beginning to doubt whether a ‘good Brexit’ is feasible. With your help we want to bring in those people that are doubting Brexit, maybe for the first time, and work together to give our country real options, including the chance to press ‘eject’ from Brexit.

To do this we have to resist, organise and act. We must move past the binary ‘Leave’ and ‘Remain’ camps. We must actively seek out people who voted leave, people who didn’t vote and people who are having doubts about Brexit. We must have respectful conversations and aim to understand people’s concerns. We must bring those together who are questioning whether Brexit is worth the risk. We must aim to bring people in from all walks of life – everyone has a stake in our future.

Please make sure you have signed up to campaign with us in your constituency! We are coming to you soon with our plan, and we’re building a dedicated team to help build our movement.

By Atalandi Dixon

[First published 18th August 2017]

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“Brexit is a catastrophe”

As the weeks pass and March 2019 fast approaches, more people are questioning the merit of Brexit. The conversation is beginning to shift, it is no longer about which type of Brexit but people are starting to talk about whether Brexit will happen at all.

At Best for Britain, we’re fighting to keep the door open to EU membership, and for that to be one of the options on the table in the coming months. If what we get from the negotiations isn’t better than what we already have, we shouldn’t do it. Theresa May and her fellow Brexiteers are in chaos, and Brexit is a mess. It’s clear which way this is going.

Stunningly today saw ex-DExEU chief of staff, James Chapman, publicly criticise Brexit. He said:

“Past time for sensible MPs in all parties to admit Brexit is a catastrophe,  come together In new party if need be, and reverse it”

Until the election, Chapman’s job was to facilitate and execute Brexit. Chapman is just another example in an increasingly long line of those regretting their backing of leave – remember Dominic Cummings, the chair of Vote Leave, who said a few weeks ago that the referendum was a “dumb idea” and Brexit “is shaping up to be ‘guaranteed debacle”?

While key Brexit supporters are changing their mind, key figures are calling for the single market, freedom of movement and the option of staying in to be on the table. First, today a group of Labour MPs geared up to change the Labour line on the single market. Second, last week, several prominent politicians, including Clive Lewis MP and David Lammy MP, key trade union figures and Momentum organisers signed an open letter urging Corbyn to ensure Freedom of Movement continues in the event of Brexit. The letter said:

“Migrants are not to blame for falling wages, insecurity, bad housing and overstretched public services…On the contrary, migrant workers have been on the frontline of fighting for better pay and working conditions. Labour is the party of all working people – regardless of where they were born.”

Third, Sadiq Khan gave more hope to Brexit being stopped, saying in response to a question, that the only way to override the previous referendum is to have an new vote, and that in the event of another election, the Labour party could make a manifesto pledge to not go ahead with Brexit, or when elected, trigger a second referendum.

With March 2019 fast approaching, next month marking 6 months since the triggering of Article 50 and the shambolic state of the negotiations, doubt is seeping into the Brexit debate. Not only are unexpected figures, like Chapman and Cummings, coming to the fore and abhorring Brexit, pro-European MPs are defying the party whip to do what’s best for Britain. We expect this is just the beginning.

The direction of travel is clear, and we want to work with you to show MPs around the country that there is support, constituency by constituency, for No Brexit to be a real option for our country to choose.

To help us get organised on the ground, if you haven’t already, please sign up here. We’ll have more news on getting our on the ground groups going this month.

By Atalandi Dixon

[First published 9th August 2017]

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Brexit is the most important issue facing our country!

This year’s General Election was triggered by Brexit, people saw it as the ‘Brexit election’ and Brexit was the most important issue for people when casting their vote.

While many other issues consumed the election, including the NHS, the economy and the threat of terrorism, Brexit remained top of people’s minds. Since June many commentators have questioned the importance of Brexit during the election and in turn, its influence on the result.

 New research, published this week, by the British Election Study (BES) reaffirms the importance of Brexit in this year’s election. The BES is a unique study, surveying the same 30,000 people over an extended period of time. Unsurprisingly, over a third of people polled said Brexit was ‘the most important issue facing our country’. Brexit was trailed by the NHS, in third place, and the economy, in fifth. This study corroborates and builds on analysis we have been doing ourselves, which highlight similar trends. We will share more on this soon.

While the study presented Brexit, the NHS and the economy as separate issues, they are incredibly interconnected. Our already ailing NHS stands to lose big because of Brexit. The NHS is dependent on EU citizens. Presently 7% of nurses and 10% of doctors are EU nationals. With Brexit looming, we have already seen a significant decrease in EU nurses registering to work for the NHS – it is down by 83%. Turning to the economy, since the referendum, we have seen the pound lose its value, inflation increase, wages decrease and this week, the Bank of England said, our already stunted economic growth would continue. The ongoing uncertainty brewed by our government’s cavalier and callous Brexit path will only exacerbate these economic concerns and evolving realities.

As ever, continue the conversation with us on  Facebook and Twitter!

By Atalandi Dixon

[First published 4th August 2017]

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8 ways Brexit could affect your weekly food shop

This week’s main Brexit news centred around chlorinated chicken. Although Liam Fox dismissed the issue as only a “detail”, it has caused a furore in the press – and for good reason. The story is just the headline-grabbing tip of the iceberg when it comes to changes that the UK food industry may face post-Brexit.

In the struggle to secure free trade deals, the UK will face having to compromise with other parts of the world that have wholly different priorities. Differences of opinion over food-related issues have derailed trade deals in the past, and it is entirely possible that we will have to consent to weakening our high food quality and environmental standards in the pursuit of economically necessary trade agreements.

 Food prices are also likely to be affected. Whilst we currently enjoy tariff-free trade with the EU, a failure to negotiate a free trade agreement will see significant tariffs imposed on all our purchases, with food products being hit the hardest. The decline of the pound’s value will also increase the cost of imports, as will the possible introduction of customs checks and duties. Taken together, these Brexit ramifications will have the effect of significantly bumping up the cost of your weekly shop.

 We’ve created the shareable graphic below to provide a quick snapshot of the likely effect that post-Brexit tariffs will have on some of the UK’s most-loved products. Please share it with your friends!

These impacts are expanded upon in a new blog post which details just 8 of the ways Brexit could impact the food industry. Give it a read to find out how Brexit is set to negatively affect not only your bank balance, but everything from strawberries, to bees, to Cadbury’s Dairy Milk.

 To get daily updates on what we’re doing and on the key news stories around Brexit, make sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

 Thank you so much for all your continued support.

By Atalandi Dixon

[First published 31st July 2017]

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No Brexit is better than a Bad Brexit!

This week, 60 prominent members of Scottish society wrote a public letter condemning the government’s approach to Brexit and demanded it be halted.

 This letter is just one of the many signs that there is a huge conflict between what civil society wants and what the politicians are peddling. Their priority must be what’s best for Britain.

In the spirit of yesterday’s public letter, we are asking all of our members to build on this momentum. We have chosen some key extracts from the letter and made them into visual and shareable graphics. We would love you to choose your favourite and share it on Facebook, Twitter etc.

Share and like if you agree!

Posted by Best For Britain on Friday, July 21, 2017

Lastly, we want to hear from you! Whether you are a doctor, teacher, cleaner, public servant, delivery person or academic we want to hear from you since Brexit will affect everyone. Please email info@bestforbritain.org with a short note about how you think Brexit will specifically impact your life.

By Atalandi Dixon

[First published 21st July 2017]

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Chocolate oranges, Great Repeal Bill and Euratom

Thanks so much to everyone who has been getting in touch to offer your time and expertise at Best for Britain HQ. It’s wonderful to see so much enthusiasm for our campaign — your support gives us confidence that, together, we can move the dial and stop Theresa May’s Brexit madness.

 Today is an important step in that process. The “Great Repeal Bill” provides the first opportunity for MPs from both sides of the house to challenge May’s Brexit plans. The Bill will incorporate over 20,000 EU laws into UK law. It will also grant ministers “Henry VIII powers” to escape parliamentary scrutiny and rush through Brexit on their own terms. Labour is already threatening to vote against the bill. If Labour, the Lib Dems, Greens and the SNP vote against the Bill, all it would take are 7 rebel Tories and the Bill is history.

 The cracks in the government’s Brexit strategy are getting bigger. Yesterday, the UK’s public spending watchdog criticised the government’s chaotic approach to leaving the EU, which is at risk of falling apart like “a chocolate orange”. Billions of pounds of public money are being needlessly thrown away. They say the negotiations in Brussels have all the makings of a “horror movie”. We couldn’t agree more — you can read their damning verdict in full here.

 Other recent developments include the government’s decision to leave the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom), which spells disaster for nuclear power facilities in Britain. Leading scientists say it will also limit access to medical treatments and equipment for critically ill cancer patients. May’s government is hellbent on a Hard Brexit without a second thought for industry and science — we must not turn our backs on them, even if our government has.

 In parliament, we’re supporting a new cross-party group of pro-EU MPs who are working together to defeat an Extreme Brexit. Like us, the group want “the best possible deal for Britain”: one that “requires MPs to be players, not just spectators, in the Brexit process.” Debate around Brexit is changing and our politicians are beginning to listen to their voters — they are realising that it doesn’t have to be this way. Find out more about the group here. We are also working with other MPs across Parliament – we don’t belong to any sub-group and will continue to work with any group that wants to challenge Brexit. 

 The election showed that nothing is decided. We are as committed as ever to a deal that is best for the NHS, for the environment and for people’s livelihoods — we believe that no Brexit is better than a bad Brexit, and with your support, we will fight for that option to stay on the table.

Let’s keep pushing for change – we’re getting there.

By Atalandi Dixon

[First published 13th July 2017]

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Tell us what you think of the Bung Parliament!

Public service announcement: The Bung Parliament is officially happening.

Theresa May has pulled out all the stops to ensure her Conservative government can continue its rule. The DUP asked her for the world and she didn’t disappoint. Now with Northern Ireland £1billion richer – that’s £540 per head – many questions have emerged about the potential of reciprocity of May’s generosity to England, Wales and Scotland. However, May’s not so keen on spending public money unless it’s to benefit her, so we shall see. 

The other hot topic of the week was Theresa May’s self-proclaimed “generous offer” to EU citizens living in the UK. With the government’s proposal, EU citizens stand to lose key freedom of movement rights, their ability to reunify with their families and, despite May promising not to do this, EU citizens remain “bargaining chips” in the negotiations. 

We are really keen to hear some first hard reactions to this not so “generous offer”. If you are an EU citizen currently living in the UK we want to hear from you! We would love you to do a short 20 second video with your initial reactions and feelings about May’s proposal. Post them on twitter @bestforbritain or email them to info@bestforbritain.org and we will share them on social media. People must know policies are not abstract, they affect real lives. 

Last week, we asked you to get in touch if you were interested in campaigning locally. The response has been fantastic! I have spent this week starting to get in touch with some of you and doing a bit of a fact-finding mission about the state of play in your areas. If you have signed up and haven’t heard from me yet, expect me to be in touch soon.

By Atalandi Dixon

[First published 29th June 2017]

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Looking forward through the chaos….

Today marks a year since the referendum. A lot has happened in the last year, some alright and some not so good…

The pound has fallen, inflation has boomed, Brexit has gone from soft to hard to extreme to utter chaos, we’ve had two Prime Ministers and an election! What a busy year!  

Anyhow, the year since the referendum has not passed unnoticed. People have made it very clear they are not prepared to accept this chaotic, secretive and destructive path Theresa May is taking us down. 

Last night we launched our online form, asking people to get involved locally, in their constituency, to fight an extreme Brexit. We have had an overwhelming amount of responses, which has been amazing. 

I have spent the whole morning reading all the fantastic feedback, insights and local knowledge and wanted to share with you some of the themes emerging. Many of you express concerns for: 

  • the daily running of the country eg. NHS and social care, 
  • young family members’ futures being squandered due to Brexit, 
  • misinformation about the impact of Brexit 
  • and feeling unrepresented by your MP.

People want to get organised and need help. We are hoping to help out with that! If you are still interested in getting involved in your area fill out the form here. Also if you know other people who would be interested in some local campaigning make sure you share this with them!  

We are as committed as ever to having all options on the table to choose from, we must always compare the deal to what we currently have and do what’s best for Britain. 

Thank you again for all of your thoughtful responses, we look forward to working with you. Together we can effect change! 

By Atalandi Dixon

[First published 23rd June 2017]

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Brexit talks, Queen’s speech and get involved!

This has been a pretty eventful week so far…

Brexit talks have officially started. However, David Davis and Theresa May do not seem to be listening. They are still committed to the hardest of Brexits despite the British public making it clear that they are not interested. May and Davis have no mandate to take us down this Brexit path laden with uncertainty and destruction.

“No deal” seems all but dead as it comes to light that 30 Conservative MPs will not support the government on Brexit without a final deal to vote on.

Yesterday’s Queen’s speech was lacking both in theatrics and more importantly, any specificity on Brexit. While 8 of the 27 bills proposed concerned Brexit, they once again failed to reveal anything concrete about our future relationship with Europe.

Looking forward: Best for Britain is keen to continue challenging this Extreme Brexit the government is touting and keeping all options on the table, including staying in. If you are interested in getting engaged on the ground and working with us to stop this destructive path, we want to hear from you! Please fill out this quick form and we will take it from there. We are planning some events through the summer so keep an eye out, we will be in touch soon!

By Atalandi Dixon

[First published 22nd June 2017]

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18-24 and in London tomorrow?

We hope you all enjoyed the long weekend which ended with last night’s TV Q&A with Jeremy Corbyn and Theresa May. Last night we learned that May is as keen as ever on her bogus line that ‘no deal is better than a bad deal’ and Corbyn sought to delineate his party from the Tories on Brexit by committing to keeping trading arrangements and upholding rights from the EU.

We’re gearing up for the last 9 days of the campaign and we need your help more than ever!

As always, sharing our Tactical Vote Dashboard is top of our wish-list and generally talking about tactical voting with your friends, family and work colleagues. We’ve put together a great animation on tactical voting which explains the difference it can make. If you’ve also found a good way to explain tactical voting, then let us know!

We have another favour to ask of some of you. With the promise of an extraordinary turnout, particularly of young people we want to make sure we get out their vote. Thanks to your donations amazing organisations like Bite the Ballot, Citizens UK, My Life My Say and RizeUp got over a million 18-24 year olds to register, and we have some exciting projects in the pipeline and we would love to hear from you if you are:

  • Age 18-24
  • In the London area
  • Could come to central London at 6pm tomorrow (Wednesday) evening…

If you’re up for that please write to us at info@bestforbritain.org and we will tell you more.

Thanks so much, and please keep spreading the word so we can reduce May’s majority and fight an extreme Brexit.

By Eloise Todd

[First published 30th May 2017]

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