Leader’s Update: 28/10/2019

As I am sure you are aware, Parliament will vote this afternoon on whether to hold a General Election on December 12th. My TIG for Change colleagues and I will not be voting for a General Election before Christmas. Indeed, we are of the firm view that we need Brexit to be resolved by putting the matter to a People’s Vote and the sooner the better; a General Election should only come after that confirmatory referendum.

A General Election will resolve nothing. Indeed, it runs various risks including Boris Johnson winning a majority for his disastrous Brexit deal. As you no doubt appreciate, his new deal contains a “trap door” to no deal this time next year. Johnson’s deal removes the back stop in England, Scotland and Wales. In the event of no trading agreement having been reached by the end of 2020, Theresa May’s deal would have placed the UK in a basic customs union. Boris Johnson’s new deal removes that provision meaning there is every chance our eventual landing place will be no deal.

In any event, many believe a General Election will result in another hung Parliament so nothing will have been gained and the Brexit impasse will continue.

I am a proud founder of the People’s Vote campaign. A confirmatory referendum is the only way out of the Brexit crisis. This cross party campaign has always been clear that a People’s Vote must come before any General Election.

As you know, I tend not to mince my words. I am really disappointed that my Lib Dem and SNP colleagues, with whom we have been working so closely, have decided, without any consultation, to come up with their own scheme to call a General Election three days before Boris Johnson’s proposed date. They have, in my view, turned their back on the People’s Vote, wrongly claiming there is no majority for it in Parliament. I am sorry to say that old style, selfish, tribal party politics is at play. We believe it is more evidence that British politics is broken, that all our parties have let us down and it is time for change.

I want to reassure all the hard-working People’s Vote campaigners that I will never walk away and let them down. I believe we can win in Parliament and in the country at large. We need to keep on working together and making the case. To that end, it was good to be out in my home city of Nottingham yesterday with the local People’s Vote team. And yes, we were getting a very good response!

Thank you for your continuing support.

As ever,


Leader of the Independent Group for Change