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Brighton and Hove Liberal Democrats

Exit from Brexit: We Demand a Vote on the Facts

Our local campaign in Brighton & Hove

We are campaigning to raise awareness of the Liberal Democrat position on Europe and to build visible demand for a referendum on the terms of Brexit, with the option to change our minds and stay in the EU. In the previous referendum, key groups were excluded - 16 and 17 year olds, who have to live with the result the longest, as well as EU citizens in the UK and UK citizens abroad - so we are also campaigning for these groups to be given the vote this time around.

Exit from Brexit march seafront 24th Sept 2017

The British public have been given no say in the direction of Brexit negotiations: the views of Remainers (68.6% of Brighton & Hove) and moderate Leavers alike have been ignored in favour of the views of a handful of extremists on the right of the Conservatives. This only makes it even more important that the people have the final say on whether to accept whatever deal, or lack thereof, the government can negotiate. If there is enough visible demand, Westminster will listen and give the people the final say.

We demand a referendum on the final terms of Brexit, we demand a referendum on facts rather than the false promises of 2016, we demand our democratic right to change our mind. We can still secure a democratic #ExitFromBrexit.

"If Britain changes its mind, it would find an open door." Guy Verhofstadt, EU Parliament Brexit representative.

"If a democracy cannot change its mind, it ceases to be a democracy." David Davis, UK Brexit Secretary.

How to get involved

We hold a stall on New Road, by the Unitarian Church, the last Tuesday of every month from 6pm-7pm to discuss Brexit and distribute leaflets. Come along if you're interested, the more the merrier!

We've also designed a window poster. You can download a digital copy here to print at home or pick up a copy at our monthly EU stall.

If you're a party member and are interested in joining the EU campaign group, please contact us by email.

Pro-EU March at 2017 Labour Conference

Nationally: Lib Dem EU policy

The Liberal Democrats have two key policies regarding Brexit:

  • A referendum on the terms of Brexit.

The 2016 referendum gave the British people no say in the final shape of our relationship with Europe. Some Leave campaigners suggested remaining in the EU's Single Market (the Norway model), others suggested a looser free trade agreement with the European Union (the Canada model) and still others suggested trading with the rest of Europe solely on World Trade Organisation terms (the Mauritania model).

As such, the Liberal Democrats propose a referendum on the final deal of Brexit, to be held in December 2018, rather than having these important decisions decided solely behind closed doors in Westminster. This would allow the British public to accept the Brexit deal negotiated by the government or reject it and make an Exit from Brexit.

  • Minimising the damage of Brexit, if it goes ahead.

The Liberal Democrats believe that any Brexit is harmful, with recent reports commissioned by the Mayor of London, the Scottish Government and even leaked reports from the UK government vindicating this view, and that leaving the European Union hurts our standing in the world as well as our economy. However, if Brexit cannot be averted we believe that we should minimise the damage and protect our rights by remaining members of both the Single Market and the Customs Union.

Read more here.

EU News

  • Palace of Westminster.
    Article: Apr 24, 2018

    In the face of further defeats on the EU (Withdrawal) Bill, and following further pressure from Peers across the House of Lords, the government has brought forward amendments to ensure that the UK still has the ability to refer to and apply EU guidance for legal matters in our courts going forwards.

  • Vince Cable in Twickenham
    Article: Apr 20, 2018

    He criticised the effective monopolies enjoyed by the likes of Google, Facebook, and Amazon - comparing their market dominance to that of big oil companies in the past - and suggested ways they could be broken up.

    "Data is the new oil. Data is the raw material which drives these firms and it is control of data which gives them an advantage over competitors. These companies have acquired their pivotal position by providing a service or platform through which data can be extracted, collected and used.

    Just as Standard Oil once cornered 85% of the refined oil market, today Google drives 89% of internet search, 95% of young adults on the internet use a Facebook product, Amazon accounts for 75% of E-book sales, while Google and Apple combined provide 99% of mobile operating systems.

    National government and, even more so, supranational bodies like the EU can and should look to break up enterprises where size is detrimental to the economic well-being of the country, its citizens and its capacity for innovation.

    There is a case for splitting Amazon into three separate businesses - one offering cloud computing, one acting as a general retailer and one offering a third-party marketplace. Other examples would be Facebook being forced to divest itself of Instagram and WhatsApp as a condition for operating in the EU, creating two new social media networks. Divesting Google of YouTube would be another.

    What is striking that the most effective competition authority in the capitalist world - the European Commission - is probably the only body with the clout to take these decisions. The UK could quite obviously never do it alone.

    Britain commits an act of serious self-harm by doggedly setting itself apart from the power of shared sovereignty with our neighbours.

  • Belfast City Hall
    Article: Mar 30, 2018
    By Carrie Hynds

    Last week, I watched a documentary about the Funeral Murders that took place in Belfast 30 years ago. It was a well-made piece of film but incredibly difficult to watch.

    I grew up in Northern Ireland in the 1990s, and my earliest memories are marked by The Troubles. Bomb scares were common, empty vehicles with their engines running were cause for alarm, and at the army checkpoints I would be asked to get off my booster seat so that a man with a rifle could check whether it had been hollowed out to conceal weapons or drugs. You arrived at the airport two and a half hours ahead of your flight because each item of luggage would be individually unpacked and searched. You were constantly aware of the possibility of being in the wrong place in the wrong time, and it was tiring, tiring, tiring.

  • Computer screen showing lines of code.
    Article: Mar 26, 2018

    Vote Leave got away with lying about money for the NHS, visas for Commonwealth citizens and much more, but now the truth about the Brexit deal is emerging, they won't be able to lie anymore.

    Astonishing claims have emerged today that suggests Leave campaigns worked together overspend during the European Referendum. If true, this could be illegal.

  • Facebook
    Article: Mar 23, 2018


    The European Commission has announced it intends to put an interim 3% levy on digital sales revenue of the biggest technology firms, such as Apple, Facebook and Google.

    Many large digital businesses have been accused of avoiding tax by shifting profits through complex structures, including via tax havens where they have little or no physical presence. EU officials reportedly think they will raise £4.3bn a year for member states from around 150 firms.

  • Article: Mar 14, 2018
    By Hyder Khalil

    The latest speeches are done, the positions are allegedly clearer. Our Prime Minister has still not been fully set out the UK's requirements, but while rowing back on some issues, she still offers 'great deals' all over the world, some elements of co-operation, free movement and so on. So let us consider four points:

  • Article: Mar 12, 2018
    By Mark Pack Author, 101 Ways To Win An Election

    Rounding off the Southport conference which saw the party adopt a new strategy, Lib Dem leader Vince Cable took a swing at Jeremy Corbyn (a life-long Eurosceptic) for talking about workers but supporting a Brexit which will hit workers:

    Jeremy Corbyn is letting down the very people he claims to defend because:

  • EU Stall Feb 18
    Article: Mar 5, 2018
    By Beatrice Bass

    It is now over a year since the UK voted to leave the EU and it does not feel like anyone is any wiser as to what Brexit actually entails. We heard numerous different speeches about the UK's road or, more likely, footpath or wonky rope bridge to Brexit whilst our highway to the EU is slowly being taken apart. Phase one of the Brexit negotiations have now concluded and the EU has published its first draft of the EU Withdrawal Agreement. After a year of negotiation, it is good to finally have a draft treaty on paper - even though it is only a first draft. This draft is a good indication of who is holding the cards in these negotiations and what the post Brexit future might look like for the UK. As most people probably will not spend their evenings reading through draft treaties I have summarised the key points in respect to citizens' rights for you.

  • George Taylor and Duncan Moore by The Big Truth Bus (2018) (Jac Kilby)
    Article: Feb 28, 2018

    This Tuesday Brighton & Hove for EU arranged for The Big Truth Bus to visit the city - this bus is currently touring the country in order to spread awareness of the true economic cost of Brexit while lampooning the infamous Vote Leave bus. There were speeches, discussions with members of the public and music by Madeleina Kay (aka EU Supergirl). And, of course, we were there to show support for our fellow pro-EU campaigners and to show that we are committed to fighting Brexit.

  • Your vote matters
    Article: Feb 28, 2018
    By Mark Pack Author, 101 Ways To Win An Election

    EU citizens in the UK are able to vote in local elections though not general elections. That means this the by-elections in Stamford their first chance to cast a verdict on Theresa May's Hard Brexit plans in the Conservative general election manifesto. It's a group of people the Liberal Democrats are putting particular effort into reaching, including with HQ running an online advertising campaign aimed at them which local Lib Dem campaigners can buy into for their area.

  • Jeremy Corbyn.
    Article: Feb 26, 2018
    By Liberal Democrats

    "Corbyn started his speech claiming that Labour's position on Brexit has been consistent, by which he must mean consistently vague. And today was no different.

    "His slight movement on the Customs Union and some EU agencies might be one step on the road to rationality, but there is still a long way to go before the rhetoric meets reality. The Labour leader spoke of putting the British people first, but made no guarantees on making sure they are the ones who have a final say on the Brexit deal.

    "The reality is there is no Brexit that is good for workers unless we stay as integrated as possible. Until Corbyn guarantees that we will stay in the Customs Union and Single Market, and gives people a chance to decide their own future, he continues to be Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition, walking hand in hand with Theresa May towards a destructive Brexit that risks jobs, the economy, and the Union."

  • Article: Feb 15, 2018
    By Tom Brake

    If this speech was supposed to offer an olive branch to Remainers, Boris must have picked up the other version.

    A clear majority of Remain and Leave voters oppose the damaging hard Brexit Boris so vigorously advocates.

    They do not want job cuts triggered by tougher trading conditions with our largest export market or life-threatening uncertainty at the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland.

    Boris's antipathy towards the common rules and standards which apply within the EU, and to trade within the EU, is in stark contrast to Brexiters head-long rush to adopt common standards with the US which would require the UK to accept chlorine-washed chicken, hormone-fed beef, GMO products and potentially open up the NHS to US private health companies.

    If Boris is seeking to establish himself as the standard bearer of liberalism, he should dump plans to come out of the Single Market and Customs Union and campaign to stay in the world's largest free trade area.

  • VInce Cable
    Article: Feb 6, 2018
    By Vince Cable

    Vince Cable has written to Jeremy Corbyn to ask him to put the Labour party in line with its own supporters and support a referendum on the final Brexit deal.

    Here is the text in full:

    Jeremy Corbyn
    Leader of HM Opposition
    House of Commons
    London, SW1A 0AA

    2nd February 2018

    Dear Jeremy,

    I am writing to you about Brexit, because I was dismayed by your interview with Andrew Marr last Sunday, when you reiterated your personal objection to letting the British people have their say on the Conservatives' Brexit deal.

  • A sign pointing to passport control, with people climbing a flight of stairs in the background.
    Article: Feb 2, 2018

    Leaked government Brexit analysis reveals that the cost to the British economy of cutting migration from the EU would be significantly greater than the benefits brought by a US trade deal.

    The negative impact of a stricter immigration policy would be far bigger than the 0.2% boost to economic growth that a US trade deal is calculated to bring.

  • The union flag flying next to the EU flag.
    Article: Feb 1, 2018

    With a Prime Minister pandering to the extremists on the right of her party; delivering up the most divisive, extreme version of Brexit imaginable and Corbyn's Labour Party sitting on its hands, letting the bumbling Tories off the hook - we are needed more than ever.

    The Liberal Democrats are the only political party in the UK offering a different, brighter future when it comes to our relationship with Europe.

  • Bills
    Article: Jan 30, 2018

    A hard Brexit that would see Britain no longer trade energy in the Internal Energy Market is likely to increase British energy bills, the House of Lords' EU Energy and Environment Sub-Committee is expected to say on Monday.

    Britain could also face energy supply shortages, while the lack of access to EU labour is a threat to the construction of a new generation of civil nuclear sites.

  • A screen at the stockmarket showing values rising and falling.
    Article: Jan 28, 2018
    By Vince Cable

    The government must urgently spell out its aims from the second phase of EU negotiations and on transitional arrangements, the Lords EU Financial Affairs Sub-Committee has warned.

    The committee has warned of market fragmentation and financial instability if the UK loses access to the EU through no deal, particularly damaging Britain's financial services industry.

    Goldman Sachs boss Lloyd Blankfein, for example, warned this week that it is reaching a point in contingency planning where it will be too late to stop the group from leaving the UK.

    This is a serious warning from a respected committee. Philip Hammond's comments this week that the UK and EU economies will diverge only 'very modestly' shows he is desperate to reassure the City that nothing is really going to change.

    But obviously things will. Serious business people will, therefore, be assessing their options, including whether or not to relocate to other EU countries.

    The Conservatives must stop their infighting and at least draw up some kind of coherent plan on what they want from Brexit talks.

  • The union flag flying next to the EU flag.
    Article: Jan 27, 2018

    An ICM poll for The Guardian has shown that Brits favour a referendum on the terms of Brexit by a 13 point margin. Once 'don't knows' are taken out, this rises 58% in support to 42% against.

    The evidence is mounting that the British people want a vote on the terms of any deal to leave the European Union.

  • Article: Jan 24, 2018
    By Carrie Hynds, Hove PPC

    On Tuesday evening I joined several inspiring local volunteers who braved a cold, wet, dark January day to run the first monthly Brighton & Hove Liberal Democrat EU street stall.

    It was worth it because there's a very important message to communicate: we can still secure a democratic exit from Brexit. We can show Westminster we want a referendum on the facts.

  • Article: Jan 22, 2018
    By Nick Hopkinson, chair of the Liberal Democrat European Group

    What are the prospects for a referendum on the terms of any deal and an early General Election stemming from the ongoing Brexit crisis?

    Nigel Farage recently toyed with the possibility of a 'second' referendum. Whilst ostensibly suggesting it might settle the Brexit debate for a generation, his real motivation is to have a referendum before the poor withdrawal deal being negotiated becomes obvious to a substantial majority of voters, and while the two largest parties maintain their 'have your cake and eat it too' support for Brexit. Some argue, perhaps even more importantly, that a referendum allows Farage another chance to be in the national spotlight, perhaps again as UKIP leader.

  • A pen marking an X in a box.
    Article: Jan 19, 2018
    By Rhiannon Leaman

    In this year's local elections, EU Citizens can vote. For many of them, it'll be their one and only chance to make their voice heard on Brexit at the ballot box.

    And in many places, winning the EU citizen's vote could be a big boost to a Liberal Democrat campaign.

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  • Wera Hobhouse (Chris McAndrew [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons)
    Article: Jan 17, 2018
    By Wera Hobhouse in Liiberal Democrat Voice

    There are two democratic principles that, taken together, demand a referendum on the deal. The first is that a democratic decision should be enforced, and the second is that no democratic decision has an indefinite mandate.

    The first principle, taken alone, is being used by the Conservatives and Labour to oppose a referendum on the deal. This is the argument:

  • The flags of EU countries flying.
    Article: Jan 12, 2018
    By Tom Brake

    Brexit could cause the UK to lose half a million jobs and nearly £50bn in investment by 2030, a report commissioned by Sadiq Khan has found.

    The London Mayor said the government should negotiate to stay in the single market and customs union.

    It comes days after Jeremy Corbyn refused to attend a cross-party summit on keeping the UK in the single market.

    This bombshell report should make obligatory bedtime reading for Jeremy Corbyn.

    Half a million jobs could be a lost as a result of the hard Brexit that Corbyn has ordered his MPs to vote for.

    The Labour leadership must listen to the Mayor of London and back efforts to minimise the impact of Brexit by keeping Britain in the Single Market and Customs Union.

    It's also crucial that the option of an exit from Brexit is kept on the table through a vote on the deal.

    We can protect jobs and living standards against a botched Conservative Brexit, but only if Labour comes off the fence.

  • Vince Cable (Chris McAndrew [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons)
    Article: Jan 10, 2018
    By Vince Cable MP, Leader of the Liberal Democrats

    This morning I attended the Single Market Summit, the start of a cross-party initiative between opposition leaders to oppose the Conservatives' hard Brexit.

    To the anger of many Labour MPs - and to my great disappointment, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn refused to attend.

    What is disappointing is that the Labour leadership has declined to take part in this summit

  • Nick Clegg
    Article: Jan 7, 2018

    Nick Clegg fears the Government will give Parliament an incomplete Brexit deal to vote on. "The government's clear intention is to try and lull parliament into signing away the future before it has spelled out what that future holds," the former deputy PM told Business Insider this week.

    Nick Clegg believes the Government will sideline Parliament by putting an incomplete Brexit deal to the vote on at the end of Article 50 talks.