Caroline Lucas MP, Clive Lewis MP, Anthony Barnett & Suzanne Moore
Moderated by John Harris
Tuesday 31 October 7.30 to 9.15. Doors open at 7pm.
Brexit on 29 March 2019 will be very hard to stop. The government is fully committed. The opposition says its Brexit will be a “Brexit for the many”. The EU wants it over and done with. Since the referendum, opposition to Brexit has been about trying to prevent it.
For the first time Remain supporters will assess how to reverse what has happened not just ‘stop it’.
Why is the positive case for our being Europeans is so hard to make in British politics? How can the source of the UK’s obsession with sovereignty be addressed by democrats? Two of the best opponents of Leave, the Green’s co-leader, Caroline Lucas MP, and Labour’s Clive Lewis MP, join Anthony Barnett and Suzanne Moore on Tuesday 31 October with the Guardian’s John Harris in the chair.
Taking Barnett’s The Lure of Greatness as a starting point they will probe what kind of change is needed to make the UK a country that identifies as European.
Two key points in Barnett’s argument are: · 80% of young women under 25 voted Remain – Brexit is “an old peoples home” and will be undone by the younger generation. · “England without London” voted by a decisive 11% majority to Leave and took the UK with it. An English spirit trapped in Westminster’s British system vented its frustration by turning against the EU.
A petition on Parliament’s website, calling for a referendum on any deal to leave the EU passed 100,000 signatures and the government was obliged to respond. It did so saying: “There must be no attempts to remain inside the European Union, no attempts to rejoin it through the back door, and no second referendum. The country voted to leave the European Union, and it is the duty of the government to make sure we do just that.
As a matter of firm policy, our notification will not be withdrawn – for the simple reason that people voted to leave, and the government is determined to see through that instruction. This will be a meaningful vote which will give MPs the choice to either accept the final agreement or leave the EU with no agreement”. The leader of the opposition told his party conference: “As democratic socialists, we accept and respect the referendum result... We are now less than 18 months away from leaving the European Union. What matters in the Brexit negotiations is to achieve… a Labour Brexit that puts jobs first, a Brexit for the many…”
Charles Grant, Director of the Centre for European Reform says, “The EU’s senior officials realise Brexit is certain and it is now a distraction they want to be shot of. They also think the chance of the UK crashing out with no deal is at least 50%, as they doubt May can impose the necessary compromises on her government”... See MoreSee Less