The importance of Lords amendments 19, 20, 37 & 39

Lords amendment 19 – providing for a meaningful vote – is a vital democratic safeguard. It is needed to stop us sliding into a hard Brexit that only a few want.

Without this amendment, the Prime Minister is at the mercy of the Brexit extremists. Voting for it is a vote for the moderate mainstream majority.

The Government’s alternative amendment does not do this. It means a vote against the deal is a vote for exit without a deal – and is therefore meaningless.

Also important are amendments 20, 37 and 39. These are all needed to ensure Parliament sets the Government’s negotiating mandate – and not the Brexit extremists.

So please ask your MP to vote for these amendments. It could be the last chance.

Follow this link for more information on these four amendments.

Urgent – 5 days to stop Brexit!

The House of Commons will be voting on Lords amendments to the EU Withdrawal Bill next Tuesday 12th June.

Four amendments are crucial and will determine whether Parliament has a meaningful vote on the terms – and whether we can stop exit if we end up with a bad deal.

It is vital that we lobby the pro-European Conservative MPs who could potentially rebel against the Government. So if you or anyone you know is in one of these constituencies, please write and ask him or her to support these amendments: this really can make a difference.

Arundel and South Downs
Ashford
Beaconsfield
Bromley and Chislehurst
Broxtowe
Cambridgeshire South
Chelmsford
Cheltenham
Chippenham
Devizes
Dorset North
Eddisbury
Folkestone and Hythe
Hastings and Rye
Loughborough
Meriden
Newbury
Ochil and South Perthshire
Putney
Rushcliffe
Stafford
Sussex Mid
Taunton Deane
Tonbridge and Malling
Totnes
Wantage
Wells
Weston-Super-Mare
Wimbledon
Worthing West

Below this post you will find a standard template but we strongly recommend that you personalise this and do not follow the template too closely. Please invent your own subject header. MPs take far more notice of personalised letters. If you feel able to follow up with a phone call to the office, then that is very useful too.

For more information on the amendments,

Thanks for continuing to push for a true meaningful vote, and fight against a damaging Brexit!

Sue, Richard & Charles
Represent Us

Generic Letter Template

Please vote for Lords amendments ensuring Parliament has control over the exit negotiations

Dear [Your MP name]

I am a constituent of yours – my address is […] – and I am writing about Lords amendments to the European Union Withdrawal Bill.

Four of these seem particularly important to me because they are all about ensuring Parliament has control. These are numbers 19, 20, 37 and 39 on the list produced on 17 May: a new clause to ensure Parliamentary approval of the outcome of the negotiations, an amendment to ensure Parliament sets the mandate for negotiations about our long term relationship (incredibly important because it is not just what happens on day 1 that matters), and two amendments about setting the Exit Day. These are vital to make the mandate amendment effective, and to make Dominic Grieve’s ‘Amendment 7’ effective.

I also think some of the more substantive amendments are important – for example on the Customs Union – but these four amendments are about our democracy, and ensuring the most important national decision for many years is taken in a democratic way. After all, one of the main reasons people voted to leave the EU was to return powers to our own Parliament. And defending democracy is what Parliament is all about!

Yours sincerely,

One week to prevent a damaging Brexit!

The date for the vote on key amendments is 13th December.

So we have one week left to give Parliament the right to reject a damaging Brexit.

There has to be accountability on the most important decision in a generation. That’s what amendment 7 and NC4 are there to provide. They give MPs a chance to look before we leap.

We need EVERYONE to write to their MP about this.

WRITE TO YOUR MP NOW

We have suggested a model letter you can to use to write to your MP – but please do personalise it, and slightly tweak the subject header.

If you have already written – have you had a specific answer to the question “will they vote for Amendment 7 and NC4”?

It is likely that you have had a general reply (this is normal for the first response). Emails are filtered by office staff and do not usually get through to the MP first time.

If this is the case, we suggest you write again with a shorter, more specific question. Some people find they get a better response by telephoning the constituency office to check that their email has been seen. You could pop into the constituency office, leave the MP a paper letter, attend a local surgery this week or even arrange a meeting.

Thanks for continuing to push for a true meaningful vote, and fight against a damaging Brexit!

Sue, Richard & Charles
Represent Us

WRITE TO YOUR MP

The EU Withdrawal Bill: A Paradox Too Far?

[Guest article by Jim Blythe]

Implementing the referendum result has certainly produced a fine collection of paradoxes – the Irish border, the Gibraltar question, the “Divorce Bill” and so forth. One of Theresa May’s finest, though, is the EU Withdrawal Bill.

The problem is that leaving the EU’s regulatory system means that much of the law we have come to know and trust will no longer apply. Estimates vary, but one MP has said that it amounts to 83,000 pages of law which will have to be rewritten – and if all that has to be debated in Parliament, nothing else will get done for the next decade or so. The alternative is to expand the Civil Service and get them to rewrite everything, which of course takes democratic accountability out of the picture – taking back control rings a bit hollow if that happens. Professor Michael Dougan told the Treasury Select Committee as much, even before the referendum was held.

But we are where we are. So either Parliament will be caught in a blockage even DynoRod couldn’t clear, or something else will have to happen – hence the EU Withdrawal Bill. This Bill aims to give powers to rewrite law directly to the various Ministries – and Parliament are not happy about being cut out of the picture.

Their response has been to add a lot of amendments onto the Bill – it has been nicknamed “the Christmas tree” by wags in the Strangers’ Bar, because everyone is hanging something on it. Of the 480-plus amendments now dangling from its boughs, two in particular might offer a Get Out Of Jail Free card to Theresa May’s government.

The first, from Chris Leslie, would give Parliament a vote on the final deal, with an option to ask for Article 50 back and remain in the EU. This would come into force should a fixed exit day be set. The second, by Conservative MP and former attorney-general Dominic Grieve, has the same effect – Parliament would be able to vote down any deal worse than membership (which is to say, any deal) and reverse Article 50.  These amendments, NC4 and NC7, will be debated soon and will be voted on.

MPs are, of course, difficult to predict. The situation is complex. The Government is relatively powerless, since they lack an overall majority and can easily lose the support of the loonies from the DUP. The frog might jump either way.

Having said that, either of the two amendments would return Parliamentary sovereignty, and MPs do like to have power. They would also allow Theresa May to say, “Well, we gave it our best shot, but those naughty MPs voted it down and guess what? We have no choice but withdraw Article 50, at least until after the next General Election.” Which they would hope to win in a landslide.

It is obvious that leaving the EU carries too many paradoxes, not to mention the golden idol of the economy, which is front and centre of the debate. These amendments allow the Tories to escape with a single bound – and it’s up to Remain supporters to provide the ammunition allowing them to vote for the amendments.

Looks like a great time to be lobbying MPs.