In just a few weeks time MPs will be voting on whatever deal Theresa May has secured with the European Union. What they decide will determine the future direction of this country. It will – by far – be the most important vote they make in their political lives.
But given how important the deal is, and how it will impact on us all for many years to come, HOPE not hate and Best for Britain believe it is only right that public should have the final say.
The British people will then have the option to support or reject the deal.
Unlike some political commentators and leaders, HOPE not hate doesn't think the Leave vote was a great surprise. Rather, it was the loudest shout against an economic system that is not working for people and a political system from which a lot Leave voters felt abandoned. The failure was political establishment that offered no vision of change in the social contract.
Earlier this year, HOPE not hate came out against a hard Brexit (a no deal Brexit or a Canadian-style free trade deal). We did so because we believed it would make Britain poorer and more unequal, creating conditions that will make a far-right surge more likely, and more potent. We believed that a hard Brexit was a bad Brexit and a bad Brexit would be disastrous for those communities already hit by post-industrialisation and austerity. Those just about struggling through will see their wages decline; rights at work will disappear; and public services will be slashed even further. Resentment is likely to grow, especially among those who were promised that Brexit would deliver a better future for them and their families. The backlash is likely to provide fertile ground for right-wing demagogues to exploit anger and resentment.
Six months on and it is now virtually impossible to see any ‘good’ Brexit. Every realistic option left on the table would make Britain a poorer country, and the communities that HOPE not hate works most in would be worst affected. A no deal Brexit, where Britain and the EU fail to agree on terms, or the UK simply walks away from the negotiating table, would be an absolute disaster for this country. That is now a very real prospect.
Because of the severity of what’s at stake – for every single one of us and the next generation – HOPE not hate is now joining together with Best for Britain to demand that the British public have the final say. That only seems fair and democratic. If people support the Government’s deal then fine, but we should also have the option to reject the deal and put a stop to Brexit.