Last night’s Brexit vote was a victory for democracy. Here’s what we need to do next

The eleven Tory rebels won us a "meaningful vote" - we need to make it count.

House of Commons

Last night’s “meaningful vote” result was not a defeat for the government but a victory for British democracy.

Some Conservative MPs stood up for their principles. Hats off to Dominic Grieve, Anna Soubry, Nicky Morgan and the eight other Tory MPs that defied their whip — what they did was difficult and we should thank them for it.

It was also heartening to see the unity of the Labour Party — if the party pulls together, it can defeat the government, that is another lesson of last night.

But we should also thank the thousands of people, unions and campaigners in living rooms, bedrooms and offices up and down the country who took the time to call their MP, write letters, email or tweet them to ask them to make a stand. Last night’s result would not have happened without them.

Together, we turned the meaningless vote the government were promising into a truly meaningful one.

At Best for Britain we have been campaigning to win a meaningful vote on Brexit with all options on the table, including staying in the European Union. We think of the options we have seen so far, no Brexit is by far the best.

We would only call for a referendum if it is clear that people want it, but we want Parliament to have a meaningful vote to decide that on the basis of whatever deal Theresa May brings back. Last night, we got that. Now we have to campaign to win it!

The next battle will be over this Brexit date that the Prime Minister is obsessed with. She is trying to write this into the bill.

Conservative MPs did not take a stand on Wednesday lightly but it was the right thing to do in the interests of the country. Today, the Prime Minister needs to realise that her aggressive posturing over Brexit is only going to lead to more embarrassing defeats.

We are urging the government to drop the amendment fixing the Brexit date. It might appease a few on the rabid right of her party but it will, I believe and hope, doom her to parliamentary reversal. Our message is clear — drop the Brexit date amendment now and stop selling our future down the river.

But as campaigners for no Brexit we need to look past next week, we have 10 months until the real Brexit deal comes up for the vote. We need to lay out a roadmap together to stop this slow motion car crash. We cannot allow the next generation to be poorer than us, as it is increasingly clear would be the result of Brexit.

We need to help build the movement by working as closely as possible with our valued partners across the country. We must also provide data and support to win over MPs and the public.

Finally, we must get beyond Leave and Remain and bring communities together. I would urge you to join the people who campaigned this week, join Best for Britain and help keep no Brexit on the table — everyone deserves to have their voice heard on the real Brexit decision — the vote on the emerging deal. 2018 will be pivotal for Brexit because the biggest decision is yet to come.

Eloise Todd is the CEO of Best for Britain. She tweets here

6 Responses to “Last night’s Brexit vote was a victory for democracy. Here’s what we need to do next”

  1. nhsgp

    384 MP majority to leave the EU is a victory for Democracy.

  2. nhsgp

    Labour votes to pay the EU when we don’t have to

    Labour votes for 40 bn of cuts the the NHS.

    There’s no difference between those two policies.

  3. William

    With the greatest of respect to “NHSGP”, I would not take any notice of how the MPs voted but would be extremely interested in how the British public would vote should they be “allowed” to have another, now that the truthful cards are on the table.
    What is happening in today’s government is very far from proper democracy.

  4. Dave Roberts

    Remainers are now reminiscent of third world, and some not so third world, dictators who just demand another vote when the first one goes against them.

  5. greg

    @William – with the greatest respect to you, other truths are now surfacing that will have a major effect upon the outcome of another referendum; e.g. the creation of an EU defence force and calls from prominent EU servants for further integration towards a United States of Europe.

    Federica Mogherini, so-described ‘High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy’, is hailing a new ‘defence pact’ that will presumably be responsible for backing up any decision her department makes in the future.

    Just hang on to that – an unelected individual, created under an un-mandated Lisbon Treaty, making policy for 500million people, and running around making promises that may have to be backed up by military force.

    I just don’t get how people can speak so casually of democracy, and allow things like this to happen.

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