How to stop Boris Johnson and No Deal Brexit

Don't despair - here's how you can take action.

I doubt any of us could have predicted that we would end up here. To the ongoing disaster of Brexit, we now add into that what can only be described as an attempted coup at the very heart of our democracy.

Boris Johnson has the title of Prime Minister, Dominic Raab the title of Foreign Secretary, and Dominic Cummings the title of the PM’s chief adviser. In times past these figures – and the Home Secretary, Chancellor and others – would have operated within accepted parliamentary norms. They would have recognised the need to have parliamentary approval for policy choices, and would not have seriously considered debasing or altering that tradition.

But now in summer 2019 we have before us the kind of ‘government’ that we might expect to read about in a country with serious democratic problems. We would never have conceived of it at home – here in the mother of parliaments.

Johnson, Cummings, Raab and their friends care nothing for our democracy. Everything is to be sacrificed on the altar of Brexit – and only the hardest Brexit, one that rips us out not only of trade arrangements but also any agreement on defence, policing and security, education, and shared work to stop climate chaos, poverty and inequality, will do. The right have seen their chance to turn the UK into a far right, low tax, low regulation, low rights nation. They will let nothing get in their way.

The temptation is to fall into defeatism. Johnson and Cummings in Number 10? Parliament all but shut down in the run up to No Deal? Is it game over?

This is what Johnson wants us to feel. He wins when we stop fighting. The good news is that he is actually in a weak position. A confident PM would not prorogue Parliament – they would face Parliament down, win the argument and win the vote. Prorogation is the act of a coward, a man who knows that he cannot win a vote and wants to do all he can to avoid scrutiny and accountability.

Johnson has a notional majority of one in Parliament – in reality no majority at all as there are now Tory MPs opposed to him and to No Deal. He is pursuing a policy for which there is no majority in his own party – never mind in Parliament or the country. His goal is to unite the pro-Leave vote, winning back voters from the Brexit Party, and then to beat Remain parties in a general election called when Parliament has ruled out No Deal. He’s desperate to fight and win an election – and to do it before No Deal turns the M20 into a lorry park and Tesco into an empty warehouse. He would then have five years to wreak havoc on our country. It’s the job of MPs, of Labour members and the public to stop him.

We are not without options. MPs have their job to do – and plans are afoot to stop Johnson, No Deal and the attack on our democracy.

The rest of us are far from powerless. Here are a few things that you can do this weekend to help stop Johnson, stop No Deal and save the day.

1. Turn up to a demo or an event. There’s a host of demos and events being organised across the country. Join in. Show that we won’t take this lying down.

2. Sign the petitions. Sign our petition here and the Parliament website petition here. Think petitions don’t work? Think again.

3. Write to your MP. There’s one thing you need to know about your MP. Whichever party they’re from, they care about keeping their seat, which means that if you’re their constituent they care what you think. Use your power. Write them an email using our easy tool. Amend the wording to say what you want to say (be polite, rants don’t get read).

Ask your MP to oppose the prorogation of parliament, to oppose No Deal, support a second referendum, and campaign for Remain. You could add that you fear for the future of our democracy if MPs do not act in the next week. They need to know that you care – and that their job is on the line.

Want to go to the next level? Arrange to visit their surgery to talk in person. You have every right to tell them what you think. Use it.

4. Join a campaign. It’s hard work campaigning on your own. Join a team. You can join us here. Other left wing, anti Brexit campaigns are available.

5. Join the big march on October 19th. It’ll be fun. There’ll be a million-plus of us out on the street saying no to Boris, yes to Europe, and no to a far-right dystopian future. Bring a brolly.

6. If you’re a Labour member, use your power as a member to pass a CLP motion, talk to your MP or write to Jeremy Corbyn. If you’re a union member talk to your union leadership – they have influence over Labour and a public platform to speak out against Brexit. We need Labour to back Remain in all circumstances – the time for sitting on the fence on Brexit has long passed. Use your voice in the party to help get us the rest of the way.

At the end of August 2019 we have to recognise that things are bad. We should have stopped Brexit by now. We should have won the argument for a second referendum and the argument for Remain. We should have held and won a second vote by now, and have defeated the lies of the Brexiters. That we haven’t is testament to their tenacity – and to our failure to work together, to develop the right messaging, and to our failure to fight fire with fire.

It’s not too late – but please know that now is the time. If you haven’t yet done all that you can to stop Brexit, if you’ve thought maybe that it’s someone else’s job, please get involved. We can stop Johnson and Cummings forming Britain in their own image – but we have to do it now. 

Mike Buckley is the Director of Labour for a Public Vote.

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14 Responses to “How to stop Boris Johnson and No Deal Brexit”

  1. Jan Evans

    Please get real. Three years of procrastination by MPs and determination to stop or thwart Brexit has brought us to this not Boris. The remainers shout undemocratic and dictatorial which is a bit pot, kettle, black given they have twisted parliamentary procedures every which way they can to stop Brexit.

  2. Tom Sacold

    And the Blairite rightwingers get into a hissy-fit about some Tory parliamentary malarkey.

    What Labour should be discussing is how to use Brexit to move to a socialist government in the UK.

  3. Michael Fitchett

    Jan, Tom, complet Bullshit.

    Our ancestors died for the rights of Parliament. Lloyd George did not need to prorogue Parliament in 1916. Johnson’s hero., Churchill did not need to in 1940.

    The truth is, Johnson is Shit scared to face the House, just as he craps himself at the thought of doing a TV interview.

  4. Jonathan Bagley

    So, if Boris somehow came back with a great deal, you’d say, “Fair play, Boris, we didn’t think you could do it, but you have. We’ll now happily vote to leave the EU.” Only one non-SNP MP voted against holding a referendum, and you talk about Boris being undemocratic. You’re a joke.

  5. wg

    @Michael Fitchett – these hard fought for Parliamentary rights, are they the ones that were so carelessly handed over to the EU?

    It seems these days that ALL politicians pick up and put down democracy to suit their own ends.

  6. Richard MacKinnon

    ‘How to stop Boris Johnson and No Deal Brexit’. Join a demonstration, sign a petition, write a letter to your MP.
    Feechin hilarious.

  7. James Murray

    @Michael Fitchett

    Mike,
    “Johnson is Shit scared to face the House, just as he craps himself at the thought of doing a TV interview.”

    I assume you refer to the Channel 4 refusal of an interview by the PM.
    To be fair, he had already agreed to ta series of interviews with the BBC, ITV and Sky.
    Sour grapes by Channel 4 methinks that they are so far down the food chain.
    I find that Channel 4 is very Left-Wing biased.
    Although this may not bother you, it is not a good look to have any overt prejudice by any media and I quite understand why Johnson did not wish to put out for them.

    Jim Murray

  8. Michael Fitchett

    James, he is shit scared of the House of Commons, since he knows that when people like Yvette Cooper, Keir Starmer, Ken Clarke, Dominic Grieve et al go after him, he will not be able to cope in the House. Johnson has no political skills. Ken Clarke wrote that in Kind of Blue. In debate in the House, he will be found out. That is why he wants to prologue Parliament.

  9. Julia Gibb

    Tom Sacold spends a lot of his time trying to distract us from the Tories or playing down their actions. A strong Brexiteer and ardent socialist….mmm. I doubt the latter.

  10. Martyn

    The MPs can stop it – they need to occupy Parliament!

  11. Martin Young

    Johnson is not scared to be interviewed by anyone. In fact he’d love it, he craves attention. It’s his puppet masters who are scared. They know what a cock up he’d make of it. Might even let slip the real reason like Ben Wallace.

  12. Gary

    I agree that proroguing parliament IS undemocratic. It stifles debate on a contentious policy and even those who AGREE with that policy should be aware that this tactic could be used AGAINST them in future, it’s always hard to see bias and abuse when it’s used in FAVOUR of you, isn’t it?

    But, on the other hand, the opposition parties are only now acting to PREVENT Brexit from happening. They are promoting NOTHING. No one has a plan. The idea of taking control of the order book, having a vote of no confidence etc to prevent something THEY legislated for is just as anti democratic!

    For those of us NOT on either extreme of this argument, who have accepted the vote (as we always do) and want this done with so the country can move on well WE look on with despair at ALL of you.

    Both sides are using trickery, deception and bad faith. If ever there was an exercise in anti democratic behaviour by all of our politicians then this is it.

    In short, the vote MUST be honoured. There is no deal and no agreement on HOW to get one never mind WHAT we want. we have a date legislated for and we must go on that date. Leaving without a deal in place does NOT mean we wil never have a deal. It means we negotiate retrospectively.

    IF any politician in ANY party were REALLY interested in democracy then the choice of the existing deal Vs no deal would go back to the people. (they’ve already voted on leaving, so that CAN’T go back again)

    There are extremists on either side of this but most people accept the vote and want it dealt with, however we voted. We’re sick of listening to politicians who know what they don’t want but don’t have any idea of what to actually DO.

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