We all know a no-deal Brexit will be damaging, so here is what can you do to stop it
We all know that a no-deal Brexit is bad and we all know that some form of cross-party parliamentary cooperation will be needed to stop it.
We also all know that various campaign groups exist to whom you can give your money (including us), who will valiantly battle Leavers across the airwaves, social media and newspaper pages on a daily basis.
But what else can you do, right now, to stop no-deal happening? It’s easy to feel powerless, but there are in fact some things. Power, after all, is always in the streets (wow, I always wanted to write something like that. I’m going to retire now).
Here are some ideas:
1. Write to your MP
Having worked in an MP’s office, I can tell you two things with absolute certainty: One you will annoy every single member of staff by doing this and two, whilst it would be ridiculous to think that any MP reads correspondence with which they disagree and instantly changes their mind, doing this does have some impact.
This is both in terms of at least exposing them to your argument (and, particularly, that argument as spoken by a constituent), and in combination with other correspondence on this issue. A fairly standard question that came up whenever we discussed the constituency’s opinion of something was to discuss the correspondence, and the quantity of it for and against.
You can write to your MP asking them to help stop no-deal here.
2. Pass a conference motion
If you’re a Labour member with a CLP that hasn’t yet decided what it’s taking to conference—if you’re unsure on the latter point contact the CLP contact on your membership card—you could pass a conference motion.
The pro-EU Labour groups all have motions committing the Party against no-deal, and the more CLPs take this to conference the greater a chance it has of ending up on the Conference floor. That’ll—hopefully—kick start the process of getting Labour firmly committed to stopping no-deal, and taking actions necessary to do that.
You can find Labour for a Public Vote’s conference motion here, along with instructions on how to get it passed.
3. Talk to your friends and family
You should do this anyway (honestly), but more precisely I mean about this topic.
Conversations with family and friends are one of the very few times people engage in political debate without roles, meaning that people won’t account for whichever agenda might come with that role and therefore are usually at least somewhat more likely to listen to what you’re saying with an open mind.
4. Go on marches
Seriously! They work. Not for the reasons you might think, but they do work.
A 2017 Harvard University study found that protests had a direct effect in terms of motivating attendees; if you attend a protest you’re more likely to take further, more directly effective political change. So go ahead. Activate yourself, like a hibernating animal awakening.
You can find details of all of the upcoming Let Us Be Heard march here.
5. Sign our petition, asking Labour to oppose Boris Johnson and Dominic Cummings and back Remain in any circumstance
Similarly to writing to your MP, this won’t change anyone’s mind as soon as they read it. But it will mean that the mass of opinion becomes clearer, both in the media and directly to leadership figures.
So there you have it! Don’t despair. Or do, but make sure you do all of the above first.
Ben Duncan-Duggal is the public affairs officer for Labour for a Public Vote.
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