Post General Election Statement

December 2019

Following the general election we recognise the inevitability that Brexit will now happen. However, since more than 50% of the electorate voted for one of the progressive parties, we feel we have a strong mandate, if needed, for our campaign to continue. We are determined it should.

Central to the new phase of our campaign will be to hold the government and our local MP to account by scrutinising their every word and action. At the same time we will do everything we can to promote the positive messages about Europe and its great mix of cultures. The aim of our campaign remains the same: we want Britain to continue to play a leading role within a strong and united European Union.

The great success of the pro-EU campaign to date has been the stunning growth of a nationwide, grassroots movement. To ensure that we build on this, we plan to engage fully with the European Movement and play our part in transforming it into a forceful, pro-active pressure group that has a mandate to speak for all of us. We urge all our supporters to join it and to be involved in its development. We will also continue to support the valuable work of groups like Best for Britain.

Another triumph has been the huge number of our supporters who took part in political campaigning, some for the first time. We recognise that political change for the better can only come about if the electorate is fully engaged. For this reason we urge all our supporters to join a political party to ensure our voices are represented within the party political system.

During the election we were alarmed by the dishonest use of the media to spread misinformation and lies. We plan to help counter this by continuing with our programme of talks, meetings as well as our letters and literature. Similarly we will do our best to support the independent press and will fiercely help to oppose any attempts to undermine the independence of the BBC and Channel 4 news.

Once again the unrepresentativeness of the first-past-the-post electoral system has been thrown into the spotlight. Tactical voting is not a solution. For this reason we will continue to lobby for the progressive parties to work together to present a united front to the electorate. We will also aid efforts to introduce a fairer electoral system based on proportional representation by supporting the campaigns of other well-established lobby groups including the Electoral Reform Society, Make Votes Matter and Unlock Democracy.

We urge our supporters to do the same.

Many of our supporters have told us they have appreciated the sense of community that has been facilitated through our Facebook groups, our meetings and our regular communications. In the difficult times ahead we are determined to maintain this mutual sense of solidarity not least through our use of social media as well as by providing opportunities for our supporters to engage with each other and with the wider public.

Since the election we have heard how many non-UK EU nationals living in this country now feel even more unwelcome and threatened. We note as well that talk of bringing the country together makes no specific reference to them. For this reason we will seize every opportunity to stand up for them, to defend their rights and to offer them our support and friendship.

Finally, we recognise that our campaign has been running virtually non-stop since the 2016 referendum and that we may now have to contemplate campaigning until the next general election in five years time. For this reason we acknowledge the need to pace our campaign and to find ways to keep ourselves and our supporters motivated. That said, we remain optimistic that a lot can change in this time.

For now our immediate priority is to pause for a while to re-energise so we are ready to face campaigning again in the New Year. This includes being ready to lend our support to any new national activities like the recent marches in London. We know we are in it for the long haul but even after we leave the EU we must never lose sight of the possibility of re-joining it under Article 49.

Despite the recent election result, our determination, our commitment and the great spirit we have inspired in each other remain as undaunted as ever. We hope every one of our supporters feels the same and will join us on our journey.

With all best wishes,

The Stratford4Europe Team

Website: www.stratford4europe.org.uk
Email: stratford4europe@gmail.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/stratford4europe Twitter: @stratford4eu

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