The Convention: Brexit and the Political Crash

Last week saw a two-day meeting called The Convention – Think Anew, Act Anew hosted by The Observer newspaper and organised by Henry Porter, author and journalist.

Post Brexit Britain is a New World. It Requires New Thinking, New Leaders, New Voices and New Ideas.

The Convention was the first large-scale event to offer organisations and individuals the chance to hear and take part in crucial debates about the United Kingdom’s future and the populist insurgencies that are sweeping Western democracies.

Two members of Stratford4Europe were in attendance on the Friday to hear a number of panel discussions and keynote speeches, with Gina Miller opening the event. (Transcript of her speech available on Best for Britain.)

Highlights of the day included a passionate denialist, Ian McEwan, to Bob Geldof via Alistair Campbell and Paul Mason, to name but a few. For balance, even a few pro-Brexit voices such as Kwasi Kwarteng and Douglas Carswell were heard. They were only booed occasionally.

The speakers covered subjects such as the state of UK politics, the challenge to the EU itself, the rise of nationalist movements, the economy, the media, participation of young people, the impact of Brexit on women. Sindhu Vee gave us some comic relief with her very funny stand-up turn.

Quotes from the day:

Bob Geldof: “Britain’s historical destiny is to be in Europe pushing for reform; We can’t resile from the 21st century, we will change Europe from inside”

Will Hutton: “The EU is a way of managing our interdependence”

IFS: predicts that living standards in 2022 will be lower than in 2007

Stephen Dorrell: “‘Making the best of it” is not a good place to be. Historic mistakes can be reversed, we must make the case for the EU”

Frances O’Grady: “The EU is a place where the social dimension and the workers’ place in institutions is recognized”

Paul Mason: “We need a coalition of kindness, convenience and constitutionality”

Read further coverage of the event here

and of the second day at

Watch Ian McEwan’s passionate speech here

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