Campaigning in Chester – 22/23 Jun 2019

In order to mark 3 years since the disastrous EU referendum, our group was out campaigning on the streets of Chester for the whole weekend. We wanted to speak to residents and visitors about what Brexit issues were on their mind.

Chester for Europe campaigning for a People's Vote
Chester for Europe campaigning for a People’s Vote

It was a busy time, as our action weekend coincided with the Chester Midsummer Watch Parade. The streets were very busy with residents and visitors. We had our new banners to show off.

“Say no to No-deal. We already have the best deal”.

Chester for Europe under the Chester Clock
Chester for Europe campaigners with our new banner

So what was the vibe? Well I have several conversations reported to me. One couple from Ellesmere Port had voted leave but are Remainers now. They made the excellent point that 6 years ago nobody was bothered about the EU so why was it suddenly made a problem? They felt manipulated by the Leave rhetoric and now do not like what we have become – so they have for the first time in their lives become properly engaged and one of the couple now volunteers for the Green Party.

It was lovely whilst being out on the streets for the our volunteers to feel the community spirit of the crowds around the Midsummer Watch Parade. We are a community group, of the community for the community and we give our time freely.

As always, we get lots of overseas visitors. We spoke to a German couple who asked us what had become of British democracy. They were shocked at the current paralysis in our politics. The UK has been held up as a beacon of power and stability and parliamentary democracy. Around the world now this view is severely tarnished. Boris Johnson is not a respected figure and business with the EU27 will be difficult with him at the helm.

Our German friends interestingly said that Bercow who has endeavoured to protect the voice of Parliament is respected. Our volunteers said the banners attracted a lot of people who wanted to talk. They detected that the threat of no-deal was being confronted by more people now in support of Revoke Article 50 or a People’s Vote. More and more people are realising they can no longer look away

Chester for Europe campaigner talking to Chester shoppers

Angry leavers are still around and difficult to engage. They don’t want to talk about no-deal, but there is more interest in our activities from soft leavers and soft remainers.

We have to keep working on the Fed Ups and persuade them to look because it is in their interest. A couple of our usual volunteers couldn’t help this weekend because they were proud to be taking part in the Midsummer Watch parade. The Parade was brilliant

We spoke to a couple of Conservative members. They are aghast at the idea of Boris Johnson as PM and question whether he could win a general election with his lack of grasp of detail. Sadly in our view Jeremy Hunt is not much better though he has a very good grasp of detail 🤦‍♀️

Jeremy Hunt, 22nd June 2019

We don’t want Chester jobs to be a casualty of the Brexit cult that has gripped the government. We did a mini survey with the people who we spoke to. We asked what the top 3 issues were, apart from Brexit, which were on their minds.

From the most often mentioned to the least we got this
1. Health
2. State of politics
3. Hate crimes
4. Freedom of speech 5. The Environment
6. Education
7. The economy
8. Austerity
9. Peace including the Middle East
10. Farming

Apart from peace and the environment which are both best served as part of the EU, the rest of this list is pretty much the stuff our Parliament is supposed to look after. Unfortunately for 3 years they have been so busy paralysed in the pit of the Brexit Vorago that they have done no significant work in any of these other areas to make 21st century solutions for 21st century problems.

Instead we have been forced into fighting the same old arguments of a very small number of the Tory right about the EU over and over and over again. When asked the question about the best way to break the brexit deadlock, 90% said a new public vote, 10 % said no deal crash out. The overwhelming majority said the ballot paper should say Remain vs the government’s agreed version of Brexit whatever that ends up being. Let’s hope the unicorn and four horsemen of the apocalypse aren’t foreboding omens. We will certainly be doing everything we can to fight them off for a Final Say. We will be fighting hard so Let Us Be Heard.

Please come and help us.

(This post was published in out Twitter account on 24 June by our Campaigner Pilar)