Chester for Europe street campaign 26 Jan 19

Chester for Europe in Chester City Centre 26 January 2019

Here is our round up of Saturday’s stalls and the views and observations of our volunteers based on the conversations they had. We were in Chester and Northwich.

We used a new set of questions in order to try and get a wider flavour of views in our local areas for which Brexit answer they prefer. After some discussion we left off question 5 in Chester and kept it for Northwich.

Chester Brexitometer

You would think, listening to much of the brexit coverage and commentators this week, especially that which talks to “normal voters” that we would be inundated with angry people demanding a crash out no deal Brexit on WTO and shouting about democracy

In fact our experience is that the feeling on the street is much more nuanced. It is not nearly as clear as the Government or journalists would have you believe. Most of the people we spoke to were clearly in favour of settling the issue but not in the way you think.

In Chester there was very little interest in things like Norway plus or WA plus customs Union, most people just want to either remain or have the question put back to us so we can examine the consequences of Mays deal versus our current membership in more detail.

We had only a couple of people very angry or shouting about stealing democracy. Given this story keeps being pushed by the press, in particular a Sky debate last week made us wonder if we would have a great deal of hostility on this issue. But we just didn’t. Our guys and EUnice (our duck) and flags simply did not trigger this kind of anger so we believe it is a very tiny minority of people who believe that a people’s vote damages democracy.

Chester for Europe campaigning to Stop Brexit

We did speak to leave voters. Noel reports in a lengthy conversation with one gentleman, after going through all the options and reasons for people leaving, the man went away with a very open mind and did admit Noel was making some excellent points he could agree with.

We heard lots of different concerns e.g. issues with links to EU countries for work and for families, job losses, and also worries about our standing in the world. Are we now seen as intolerant and closed? Have we lost our edge of influence? In Northwich our volunteers report that they spoke to lots of people supporting remain, including some who had changed their minds from leave. Most of these people wanted either a peoples vote and revoke article 50.

The leavers we spoke to were more in favour of a Crash Out No Deal brexit on WTO rules. Again little interest in Norway etc. There was little interest in a General Election option in either location. One person who chose this admitted that it was unreasonable to say 80% of people vote for a brexit party and therefore wanted brexit – he readily agreed that a general election is about a range of issues But the big surprise of the day was to us the number of people willing to contemplate a revocation of Article 50. Looking at these two brexitometers, Chester without that option showed support for a People’ Vote was the most popular choice

Chester Brexitometer – not a scientific poll, but we didn’t cheat!

In Northwich however Revoke Article 50 was the most popular choice with people’s vote second. The Revokers all said they would support a people’s vote but were worried about whether it could be run with no lies and no cheating.

Our Northwich Brexitometer

Discussing this with our neighbours in Wrexhamforeu and our friends in Leeds for Europe and Lewisham West and Penge remarkably they found the same appetite for RevokeArticle50.

The views of the people on the streets are not totally clear cut but there is definite movement towards revoke and remain. There is not nearly the appetite for No-deal as is being presented and definitely not much excitement around Norway plus. We believe people are tired of Brexit but that they are starting to realise that the only options which will mean they don’t have to think about it or worry about it or its consequences on their lives anymore lie in either a people’s vote or Revoke Article 50. Any flavour of brexit whether it is May’s deal or No-deal will involve parliament in more years of discussion and negotiation. The B word will not disappear from our vocabulary any time soon and in the meantime parliament is not solving our problems caused by inequality.

Thank you to all our volunteers and all the good people of Chester and Northwich who took the time to explain their concerns and wide range of nuanced views.

If you want to help us please write to your MP and tell them you want a people’s vote or Revoke Article 50.

This blog appeared as a Twitter thread on our account at @chesterforeugmail-com

Author credit – Pilar, Chester for Europe campaigner


Note there are still some places left at our event on 6 Feb – follow the link for our Eventbrite booking.

Don’t forget to join our mailing list

Airbus Stop Brexit Campaign 12 Jan 19

On Saturday 12Jan19 National Action Day, Chester for Europe demonstrated for the UK to stay in the EU, together with Libdem for Wales’ on the action ‘12-to-12’, to highlight 12 places in Wales that would be worst affected by Brexit , in our case Airbus UK in Broughton.

Airbus UK has 14000 employees (6000 in Broughton) and supports 100,000 jobs in the UK serving 4000 small, medium-size and larger UK companies. It spent £6billion+ with UK suppliers of which £100M has been invested in the UK counties.

Brexit is putting all that at an astounding risk. It creates barriers for many companies who have their parts crossing the channel, heavily impacting internal supply chain, customer supply, thus putting hundreds of thousands of UK jobs at risk.

However, corporations such as Airbus are even more at risk due to the strict aviation safety regulations for which Brexit Britain is not certified. Airbus expects multi-billion losses, due to production delays. Due to further brexit inefficiencies and penalties production will have to be moved abroad. This extremely negative outcome would be catastrophic for Airbus, the Northwest and the whole of the UK.

Source: //www.airbus.com/ & Airbus Brexit Risk assessment )

Chester for Europe and Libdem Wales are waving the EU flag. We felt highly encouraged to continue braving the cold, when around 40 employees leaving the site, were honking, waving and putting their thumbs up. There are wonderful people working at Airbus, too.

"The Welsh Liberal Democrats believe that there is no better deal than the one we have now. Theresa May's deal has failed to satisfy either side of the argument and the dire consequences that will likely occur in the event of a No Deal Brexit make it a risk we cannot take. This is why we believe the only way forward is through a People's Vote. Democracy is not a one time event and to quote David Davis "if a democracy cannot change it's mind, it ceases to be a democracy". It is the people who will pay the price for Brexit so, now the terms are known, it is they who should decide if it is a price worth paying"

Donna Lalek Vice-Chair Flintshire Liberal Democrats

Lörrach twin town guests enjoy walls tour as Lord Mayor presents tshirt gift

Lörrach twin town guests enjoy walls tour as Lord Mayor presents tshirt gift

Chester for Europe have been ensuring links with Chester’s twin town, Lörrach Germany, are
maintained – presenting their town Mayor with a gift, and putting on a tour of Chester’s famous walls for a visiting Lörrach orchestra.

Over the weekend of the 20th October, Musicians from four Lörrach groups jointly performed at a concert at St Mary’s Creative Space as part of a series of visits and exchanges arranged through CILA, Chester’s twin town association. Members of Chester for Europe and CILA provided a tour of the sights, including the famous walls and roman remains – as the visitors took a lively interest in sights such as The Albion Pub, the Roodee and Chester Castle.

This comes on the back of a visit of the Lord Mayor of Chester, Cllr Alex Black, to Lörrach itself in September, in which Mayor Black he presented a ‘Chester for Europe’ T-shirt with its arc of yellow stars over the Eastgate clock to the Lord Mayor of Lörrach –Oberbürgermeister, Herr Lutz.

Herr Lutz expressed his thanks and said that, for his part, the UK would always be welcome back in Europe.

Speaking about the events, Chair of Chester for Europe Chair, Noel McGlinchey said:
“It is important to remember whatever happens in politics, our European neighbours are our
partners and friends. The wonderful twin-town relationship we have with Lörrach is hugely
important and must be maintained as a reminder of our shared history, values and the need for partnership and peace.

“Our Members wanted to ensure the orchestra felt most welcome, as well as sending a clear
message that the vast majority of the citizens of this City value their place in Europe.
“Through this we’ve gained friends and enjoyed our opportunity of proudly show off this wonderful City. The photos we took and the gifts exchange will act as mementos of these friendships and the continued friendship between our respective cities and with our European neighbours.”

Chester for Europe at Chester Pride

Chester for Europe group proudly joined in the Chester Pride parade on Saturday the 11th of August.  Wearing Chester for Europe t-shirts, they joined in the celebration of diversity wearing bright blue wigs, gold lipstick, rainbow clothes and carrying the EU and Rainbow Pride flags intertwined.

The Group joined to highlight the legislative support the EU provides for LGBT+ and minority rights, requiring certain standards to be met before membership and maintained as members. Chester for Europe activists took one thousand “Bollocks to Brexit’ stickers which were offered to people lining the parade. The stickers proved so popular they ran out as many requested additional stickers for their friends. Chester for Europe Members campaigners had to call for backup stickers and return back to earlier parts the route to hand-out promised stickers. Before the parade was ended all the “Bollocks to Brexit’ stickers had completely run out and the streets were lined with people proudly supporting the opinion that brexit was was a bad idea.

Emma McGlinchey, Chester Remain campaigner said:
“This was a really enjoyable event, where the Pride crowd clearly showed they do not want a hard, soft or any other kind of Brexit.  It was great to see so many people having such a great time, adorned with our stickers and sending a message to the Government.

Teresa Fajardo said:
“The stickers were very popular, we could have easily given out twice as many. If Chester was a Remain city before, there has been a real sea change of opinion against Brexit now.
People are now overwhelmingly fed-up with Brexit, which is not just shown by the crowds at this event, but by recent polling which shows Chester now supports remaining in the EU by almost two to one.  The polling also shows Ellesmere Port is also now majority Remain following a spectacular eight percent shift. A sea-change is taking place and you could really sense that at Pride.”

Campaigners also distributed over 100 European ‘passports’ to children with their parent’s consent. These activity books had EU flag stickers for children to match the correct flag to European country. Thanks to the efforts of Chester for Europe 100 children in Chester have European passports!

Chester for Europe is campaigning to allow people a say on the final Brexit deal.

How Brexiteers are planning for a crash-out Brexit

#PeoplesVoteWhy would the Brexiteers in government agree to allow parliament a say if a deal was agreed with the E.U. but not allow parliament a say if there was no deal?

Why have Brexiteers persistently made demands that there should be an open border at one point of the UK (Northern Ireland) but closed borders everywhere else?

Why have the Brexiteers constantly contradicted themselves in areas of trade? They ask for a Free Trade deal but refuse to commit to keep to agreed standards.

Why have they constantly undermined attempts to cooperate in areas of environment protection and security? They ask for cooperation in these highly important areas but refuse to use the only body the E.U. has which can that ensure agreements are not being breached?

Why are Brexiteers like Rees-Mogg, Lord Lawson and Farage moving investment offices to Dublin, seeking residency in France and obtaining E.U. passports for their children?

The answers to all these questions are troubling. Clearly Brexiteers think a no-deal crash-out Brexit is highly likely. Clearly they have never been seriously looking for a deal with the E.U. As ever, it’s going to be one law for the powerful and another for the citizen. Brexiteers are preparing their lifeboats and, just like Titanic, the third class passengers will be left behind. So, Boris Johnson was right when he said we ‘will make a titanic success of Brexit.’ Brexiteers’ definition of success must be different than that of the manufacturing , transport, aviation, financial services, pharmaceuticals and research industries. Unfortunately for us they are not in government and the Brexiteers are not listening to them.

If you work in any of these industries perhaps you want to be writing to your MP to ask what they are doing to ensure we do not end up with a crash-out and sink no-deal Brexit.

Noel is a member of the Chester for Europe campaign group.  Complete our contact form to receive our newsletters and details of the events that we are planning.

Straw Poll Results – 90% of Cestrians Supported the People’s Vote on The Final Brexit Deal

#PeoplesVote boxesStraw polls are notoriously inaccurate., people are missed, too busy or don’t want to comment. So, they aren’t scientific. However, they give an idea of the general mood and the comments people make can be very revealing. Just like the ‘focus groups’ loved by pollsters.

Chester for Europe straw polled pedestrians in Chester passing The Cross and Town Hall Square between 10:30 and 15:30 on Saturday 9th June. They spoke to about 250 people asking the question ‘Who do you trust on the Brexit deal?’ People were given the option of leaving the final decision needed to approve the Brexit deal to politicians or to ask the people. Rather than simply express an opinion or sign a form they were encouraged to place a voting ball in a ballot box. 159 people voted. Of these 145 voted for the People’s Vote to confirm the final deal and 16 voted to leave it to the politicians. This is a majority of all the people asked even those who refused to vote and much higher than the majorities governments achieve in any general election or even at the EU referendum.

Perhaps more revealing than the voting was the comments. Most people, whether Remainers or Leavers, wanted to express their opinions about the way the government was handling Brexit before they placed their vote. Many Leavers supported the idea of a People’s Vote with comments such as:

“We thought we were joining a Common Market and then we ended up with ‘Ever Closer Union.’ Then we thought we were voting Brexit with free trade deals but now it seems it’s going to cost jobs. I don’t trust the political parties on this.”

“I was called a fascist for supporting an English parliament and supporting Brexit. Now we haven’t been given any control. It’s not right.”

“They said it would be the easiest deal ever. David Davis couldn’t negotiate his way out of a wet paper bag.”

Dog with eu flag

Some Remainers who supported the People’s Vote said:

“It’s a mess. I was ready to go along with it because they won but now, it’s a mess. We need a People’s Vote in case they cock it up.”

“Those poor people at Vauxhall’s. The writing’s on the wall.”

“Nothing they promised has been delivered. What about the money for the NHS and all those trade deals? They haven’t a clue what they are doing.”

One Leaver who voted to leave the final decision to the politicians said.

“I’d rather leave it to them. It’s all very complicated. That’s what politicians are there for.”

Some people who declined to vote did express an opinion. One lady said. “I don’t want to be rude but I don’t want to vote. My father was killed in the war in Germany.” Clearly emotional she walked on. She hadn’t been rude at all.

Noel McGlinchey, Chair of Chester for Europe, said “We had lots of conversations today. It was great to hear so many views politely expressed and surprising just how strong the consensus was that there had to be People’s Vote on the final Brexit deal. Of all the people we spoke to only one could be said to have been argumentative and even with that it was politely agreed to differ in the end.”

John Jones, Treasurer Chester for Europe, said, ‘It was really interesting to hear what Leave voters had to say. Most just don’t seem to trust the politicians to protect their rights. They want a say on the final deal.’

Picnic in the Park

ACTIVISTS MARK EUROPE DAY WITH GROSVENOR PARK PICNIC

Chester for Europe campaignersChester for Europe group celebrated the 70th anniversary of the European Union in style with a picnic in Chester’s Grosvenor Park – marking ‘Europe Day’ day with a celebration of British and European food and produce- enjoyed by nationals from across the continent.

The event, on the Sunday 13th May, saw picnickers enjoy fine weather to mark the 70th anniversary of the first post-war initiative for European unity and peace in The Hague in 1948.

Activists joined many others holding similar picnics all over the UK, to celebrate the economic and cultural benefits of EU membership. People of various nationalities came together to share various European foods including Spanish, French, Greek and Italian dishes alongside British produce in a celebration of the diverse food cultures of Europe.

Chester for Europe picnickers also discussed concerns with many passers-by worried over the future of their rights to work and travel freely, including many UK residents and a range of European nationals visiting Chester.

Commenting on the day, event organiser and Chester for Europe Member, Yvonne Hay said:

“I was pleased to see almost continental weather on the day, allowing many events such as this to go ahead and send a message to Downing Street that people value their EU membership.

“A growing number of people are becoming concerned over their rights to right to work, study and live in Europe. Some worried that retirement plans to retire in the sun would no longer be possible. Right now, everybody has these rights – and can easily experience the food and culture of 27 of our nearest neighbour nations; in the future this may not be guaranteed.”

“As a group we are calling on the Government to allow a People’s Vote on the final deal, so they can weigh whatever deal the government comes up with against the benefits they already enjoy. The people began the process, and they should have the final say.”

Fellow activist and picnicker Pete Fryer, also commented:

It was great to celebrate Europe Day in this way, with everyone putting aside their worries to enjoying the sunshine and make many new friends”.

“Many People from all different backgrounds were drawn to the EU flags and came over to chat to us and take leaflets about the group.

“I was struck by the positive reception we received by members of the public increasingly concerned for the future.

“We met one couple – a British Man and his French wife worried that if they left the country whether her residency status would allow her back in. This means they daren’t risk visiting family for fear of not getting back in.

“This is just one story of many where people’s lives are already being affected. We plan to put an end to this uncertainty with events across the summer – during which we hope this lovely weather remains.”

Newsletter 3

Chester City Centre 28 April
Chester for Europe campaigners in our City Centre

Yet another great day campaigning at the Cross on Saturday 28th April.  This time we handed out cards that were designed for the People’s Vote Campaign, to be sent to MPs. We were surprised at how many visitors to the table were willing to take part in this campaign. All the completed cards have been duly sent to the appropriate local MPs. We also signed up a number of new supporters; please consider this Newsletter as a warm welcome to you.

Our next open meeting will be on Wednesday 9th May at 7pm, hosted, very kindly by the great people at (address removed).  The meeting will be used to network the growing support and plan our next events and activities. Please do let us know that you intend to attend, by emailing us on [email protected], or send a message via our website www.chesterforeurope.org. You will be sure of a warm welcome at the meeting.

Please note, there are races on Wednesday afternoon, so town will be very busy and parking will be even more difficult than usual.

Forthcoming events
 

The agenda for the Wednesday 9th meeting will include:

  1. Next street event (Chester or Ellesmere Port)
  2. Anti-brexit rally in London
  3. Chester anti-brexit training day

1.We will decide where and when our next street event will be held.  Possible dates are Saturday 12th or another Saturday in May, either in Chester or Ellesmere Port. Saturday 19th might not be too good a choice, clashing with the Royal Wedding and the Cup Final, though some group members might prefer that date.
 

2.We will also look at the possibility of organising a coach from Chester, for the big rally on 23rd June in London.

3.We are holding a ‘training day’ on Saturday 30th June to empower members in being more effective campaigners. Details will be discussed at the meeting.
 

Please do save both those dates, and watch out for details in our next newsletter.

 

People’s Vote campaign

 

We have distributed leaflets for this campaign at The Cross and through door-to-door deliveries in various parts of Chester.  This is a nationwide campaign demanding a vote on the final Brexit deal, and we urge all our supporters to sign up through the campaign website https://www.peoples-vote.uk/. We are still looking for more volunteers to deliver leaflets, this will also be coordinated during the Wednesday meeting.

 

John Tacon

On behalf of Chester for Europe.

Newsletter Number Two

(Sent to our email subscriber list)

Chester For Europe is Active and Growing!

We have been astounded by the level of support for Chester for Europe and how quickly the group of enthusiastic and passionate members is growing.  Below we outline the ideas and events we are planning at this stage, so please do keep in touch and get involved in local activities.

 

Chester for Europe’s next event
On Saturday 28 April, we will have a stall outside Chester Town Hall, from 11:30 to 2:30.  This follows on from our two successful events at The Cross, so we’ve decided to move to a new venue.

As before, we would love your support at our event.  You can help on the stall, hand out leaflets, and speak to passers-by.  We’ve got postcards were you can write a short message about Brexit to your local MP and let them know how you feel it’s going, or tell them what worries you. We will have our own special posting box for each of our local MPs – so you won’t need a stamp!

People’s Vote campaign

On Saturday, we will be handing out leaflets supporting the “People’s Vote”.  This is a nationwide campaign demanding a vote on the final Brexit deal. Full details are online at: https://www.peoples-vote.uk/.

Britain for Europe and other anti-Brexit campaigning organisations are planning to hold a ‘March for a People’s Vote’ in London on Saturday June 23rd, setting off from Park Lane (corner of Hyde Park) at 1pm.  Some coaches from Liverpool and North Wales will be going there via Chester.  If enough people are interested, we might organise a coach of our own, so please do let us know if this would be of interest on to you via our contact form here.

Save the date

We are organising a grassroots get-together.  There will be speakers followed by workshops from Best for Britain.  Put Saturday 30 June between 2:30 and 5:30pm in your diary.  The venue will be in Chester.

Chester for Europe is growing

Undeterred by the rain, 18 supporters came to our second meeting on the evening of Tuesday 24th at (address withheld).  With the group growing so quickly, we have decided to open a bank account and become more formally organised. We have elected officers: Chair (Noel McGlinchey) and Treasurer (John Jones).  With so many enthusiastic volunteers we have diversified in to separate teams working on events, communications and social media.

Website

We now have our own website: https://chesterforeurope.org/ and we will have our own logo very soon. Can you guess which iconic local image we will use?

As well as giving information about our group’s aims, the website has links to our social media accounts on FaceBook and Twitter, plus details of how to contact us.  We welcome ideas for campaigning and events we can use to promote our pro-EU messages to people locally.

Voices for Europe

Chester for Europe supporter Rachel Ashley is co-writer and vocalist in a music project.  Rachel writes:

Our “In Limbo” songs are out by “Voices for Europe”, which aims to stop people being treated as “Citizens of Nowhere”.  I’d like to ask you to ask your friends to download the EP, all three versions for just the price of a coffee. It’s available on all platforms: iTunes, Amazon and Google Play – Gifting a copy to a “weary Remainer” and a “Leaver in regret” gives you 9 clicks towards a UK Top 40 chart entry for less than “Two pints of lager and a packet of crisps”.

Find out about the project which aims to publicise the plight of EU citizens caught in limbo in the UK, UK Ex-pats caught in limbo in Europe, Windrush generation victims, and ALL “Citizens of Nowhere”:

http://www.brexitrage.com/rage/

The EP has just become No 1 in the Amazon downloads.  If it keeps selling well it will get into the album charts and make waves.  I hope you will help us by buying, tweeting and posting it on social media. If we get this right, we’ll own the media for several weeks and change the game regarding Brexit.

 

John Tacon
On behalf of Chester for Europe.

Newsletter Number One

Sent to everyone on our mailing list:

Thanks for giving Chester for Europe your address, and welcome to our group.

We are holding a meeting for supporters who want to get involved.  It will be at (address withheld) on Tuesday 24 April from 7 to 9pm.

If you would like to come along and be actively involved, please send an email to [email protected]

We also plan to be out campaigning on Saturday 30 April at The Cross in Chester from 11am to 4pm.

John Tacon
on behalf of Chester for Europe
Website:www.chesterforeurope.org
Facebook: www.facebook.com/chesterforeurope
Twitter: https://twitter.com/chesterforeu