On Saturday 9 December Cambridge Stays members and supporters joined a national Action Day with a stall in Market Square, Cambridge. This day of action brought thousands of campaigners from across the UK together for hundreds of events, uniting local pro-EU groups affiliated to Britain for Europe, the European Movement, Open Britain, Best for Britain, along with many unaffiliated campaigns.
Despite the chilly weather – it struggled to get above zero all day – our stand was popular and our dozen volunteers were kept busy talking with members of the public, handing out leaflets, and signing up new members.
But the most popular activity was our Christmas cards for local MPs, by the time we packed up the stall at 3pm we had a box full of cards to post, all encouraging them to give our country the gift of a final say on Brexit by voting for Amendments 7 and NC4 to the European Union (Withdrawal) Billon Wednesday 13 December.
Our stall took place against the backdrop of many concrete negative consequences of Brexit, from the announcement that important EU agencies will be relocating abroad, to citizens’ rights being threatened, to staff shortages in our NHS.
Speaking before the stall, Paul Browne, Chair of Cambridge Stays said:
After all the bluster, talk of red lines, and “Go whistle”, the government has reached a deal with the EU by conceding to it on almost every key issue, but only after enduring the humiliation of being held to ransom by the DUP. We can see clearly now that being a member of the European Union of 28 sovereign states is key to our strength and future success. As a leading member of the EU the UK is a rule maker, outside it will be a rule taker, the only choice being whether to take those rules from the EU or Trump’s USA (complete with NHS privatisation).
Over the last week we’ve seen Brexit Secretary David Davis admit that the Brexit Impact reports he had previously boasted about don’t exist, and Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond admit that the government doesn’t yet have an agreed vision on what the UK’s future relationship with the EU should be.
The number of nurses recruited from other EU member states has crashed by over 90% since the referendum, leading to a fall in the total number of NHS nurses at a time when our NHS is already at breaking point due to the aging population and years of underinvestment. In this as in so many areas of life Brexit is already hurting the UK.
We cannot allow the future of the UK to be decided by a small group of Brexit extremists and the DUP. We call on our MPs to ensure that Parliament and the People of the UK have a final say on Brexit before the UK leaves the EU, and we urge them to vote for Amendments 7 and NC4 of the EU Withdrawal Bill next week.”
On the following Thursday the Cambridge Independent reported on our stall in an article on Heidi Allen voting for Amendment 7.
Thanks to all our volunteers who braved the cold weather to campaign for a happy New Year, one in which the UK decided to remain in the EU!