After the letter in the Guardian
The Round Robin letter published in the Guardian (below) calling for a postponement of the Article 50 deadline has not proved effective. Though Tory leaders including Philip Hammond (Chancellor) and Jeremy Hunt (Foreign Secretary) and even sometimes Keir Starmer, the Party leaders are not moving at al.
Corbyn’s desire for a General Election (allegedly) would be aided by a postponement, Citizen’s Assemblies if desired can be staged, or even a Third Referendum, but none can be staged if the deadline remains March 29th. Delay then becomes essential.The priority is to Extend the Deadline.
WHY IS THERE NO CAMPAIGN ON THIS?
Guardian Letter 16th January 2019
Extend the Article 50 deadline by at least a year
Two and a half years on, the Brexit process is in total stalemate, with the Damocles sword of a disasterous No Deal hanging over our heads. We are told that finally the government has been forced to open a dialogue with parliament. But the scale of the democratic and constitutional crisis we are witnessing suggests that this is one of those times when ‘we the citizens’ have a right to say on what happens next, precisely because what is at stake is a set of very basic questions about how we are ruled.
This is happening because the 2016 referendum never debated what should happen after the divorce with the EU and left that circle to be squared. In fact Brexit has exposed a
raft of contentious issues thatgo largely beyond the UK-EU relationship; the Irish border: the constitutional question about sovereignty: the level of inequalities between different parts of the country and the whole direction of Britain’s economic model. What to do then?
If the current withdrawal agreement is not acceptable, the arbitrary deadline of 29 March is even less acceptable. Despite massive opposition, the minority who want a No Deal outcome may get their way by accident. Parliament must do whatever it takes to allow a longer period of discussion to review all options and prevent a car crash Brexit. For the sake of Britain’s democracy, an extension to the deadline for at least a year is essential.
Under Article 50, the government can obtain an extension from the European Council provided that the other 27 countries unanimously accept. All parliament needs to do is instruct the government to request this extension, and for the government to give a clear sign that this extension would come with a different approach to the negotiations as a whole. A general election, or a people’s vote – either before or after a people’s debate through the citizens’ assemblies that many are starting to discuss – would give an opportunity for this different approach. All require more time.
We are calling on British and European citizens everywhere to join us in making this alternative a reality. We need more time and a better democratic process to understand what to make of Brexit. Lets call on parliament to take a stance.
Andrea Pisauro, John Palmer, Neal Lawson, Gabriel Popham, Trevor Fisher, Elena Remigi, Boubacar Dembele, Julia Moore, Eileen Chan-Hu, Conor McCardle, Ken Sweeney, Karine Deslandes, Felix Hoffman, Katia Widlak.