Open Britain will, in the early part of the new year, embark on two ground campaign activities that set them apart from other pro-European groups. The campaign is rapidly expanding into Leave areas and will next month launch an innovative new website for its grassroots activists to let them lead the campaign for the best Brexit deal in their local communities.
The ‘OB One-Stop-Shop’ will provide an online resource for local Open Britain activist groups to set up; localise and order campaign materials like leaflets from the comfort of their own home; and provide training and best practice guidance.
The creation of the website, the first of its kind to be established among the groups campaigning after the referendum, has been entirely funded from the generosity of Open Britain’s supporters, which has raised thousands of pounds in small, online donations. Local groups will also fundraise locally to cover the cost of producing campaign materials.
Open Britain is currently expanding its grassroots network into areas that showed higher levels of support for Leave. We have new Campaign groups in the North East of England, Stratford, Staffordshire, Buckinghamshire, Kent, Norfolk and many other areas.
Stuart Hand, Director of Field Campaigns of Open Britain, said:
“We are, first and foremost, a grassroots organisation, which is why the OB one-stop-shop is so important. This is bottom-up campaigning.
“We want to establish a campaign against a hard, destructive Brexit across every part of the country, which is why we are particularly focusing in the early part of this year in establishing local activist groups in areas that voted to Leave and reaching out to Leave voters.
“It is great that our activists have responded enthusiastically to investing in the tools that will allow them to campaign locally on the issues they want to campaign on. It is going to be vital to have a nationwide network of campaign groups if we are to stop a hard Brexit.”
Notes to editors
The cross-party Open Britain campaign inherited the assets of the Stronger In campaign and has a database of over 500,000 registered supporters, with more people joining the organisation than leaving it since the referendum. The campaign also an activist base of thousands of volunteers who, at our first national campaigning day in November were active in every region of England and delivered nearly 100,000 leaflets in a day.
Open Britain’s current lead campaign, voted for by our activists, is for Britain to keep membership of the Single Market. They also recently partnered up with Undivided to bring Leave and Remain voters together in a video calling for the voice of young people to be heard in the upcoming negotiations, a campaign that will be rolled out with Youth for Europe across university campuses in February. Open Britain also has campaigns running to guarantee the rights of EU citizens in the UK and Brits in Europe; protect the NHS after Brexit; and, in partnership with other groups, for a plan to be published before Article 50 is triggered. In 2017, Open Britain will launch new campaigns, including on staying an open and tolerant society and on NHS funding.
Open Britain has community meetings organised for the first quarter of next year, with more to follow, in: Newcastle; Durham; Amersham; Manchester; Kent; Stratford Upon Avon; Malvern; Liverpool; London; Wiltshire; North Yorkshire; Essex; Bristol; Norfolk; Staffordshire; Devon; Brighton;
Lincoln; Buxton; Welwyn Garden City; Leeds; Cardiff; Glasgow; Epsom; Petersfield; Kettering; Rhyl.