As the Government formally embarks on the path to a hard, destructive Brexit, leading Open Britain supporter Peter Mandelson has said the Prime Minister is “putting her own interest ahead of the country’s”. He also laid out how pro-European campaigners in the centre can take forward their campaign for an alternative path.
In a critique of the Prime Minister’s Brexit strategy, Mandelson says, “Theresa May is putting her own interest ahead of the country’s. She does not want to be the fourth Tory prime minister to be politically crucified by her party on the cross of Europe. She is desperate for the support of the right-wing press and the nationalist wing of her party. Where Cameron placated, she has actively empowered, regardless of cost.” He says the pro-European response to the Government’s hard Brexit plan “has to go beyond party politics. A national, pro-European effort should seek to unite opinion in civic society and mainstream politics”.
In an article for the New Statesman, outlining how pro-European campaign groups and parties should respond to the Government triggering Article 50 to pursue a hard Brexit, Peter Mandelson says it has to be based on “three Rs”:
“Resist. We have vocally to oppose what we don't agree with – we have to challenge and controversialise decisions so ‘new norms’ don't materialise. That is why pro-refugee, anti-Trump demos, the Gina Miller case, new newspapers or campaigns against hard Brexit are so important.
“Renew. People with liberal, social democratic views have been losing arguments on issues such as security, spending, globalisation, identity, migration, integration. We need to renew our policy offer in these areas – we need real alternatives not just raw anger. There is a lot that unites some Tory, Labour, Lib Dem, SNP and Green MPs and activists across all these issues – but the networks to do new thinking have to be created.
“Reorganise. We need a new generation of leaders who can inspire, locally and nationally, from both non-metropolitan and metropolitan neighbourhoods and parts of the country. Campaigns and parties have to put much more effort in to looking for new talent beyond their own organisations and boundaries. We need to hear fresh, authentic voices and end the idea that mainstream politics cannot speak for the majority.”
Notes to editors
You can read the full New Statesman piece here: http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/uk/2017/03/peter-mandelson-slams-jeremy-corbyn-and-keir-starmer-not-acting-national
Open Britain is campaigning to hold the Government to account for their decisions taken and for people to have the right to pass judgement on the final deal once negotiated.