100 signatures reached
To: Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission & Martin Schulz, President of the European Parliament
An open letter, and appeal, to our partners in Europe
Give Britain more time before any motion to formally sever our membership of the EU is accepted
Why is this important?
To our partners in Europe,
We need your help. Many of us in Great Britain are distraught at the results of our EU referendum. We are sad, horrified, ashamed and worried. We do not want to be torn away from a Union which enriches our lives and is so strongly part of who we are.
We appreciate that we live in a democracy where our opinions, and choices, are not all the same. But this choice, one which will have an immeasurable impact on our lives and our futures - on our children and grandchildren’s futures - is too devastating not to challenge.
We would request that you consider the following before any motion to formally sever Britain’s membership of the EU is accepted:
1) You will be aware of the small margin by which the Leave side won, and that those who voted to Leave represented only 37% of the electorate.
2) You no doubt also know that amongst the younger demographic of voters - on whom this will have the most-felt and longest effect - the results were overwhelmingly to Remain (it’s worth noting, too, unlike during the 2014 referendum on Scottish independence, the voting age was not extended to include 16 and 17 year olds, despite the impact it will have on them).
3) You may be aware of the astonishing untruths - not just the general political scaremongering, which was certainly present on both sides - but very specific lies blatantly presented as facts, which were a foundation of the Leave campaign, encouraging votes based on information which was utterly fabricated. That in itself should have been illegal: if this were a court case, would the prosecution be allowed to invent evidence without there being a mistrial? The Leave claims are being increasingly exposed, undermining the integrity of the result.
4) Those who led the Leave campaign have now publicly admitted that they had no plan in place for Britain in the event that they won; a criminally cavalier lack of responsibility regarding the welfare and livelihoods of millions in the UK and beyond.
5) As this was an advisory referendum only, there is no legal obligation for the result to be implemented; in fact, it would be disastrously irresponsible to do so.
Already, we are becoming crushed under an avalanche of consequences, including the break up not only of the European Union, but the United Kingdom, as we watch Scotland (entirely justifiably) claim another referendum for their independence. The Northern Ireland peace process is also now in jeopardy.
We appreciate that our alliance with the EU may not be perfect and, like any partnership, needs to evolve and be subject to reform. But the question of our EU membership should never have been put to a public vote, one which was only offered in an effort for David Cameron to win General Election support his party feared would be lost to others. This was a gamble with catastrophic consequences for millions.
On both sides, our people - those who wished to Leave, and those who wanted to Remain - have already been let down by poor governance, over many years, which has created deeply felt inequality, divisiveness and distrust. We have been encouraged to feel under attack, from those outside the UK, both through immigration and bureaucracy (as with other countries, we are caught in a race to the bottom from those pedaling a smokescreen of anti-European, anti-immigration sentiments). But our membership of the European Union has become something of a red herring, a false target at which to direct this anger. That anger is understandable: but please, please don’t let the circumstances surrounding this referendum - a spitting cauldron of misinformation and disenfranchisement - leave us with a result that is only very dangerously furthering the divide. Our country has deep wounds which will take time, effort and great change to heal, but millions of us believe that leaving the EU will only further hurt us.
Please know that we don’t want to be isolated and fearful, to reverse our country to darker times. We desperately want to remain part of the European Union, to promote peace and opportunity and unification, to look to a better future - a future those who founded the Union wanted for us.
And we would hope that support in maintaining our membership of the European Union would further encourage unity between all member nations during these tumultuous times.
We implore you to allow us, the citizens of Britain - your fellow committed Europeans - to appeal this referendum result before irreparable damage is suffered by us, and many others throughout Europe.
With hope and solidarity,