Please sign our petition now
We are a group of citizens who will run a national campaign seeking to postpone the Brexit date. We will do this by means of a parliamentary petition urging the UK Parliament to request an extension of Article 50 which could allow us to vote at the EU elections and grant us more time to discuss and vote on what to make of Brexit.
We are EU citizens living in the UK; UK citizens living across the EU, and UK citizens who were between 16 and 18 years old at the time of the Brexit referendum. Just a handful of us were allowed to vote. We respect the choice of all those who could vote and we recognise the democratic outcome of the vote. All of us sympathise with the valid reasons of many of those who voted Remain, and understand and share the motives of many of those who voted Leave.
Fundamentally, we believe in democracy.
We believe that only when the arbitrary deadline for the Brexit negotiaitions (29.03.2018) will be postponed, can we achieve an open, democratic debate of what Brexit really means. At all cost, we want to avoid a possible No-Deal Brexit! Even though endorsed by many of the current Tory government, a No-Deal Brexit would disrupt the lives of many, if not all, UK citizens living in the EU and EU citizens living in the UK. Their voices, though deeply affected by Brexit, were silent for too long in this debate.
But our concerns go beyond the obvious: EU legislation protecting fundamental workers, environmental and human rights would come to an end, with unpredictable consequences in all parts of society. All EU grants supporting UK institutions and other EU-funded activities would be suspended simultaneously generating chaos in all sorts of institutions. Most worryingly, a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland would come into force, endangering the Good Friday Agreement which put an end to 40 years of Troubles. All of these events have real repercussions on every person in the UK, but none of them was democratically discussed during the referendum, none of them will address the legitimate concerns expressed by millions of leave voters and none of them is remotely close to the notion of “taking back control”.
This is why we think as citizens we should agree to collectively Take a Break from Brexit, postponing the Brexit deadline for a year (as allowed by Article 50 if the seceding country requests it and the EU council agrees). This would also be important to allow the time to hold a general elections and clear the air, getting rid of a failed government oscillating between two extremes: recalcitrant Brexiteers, for whom mass suffering is a political opportunity, and those willing to accept a Brussels fudge that keeps Britain in limbo and without a viable long term relationship with the EU.
An extension of Article 50 would allow democracy the time it needs to navigate toward an agreement that minimises human costs and paves the ground for a decent long-term arrangement between the UK and the EU. It would do so in three different ways: In the short term, it would allow the UK to participate in the May 2019 European elections. This would allow both EU citizens in the UK and UK citizens everywhere to participate in the discussion on the future of the Continent and the decisions shaping Europe’s political direction for the next parliamentary term; giving MEPs elected in Britain a mandate to convey key “Brexit” messages to the European Parliament. It would grant us more time for an inclusive democratic discussion on the main issues of the negotiations, inside and outside the UK, with more facts and much clearer options, bringing together leavers, remainers and the many people who were not included. Finally, it would allow the time necessary to make provisions for the people in the UK to reclaim the means for an appropriately informed last word on the six or so options before us. The window of opportunity to shape an inclusive democratic process is slim. This is why we must act now.
The time has come to demand the UK Parliament to take a stance.
A choice between a terrible deal and a catastrophic no deal is not a choice.
We need more time and a far better democratic process to understand what to make of #Brexit.
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