The sensational announcement this morning that we had won our legal challenge against the use of the royal prerogative by the Government in relation to the triggering of Article 50 must be tempered by a dose of political realism.
Firstly, the Government has already announced that it will appeal. Ironically, the case might end up before the European Court of Justice if the matter is not resolved when the case goes to the Supreme Court.
This only adds to the political challenges for those of us who are determined to stop Brexit come what may.
If Theresa May decides to call an early election as a result of the legal challenges, we will find ourselves with a new parliament elected with a huge Conservative majority and a parliamentary mandate to deliver Brexit.
In this scenario, there will be no chance of a second referendum on the deal. Britain will be out of the EU in no time and there will be no way back. The best we could do would be to secure safeguards for EU citizens already here and Brits in Europe through our campaigning in Brussels.
On the other hand, if Theresa May is able to start the negotiations and bring the deal back to the current parliament, it is plausible that she will not be able to carry a majority for her Brexit deal, particularly if it is a hard Brexit deal (as seems likely), the cost of which will be truly “titanic”.
Failure to secure a parliamentary majority on a Brexit deal will mean a new election and provides the opportunity for a second referendum on whatever deal she negotiates. That would not be a referendum like the last one on the question “Do you like migrants?”. It will be a referendum on the cost of Brexit and I predict that the public will vote over-overwhelmingly to stay.
There is a huge job to do if we are serious about stopping Brexit. One of the key arguments in the legal challenge must continue to be the focus of our campaigning. It is not acceptable for the government to remove the individual rights of citizens by way of a referendum.
The rights that EU citizens – and all British citizens are currently EU citizens- will lose on Brexit mean that from a legal, moral and political point of view Brext should not be allowed to go ahead.
New Europeans is a campaign that pre-dates the referendum. We have been fighting for the rights of EU citizens in the UK and Brits in Europe since 2013.
In addition to working with our partners Fair Deal for Expats and the3Million as part of our #FairDealNow campaign we also work with other organisations in the UK and around Europe that believe in European Citizenship and the rights that we have as citizens not just of our own member states but of the EU as a whole. These include the rights to free movement, non-discrimination and civil and political participation wherever we live, work, study or retire in the EU.
Roger Casale, New Europeans and Nicolas Hatton, the3million,
John Shaw and team, Fair Deal for Expats, #FairDealNow
If you are one of the 3.3m non-British citizens living in the UK who will be affected by Brexit or one of the 1.6 m Brits in Europe then join our campaign today because we are delivering for you and your family.
Brexit will be bad for you and it will be bad for your family. It’s up to you how much you want to do to stop it and to defend your rights.
We are doing our best to challenge and today was a great victory. But as the saying goes, we have won a great fight but we have not yet won the campaign and now we need your help.
This press release has been republished on behalf of New Europeans. New Europeans is a civil rights organisation which champions freedom of movement, non-discrimination and the principle of solidarity in Europe. Europa United is proud to consider New Europeans as a partner in the European project. For more information, please visit their website.