Best for Britain

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Best for Britain
Best for Britain logo.png
Formation26 April 2017
FoundersGina Miller, Clive Cowdery, Stephen Peel, Eloise Todd.
TypeCivil society group
FocusContinuing the UK’s membership of the EU
Chair
Mark Malloch Brown[1]
Key people
Naomi Smith CEO
Websitewww.bestforbritain.org
Part of a series of articles on the
British membership
of the
European Union
UK location in the EU 2016.svg
Flag of the United Kingdom.svg United Kingdom portal
Flag of Europe.svg European Union portal

Best for Britain is a civil society campaign, launched on 26 April 2017,[2] to stop Brexit and continue the UK's membership of the EU.[3]

Aims[edit]

Best for Britain is fighting to keep the UK open to EU membership.[4] On its web site it states that it is committed to a democratic way to stop Brexit, with a final say by parliament and then the people; believes that young people should steer Britain into the future; believes that Britain and Europe's success are linked and wants what's best for Britain, not best for politicians or their political parties.[4]

Establishment[edit]

Best for Britain was set up in April 2017 to work alongside other organisations in the campaign to maintain Britain's membership of the EU.[5] It is avowedly apolitical and is led by business and charity sector figures.[6] At the end of 2017, the former UN diplomat Lord Malloch-Brown became Best for Britain's Chair.[7]

Campaign activities[edit]

Tell the Remain parties to work together[edit]

Following the European elections Best for Britain has launched a campaign and petition that calls on the leaders of the political parties that are pro-Remain to work together in the national interest.[8]

Voter registration campaign for European elections[edit]

Most recently, on 8 May 2019, Best for Britain launched a national campaign urging the 7.9 million unregistered eligible voters to sign up before the European elections.[9] Best for Britain interim CEO Naomi Smith called the figures “staggering” and said: “These people have a big part to play in the future direction of our country, and we will do everything in our power to ensure their voice is heard on polling day with everyone else's.” [10] Best for Britain also created a tool to help voters register and/or obtain a postal vote.[11]

Letters campaign[edit]

In the first part of 2019, Best for Britain provided support for a nationwide ‘Letters to the Editors’ campaign. This drew upon industry professionals from different sectors, such as midwives [12] and doctors,[13] who signed open letters for local and national publications. These highlighted their concerns about what they saw as the damage being done by Brexit to their fields in particular to the NHS.[14]

People's Vote collaboration[edit]

Best for Britain has partnered with the People's Vote campaign on marches and rallies. On 23 June 2018 Best for Britain joined the People's Vote march in London to mark the second anniversary of the referendum to leave the European Union.[15][16] and also joined the marches in October 2018 [17] and March 2019. The two organisations also held join rallies for supporters in Westminster Central Hall on 23 November 2018 [18] and the Excel Centre on 9 December 2018.[19]

Bringing Britain Back Together Again[edit]

In June 2018, Best for Britain launched its manifesto "Bringing Britain Back Together" [20] to improve public understanding of the process to another referendum, emphasising the "it's still possible to stay" message and drawing attention to what it says was the government's delay and confusion over Brexit. It included an open letter to the country[21] and a road map to stopping Brexit,[22] calling for both sides of the Brexit debate to embrace the idea of another vote to settle the question of the UK's membership of the EU and to avoid the risk that "the entire establishment sleepwalks the country over the Brexit finish line in March 2019".[23]

Best for Britain coupled this manifesto launch with the stated intention to campaign in around 70 key marginal seats, trying to persuade both Labour and Conservative MPs to support a second referendum.[23]

When will we know what we voted for? advertising campaign[edit]

Between March and June 2018, Best for Britain ran an advertising campaign across the UK. It featured citizens asking: "When will we know what we voted for?" The campaign slogan, displayed on billboards and in newspaper ads in Birmingham, Carlisle, Manchester, Liverpool, London and Stoke [23] was: "We all deserve a final say on the Brexit deal."[6] Best for Britain was reported to have spent £500,000 on this campaign.[23]

Tactical voting campaign[edit]

In April and May 2017, Best for Britain ran what it claimed was the UK's largest ever tactical voting campaign.[24]

On 19 April 2017 it launched a crowdfunding appeal in an immediate response to Theresa May's announcement of a snap election to be held on 8 June 2017.[25] The crowdfunding campaign received donations from more than 10,000 people and raised over £350,000.[26]

The tactical vote campaign was launched at a press conference on 26 April 2017 by co-founder Gina Miller and then CEO Eloise Todd.[27] Miller said: "We need to prevent MPs and the people being forced into an extreme Brexit that is not in Britain's best interests. ... We will support candidates who campaign for a real final vote on Brexit, including rejecting any deal that leaves Britain worse off."[28] Miller was the chief spokesperson for this campaign.

Miller left Best for Britain after the 2017 general election,[29][30] expressing concern that the group had become more anti-Tory than Brexit-focused and described it as "a room full of white males deciding what's going to happen to the country"[30] and as "undemocratic".[29]

Funding[edit]

In February 2018, it was reported in The Daily Telegraph, and confirmed by Best for Britain, that George Soros, through his foundations, had contributed £400,000 to the campaign.[1][31] The Telegraph’s report was described as an "antisemitic dogwhistle" [32] and also criticised for calling Best for Britain’s public aim to stop Brexit a “secret plot”. In response Best for Britain launched a crowdfunder,[33] which raised over £200,000 and led to Soros donating a further £100,000.[34]

Best for Britain says it raises much of its funding through smaller individual donations and crowdfunding exercises.[citation needed]

Further reading[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "George Soros donated money to campaign for a rerun of Britain's EU referendum". Reuters. 7 February 2018. Retrieved 8 February 2018.
  2. ^ Sands, Mark (26 April 2017). "Brexit campaigner Gina Miller launches "Best for Britain" tactical voting campaign". City AM. Retrieved 8 May 2017.
  3. ^ Todd, Eloise. "The News That Is Making Theresa May Panic About Brexit". HuffPost UK. Retrieved 18 October 2017.
  4. ^ a b "We are fighting to keep the UK open to EU membership". Best for Britain. Retrieved 2019-05-17.
  5. ^ Lynskey, Dorian (2018-04-28). "'It's not a done deal': inside the battle to stop Brexit". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2019-05-17.
  6. ^ a b "Who are anti-Brexit group Best for Britain?". 2018-06-05. Retrieved 2019-05-17.
  7. ^ Wintour, Patrick (17 December 2017). "Former diplomat to lead remainers' bid to shift public opinion on Brexit". Reuters. Retrieved 8 February 2018.
  8. ^ "Tell the Remain parties to work together". Best for Britain. Retrieved 2019-05-31.
  9. ^ Smith, Mikey (2019-04-30). "Campaigners warn 8m not registered to vote days before EU elections deadline". mirror. Retrieved 2019-05-17.
  10. ^ Jankowicz, Mia. "Almost eight million people could miss their chance to vote in EU elections". The New European. Retrieved 2019-05-17.
  11. ^ Guyoncourt, Sally (2019-05-01). "Almost 8 million people not yet registered to vote in EU elections, warn campaigners". inews.co.uk. Retrieved 2019-05-17.
  12. ^ Reporter, Staff (2019-05-08). "Midwives express concern over Brexit threat to maternity services". Your Thurrock. Retrieved 2019-05-17.
  13. ^ Andrews, Kieran (2019-02-28). "Doctors sounding the alarm over Brexit". The Times. ISSN 0140-0460. Retrieved 2019-05-17.
  14. ^ PoliticsHome.com (2019-05-16). "Documents reveal NHS fears over post-Brexit staff exodus and drug shortages". PoliticsHome.com. Retrieved 2019-05-17.
  15. ^ Staff writer (23 June 2018). "Best for Britain at the March for a People's Vote". bestforbritain.org. Best for Britain. Retrieved 25 June 2018.
  16. ^ Staff writer (23 June 2018). "'At least 100,000' march for vote on final Brexit deal". Sky News. Retrieved 25 June 2018.
  17. ^ "People's Vote March". Best for Britain. Retrieved 2019-05-17.
  18. ^ correspondent, Peter Walker Political (2018-11-13). "Public has been duped, Jo Johnson tells Gary Lineker at rally for new Brexit vote". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2019-05-17.
  19. ^ "Tory Lord has a harsh warning for Theresa May over Brexit - and people overwhelmingly agree". indy100. 2018-12-09. Retrieved 2019-05-17.
  20. ^ "Campaign for new EU referendum launched". 2018-06-08. Retrieved 2019-05-17.
  21. ^ "An Open Letter to the country - our proposal". Best for Britain. Retrieved 2019-05-17.
  22. ^ Sabbagh, Dan (2018-06-01). "Roadmap to avoid Brexit to be sent to MPs and peers". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2019-05-17.
  23. ^ a b c d Sabbagh, Dan (2018-06-08). "Best for Britain recruits MPs to back second Brexit referendum". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2019-05-17.
  24. ^ Roberts, Dan (19 April 2017). "Gina Miller to launch tactical voting initiative against hard Brexit". The Guardian. Retrieved 8 May 2017.
  25. ^ Denham, Katherine (19 April 2017). "Gina Miller launches snap election campaign". Financial Times. Retrieved 8 May 2017.
  26. ^ "Best for Britain GoFundMe". Retrieved 8 May 2017.
  27. ^ Holden, Michael (26 April 2017). "Brexit challenger begins tactical vote campaign, cautions markets over optimism". Reuters. Retrieved 8 May 2017.
  28. ^ Sommers, Jack (19 April 2017). "Gina Miller launches crowd funding campaign to tour Britain opposing 'Extreme Brexit'". HuffPost. Retrieved 8 May 2017.
  29. ^ a b Swinford, Steven (8 February 2019). "Exclusive: Gina Miller says Soros-backed campaign to overturn Brexit is 'undemocratic'". The Daily Telegraph.
  30. ^ a b White, Alan; Ashton, Emily. "Gina Miller Says She Quit A Pro-EU Group Because It Became About 'Bringing Down The Tories'". buzzfeed.com. BuzzFeed News.
  31. ^ "Pro-EU campaign secures £400,000 from George Soros". BBC News. February 8, 2018. Retrieved February 9, 2018.
  32. ^ Behr, Rafael (2018-02-08). "A secret plot to stop Brexit, or an antisemitic dog whistle? | Rafael Behr". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2019-05-17.
  33. ^ correspondent, Jessica Elgot Political (2018-02-08). "What is Best for Britain – and is there a 'secret plot' to thwart Brexit?". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2019-05-17.
  34. ^ Cooper, Charlie (2018-03-29). "The master plan to stop Brexit". POLITICO. Retrieved 2019-05-17.

External links[edit]