People's Vote

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People's Vote
People's Vote logo.png
Stop Brexit March 9227.jpg
People's Vote march, London, 23 June 2018
Formation15 April 2018; 7 months ago (2018-04-15)
The Electric Ballroom
Camden, England, UK
TypeCampaign group
PurposeCalling for a public vote on the final Brexit deal between the United Kingdom and the European Union
Chuka Umunna
Part of a series of articles on the
United Kingdom
in 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

People's Vote is a British campaign group calling for a public vote on the final Brexit deal between the United Kingdom and the European Union.[1] The group was launched in April 2018 at an event at which four Members of Parliament spoke, along with the actor Patrick Stewart and other public figures.[1]


Parliamentary group[edit]

In July 2017, the Parliament of the United Kingdom established an all-party parliamentary group (APPG) on the UK's relations with the European Union.[2][3] Co-chairs are Chuka Umunna MP (Labour) and Anna Soubry MP (Conservative); the remaining members of the group are Caroline Lucas MP (Green), Jo Swinson MP (Liberal Democrats), Jonathan Edwards (Plaid Cymru), Stephen Gethins MP (Scottish National Party), Ros Altmann (Conservative), Andrew Adonis (Labour), John Kerr (Crossbench), Sharon Bowles (Liberal Democrats), and Dafydd Wigley (Plaid Cymru).[2][4]

On 1 February 2018 The Guardian reported that a grassroots coordinating group (GCG) representing more than 500,000 members opposed to a hard Brexit had formed, with Umunna as its leader.[5] Later that month it was reported that George Soros's Open Society Foundations had donated £182,000 to European Movement UK and £35,000 to Scientists for EU, two of the grassroot groups.[6][7]

In March 2018, HuffPost reported that several pro-EU groups had moved into an office together in London's Millbank Tower in order to co-ordinate their campaign to retain strong links between Britain and the European Union. This was also reported to be in order to work alongside the APPG on EU Relations. Umunna commented, "In our democracy, it is vital that the people get their say on Brexit, rather than their elected representatives in Parliament being reduced to some rubber stamp for whatever plan Boris Johnson, Jacob Rees-Mogg, and Michael Gove have been putting together behind closed doors".[8]

People's Vote formation[edit]

People's Vote was launched at an event in London on 15 April 2018, at The Electric Ballroom in Camden.[9] The event comprised Andy Parsons with MPs Umunna, Soubry, Layla Moran (Liberal Democrats), and Lucas speaking, as well as actor Patrick Stewart. Lord Adonis also attended the event.[1][10]

Campaign activities[edit]

MEPs at the start of the People's Vote march, 20 October 2018

On 23 June 2018, the second anniversary of the EU referendum, People's Vote organised a march and protest from Piccadilly to Parliament Square in Central London. Speakers included actor Tony Robinson (who criticised the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn for not attending the march),[11][12] business owner Gina Miller, Liberal Democrats Leader Vince Cable, Labour MP David Lammy, Lucas and Soubry.[11] An estimated 100,000 people attended the march, including MP Anna Soubry and comedian Michael Brunström.[13][14]

The Independent wrote an editorial on 24 July 2018 calling for a "final say on the Brexit deal".[15][16] Over the next two weeks the television presenter Gary Lineker,[17] the satirist Armando Iannucci,[18] broadcaster Gavin Esler, comedian Rory Bremner, and former Liberal Democrat leader Menzies Campbell[19] also announced their support for the campaign.

In August 2018 the co-founder of Superdry, Julian Dunkerton, donated £1m to the campaign.[20][21] In the same month the Press Association reported that, according to a leaked memo, People's Vote were attempting to secure a motion calling for a second referendum at the 2018 Labour Party conference.[22] The following month Labour voted in favour of a Brexit motion keeping the option of a second referendum open.[23][24]

In September 2018, BBC News reported that the Conservative MPs Sarah Wollaston, Phillip Lee, Heidi Allen, and Guto Bebb had also joined the People's Vote campaign, along with former Education Secretary Justine Greening.[25]

On 20 October 2018, protestors marched from Park Lane to Parliament Square in support of a referendum on the final Brexit deal.[26] The march was started by the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, and featured speeches by Delia Smith and Steve Coogan. Amidst the crowds a number of celebrities were spotted supporting the peoples vote including Eddie Izzard, Jarvis Cocker, Andy Serkis, and The Thick of It star Chris Addison.[27] Former Downing Street Director of Communications Alastair Campbell supported the march, saying "the Brexit that was campaigned successfully for [...] doesn't exist".[28] The organisers of the march estimated that almost 700,000 people took part, although police stated that they were unable to estimate the numbers involved.[29][28][30]

Central Hall rally, 13 November 2018

On 13 November 2018, a rally organised by the People's Vote and Best for Britain groups at 3 days notice filled the Methodist Central Hall in London. The rally was introduced by Andy Parsons and featured an interview of Jo Johnson by Gary Lineker, and speeches by MPs Anna Turley, Justine Greening, Ian Blackford, Caroline Lucas, Layla Moran, Dominic Grieve, Liz Saville Roberts and David Lammy.[31][32]


The campaign is a collaboration between several groups. They use a campaign office based in Millbank central London, apart from Wales for Europe which is based in Wales.[33][34] The European Movement UK and Britain for Europe also have roughly 150 local campaign groups.[35]

List of collaborating groups[edit]

The collaborating groups are:[4][5]

Devon for Europe


Campaign groups[edit]

Political parties[edit]

Accusations of astroturfing[edit]

The People's Vote campaign was claimed by Richard Seymore in Vice as being an example of astroturfing.[40] In the article, he accused the People's Vote campaign of being backed by large amounts of money and influential figures, noting the involvement of people such as "Tony Blair, Michael Heseltine and Nick Clegg. Such down-to-earth ordinary folk as Delia Smith, Steve Coogan and Bob Geldof. Tracy Ullman, Eddie Marsan and Deborah Meaden. Not to mention, Polly Toynbee, and Chuka Umunna." Similar accusations were made in an RT article.[41]


People's Vote commissioned a report into the economic effects of the Prime Minister's Brexit deal. The report, published late November 2018 by the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR), stated that the deal 'will cost UK £100bn' a year by 2030.[42][43]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Staff writer (15 April 2018). "Brexit: 'People's Vote' campaign group launched". BBC News. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
  2. ^ a b "About". EU relations. Retrieved 13 June 2018.
  3. ^ "Register Of All-Party Parliamentary Groups: EU relations". UK Parliament. 6 June 2018. Retrieved 13 June 2018.
  4. ^ a b Lynskey, Dorian (28 April 2018). "'It's not a done deal': inside the battle to stop Brexit". The Guardian. Retrieved 13 June 2018.
  5. ^ a b Mason, Rowena (1 February 2018). "Groups opposed to hard Brexit join forces under Chuka Umunna". The Guardian. Retrieved 8 June 2018. The main groups opposed to a hard Brexit are joining forces under the leadership of Chuka Umunna to push for the public’s voice to be heard on Theresa May’s final deal to leave the EU
  6. ^ "George Soros donates £400,000 to anti-Brexit campaign". Financial Times. 8 February 2018. Retrieved 7 June 2018. (Subscription required (help)).
  7. ^ Elgot, Jessica (11 February 2018). "George Soros raises donation to anti-Brexit Best for Britain group". The Guardian. Retrieved 7 June 2018.
  8. ^ Forrester, Kate (12 March 2018). "Six pro-EU groups move to new shared office For Brexit fightback". HuffPost. Retrieved 17 April 2018.
  9. ^ Quinn, Ben (16 April 2018). "Brexit: MPs from four parties jointly launch push for people's vote campaign". The Guardian. Retrieved 3 May 2018.
  10. ^ Marr, Andrew (host); Stewart, Patrick (guest) (15 April 2018). "Sir Patrick Stewart on Brexit deal vote campaign - BBC News". The Andrew Marr Show. BBC One. Retrieved 17 April 2018.
  11. ^ a b Staff writer (23 June 2018). "'At least 100,000' march for vote on final Brexit deal". Sky News. Retrieved 26 June 2018.
  12. ^ Staff writer (24 June 2018). "Labour frontbenchers defend no show at anti-Brexit march". BBC News. Retrieved 25 June 2018.
  13. ^ Crowds (23 June 2018). 100,000 march through London to demand People's Vote referendum on terms of Brexit (Television). ITV News. YouTube. Retrieved 30 July 2018.
  14. ^ Crowds (23 June 2018). Anti-Brexit protest: estimated 100,000 march two years after vote (Video). AP. The Guardian via YouTube. Retrieved 30 July 2018.
  15. ^ The Independent Voices (24 July 2018). "The referendum gave sovereignty to the British people, so now they deserve a final say on the Brexit deal". The Independent. Editorial. Retrieved 30 July 2018.
  16. ^ Umunna, Chuka (24 July 2018). "If Brexit negotiations have taught us anything, it's that our future should not be left to 650 politicians in London". The Independent. Voices. Retrieved 2 August 2018. Given everything that has happened and what we know now, it should not be left to 650 politicians in London to decide our future – 65 million people’s voices have to be heard. It’s the only way to break the deadlock. That is why The Independent is right to be calling for a vote on the final Brexit deal.
  17. ^ Heffer, Greg (26 July 2018). "Gary Lineker joins campaign for second Brexit referendum". Sky News. Retrieved 26 July 2018.
  18. ^ Iannucci, Armando (1 August 2018). "Armando Iannucci: Why I'm demanding a second referendum on the belched-up mess of Brexit". Daily Mirror. Retrieved 3 August 2018.
  19. ^ Staff and agencies (18 August 2018). "People's Vote backers rally in Edinburgh for say in final Brexit deal". The Guardian | Edinburgh. Retrieved 19 August 2018.
  20. ^ Staff writer (19 August 2018). "Brexit vote campaign gets £1m from Superdry co-founder". BBC News. Retrieved 19 August 2018.
  21. ^ Savage, Michael (18 August 2018). "Julian Dunkerton: the man who gave £1m to the People's Vote campaign". The Observer. Front page. Retrieved 19 August 2018. Image.
  22. ^ Staff writer (27 August 2018). "Campaigners seek motion on second Brexit vote at Labour conference". ITV News. Retrieved 27 August 2018.
  23. ^ Staff writer (25 September 2018). "Labour conference: Members vote to keep referendum option open". BBC News. Retrieved 16 October 2018. In his party conference speech, the shadow Brexit secretary [Keir Starmer] said all options should be kept on the table, including a so-called People's Vote.
  24. ^ Sparrow, Andrew (25 September 2018). "Labour delegates vote overwhelmingly for Brexit motion backing second referendum - as it happened". The Guardian. Retrieved 19 October 2018. 13:50 Lunchtime summary - Sir Keir Starmer, has mobilised Labour support for a second referendum on Brexit in a speech... he declared: "Nobody is ruling out remain as an option."
  25. ^ Wheeler, Brian (11 September 2018). "The Brexit factions reshaping UK politics". BBC News. Retrieved 15 September 2018. Sarah Wollaston, has joined the People's Vote campaign along with Phillip Lee and Guto Bebb
  26. ^ Vox Pops on the march (20 October 2018). What really happened at the anti-Brexit rally in London (Video). Australian News Network via YouTube. Retrieved 22 October 2018.
  27. ^ Rough Trade Records
  28. ^ a b Gallagher, Charlotte (20 October 2018). "People's Vote march: Hundreds of thousands attend London protest". BBC News. Retrieved 20 October 2018.
  29. ^ Helm, Toby; Savage, Michael; Courea, Eleni (20 October 2018). "Almost 700,000 march to demand 'people's vote' on Brexit deal". The Observer. Retrieved 21 October 2018. The centre of London ground to a halt as an estimated 700,000 people from all over the UK marched peacefully on parliament to demand a second referendum on Brexit.
  30. ^ Busby, Mattha (20 October 2018). "People's Vote march: '700,000' rally for new Brexit referendum – as it happened". The Guardian. Retrieved 22 October 2018. Organisers claim that 700,000 people attended.
  31. ^ Walker, Peter (13 November 2018). "Public has been duped, Jo Johnson tells Gary Lineker at rally for new Brexit vote". The Guardian. Retrieved 14 November 2018.
  32. ^ Tobin, Olivia (13 November 2018). "Viewers baffled as Gary Lineker interviews Jo Johnson on Brexit at People's Vote rally". Evening Standard. Retrieved 14 November 2018.
  33. ^ Porritt, Richard (15 April 2018). "Campaign launched to push for People's Vote". The New European. Retrieved 17 April 2018.
  34. ^ Staff writer (15 April 2018). "Launch of the new national People's Vote campaign". Open Britain. Retrieved 17 April 2018.
  35. ^ Fletcher, Martin (30 May 2018). "Inside the headquarters of Britain's anti-Brexit brigade". New Statesman. Retrieved 21 June 2018.
  36. ^ "Home page". Wales for Europe. Retrieved 27 August 2018. Wales For Europe is a partner organisation of Open Britain
  37. ^ Sabbagh, Dan (23 June 2018). "Thousands take to streets in London on anti-Brexit march". The Guardian. Retrieved 21 June 2018.
  38. ^ Staff writer (23 June 2018). "Best for Britain at the March for a People's Vote". Best for Britain. Retrieved 25 June 2018.
  39. ^ Staff writer (21 October 2018). "The People's Vote March for the Future - Renew Party". Renew Britain. Retrieved 21 October 2018.
  40. ^ Seymour, Richard (19 October 2018). "A 'People's Vote' On Brexit Is a Terrible Idea". Vice. Retrieved 15 December 2018.
  41. ^ "Grassroots or 'astroturf'? Who's really behind the anti-Brexit group 'Our Future Our Choice'". Russia Today. 20 June 2018. Retrieved 15 December 2018.
  42. ^ Staff writer (26 November 2018). "Brexit deal 'will cost UK £100bn' a year by 2030". BBC News. Retrieved 26 November 2018.
  43. ^ Hantzsche, Arno; Kara, Amit; Young, Garry (26 November 2018). The Economic Effects of the Government's Proposed Brexit Deal. London: National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR). Pdf.

External links[edit]